This year, the social enterprise "It’s Craft" became one of the winners of the Grant Program the Social Enterprises for Emergency from the USVF. Financial support within the program was aimed at the relocation of the social enterprise from the occupied territory and the renewal of activities on the territory controlled by Ukraine. We spoke with the founder of "It’s Craft" to tell you the story of the relocation and adjustment of the team’s work in the new place.
About the challenges caused by russia's criminal attack on our sovereign country
"The main challenge was the relocation and finding funds for it. Thanks to the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund, we received them. It was a start for us. Then, there were difficulties with finding premises, although, in my opinion, we found them quite quickly. However, I was afraid that we wouldn't find exactly what we needed – something with high-quality modern design."
You can make sure with your own eyes that the social enterprise "It’s Craft" has found its ideal location after all!
About ruined and new plans
"There was supposed to be a deadline according to our program in February, when we give 1,000 - 1,500 for the creation of prototypes of new goods for crafters. We almost finished it, selected the applications, but we just didn't have time to make the announcement because it was supposed to take place on February 28. Understandable, right? In May, we were dealing with relocation, and later we held the main competition for the Revolver Fund, which is part of the "It’s Craft" strategy. After, the idea was born to conduct a wonderful project "Kherson region is Ukraine". The goal of the project is to provide support to the occupied regions of Ukraine through art events and the sale of artists' works and goods with prints. Together we collect funds for the reconstruction of cultural monuments and support the Armed Forces of Ukraine in liberating Southern Ukraine from the russian invasion."
Currently, you can find information on how to support the "Kherson region is Ukraine" project on the "It’s Craft" website. The project is really meaningful and important for every Ukrainian, especially those from the temporarily occupied territories.
About cooperation and arrangement in a new place
"We met the founder of the local public organization "Art Uman". It turned out that this man had long dreamed of creating an art cafe. We got along well and after a while he brought us beautiful paintings to the store and now one of the walls on the street serves as a gallery. Some people come in just to look at the paintings, and then they come to our shop itself. Someone, on the contrary, comes to our store and only then pays attention to the paintings of local artists. We consider this our achievement, because it is important for our team to build local cooperation and further support our social mission"
About the activity of crafters in the conditions of war
War, occupation, complicated logistics changed the usual cooperation process of many businesses, what to say about the marketplace, which unites dozens of manufacturers. Victoria shared the story of "It’s Craft" and proved that there are no hopeless situations, especially in a country where there are so many great manufacturers: "In mid-July, we got a call from partners from a large company who told us that they have contacts of manufacturers who didn’t suit them in terms of production volumes. That's how we found some of our new products. However, of course, there is a lack of products that were made in the south of our country. Today we have a small assortment of sauces, there were questions about sun-dried tomatoes. But new products have also appeared: whole grain grisini, for example, raw pressed oil. There are some really interesting things. Therefore, the situation turned out to be such that if there is not something from our south, then there is something no less good from other regions. Souvenir products have also appeared, which we try not to duplicate and select something really beautiful and unique."
We are grateful to the "It’s Craft" team for their contribution to socio-economic and cultural development because today, as always, this is an extremely important matter for the country. The popularization of Ukrainian consumption and production of such a product is an essential step for us, as for a country with a strong economy in the future.
"What difficulties are there? I don't even know, it seems to me that everything runs smoothly today. We are working and developing!" - Victoria Kulakova, founder of the social enterprise "It’s Craft".
You can order something interesting from Ukrainian manufacturers selected according to the "It’s Craft" quality standards by following the link in the comments!
Support is provided under the “Collaborate for Impact” project, which is implemented in partnership with EVPA and with the support of DG NEAR EU Programme. The project aims to support and develop social entrepreneurship ecosystems in the Eastern Partnership countries. The main project partners in Ukraine are SILab Ukraine and the Ukrainian Social Venture Fund.