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'Not just a thing, but a piece of heart': how Ukrainian women create handmade gifts in the USA

Increasingly, Americans are encouraged to buy gifts not from large retail chains, but to support small shops or craftsmen who make original souvenirs on their own. And what products of Ukrainian craftsmen are in demand in the USA? Tells Voice of America.

Photo: Shutterstock

Sofia Ogorodnik from Lviv produces elegant ladies' hats to order. She has lived with her family in Silicon Valley for six years. She is engaged in egg painting, gives master classes and teaches lessons in children's creativity. However, home quarantine and lockdown forced to cancel classes. Therefore, the artist began to make hats for sale and rent - for photo shoots or events.

“Even under quarantine, the weather in California is very conducive to having outdoor parties in parks, which is completely permitted,” says the artist. - And this was one of the events for which I made a large number of hats at the same time - a baby shower, a baby shower, which is very popular here. It was held in the theme of English tea drinking, and all girls, young women, could use such a small accessory. "

Ogorodnik says that the culture of wearing hats was very widespread in Ukrainian cities a few years ago, but now it has fallen into decay, and in vain: “This is a small detail that suits absolutely everyone, to any wardrobe item, including jeans. And it can emphasize, it is interesting to show the person who wears it. "

In order to know more about Ukrainian artists, Oksana Izbyanskaya from Ternopil launched a new UAartsy platform in August. Oksana has been living near New York for 15 years. She is a marketer by education, she paints pictures herself. Having learned to sell her own works, I decided to help other Ukrainians in this.

“Especially when the holidays come, we all want something home, our own, dear,” the artist explains. - Earthenware, goods with embroidery predominate: pillows, aprons, products decorated with Petrikov painting. By the way, they are popular among Americans as well ”.

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Izbyanskaya says that she works very closely with the craftsmen, conducts trainings for them on pricing and promotion: “Now, like a family, we call each other and say: I sold this, and I sold that. And this is how we communicate. ”

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

But Ivanna Kishchuk from Ivano-Frankivsk, who has lived in Chicago for eight years, offers to treat herself to handmade sweets for the winter holidays. She produces sweet bouquets and gift boxes with chocolate covered strawberries. Ivanna has been combining this hobby with raising two children for two years. She most often receives orders for family holidays and parties, and at Christmas she often produces themed sweet sets.

“They order in red-green colors, some snowflakes, because this is an association with Christmas, coconut chips are like snow, some stars. They also order for birthdays - everything is individual here. If they want a marine theme, then this is something blue, if for a princess - pink, ”explains Kishchuk.

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She assures that she washes all the strawberries very carefully and generally approaches the production of orders as she does for her family: “I choose strawberries a day or on the same day, as they must be fresh, firm, and not wrinkled, otherwise the chocolate will just slip, it will not be glossy, beautiful.

Photo: video frame "Voices of America"

Whatever hand-made - a hat, beads or chocolate covered strawberries - people choose, all this brings incredible sensations to those who did it on their own.

“For example, there are mothers who stay at home with their children. And because of covid, many people experience depression. And when you buy a thing from them, you just give wings to this person. I was told about a woman who said: “When I sit at home, I keep looking at who bought my products. I am ready to sell them even for a dollar just so that my thing will bring happiness to someone, ”Izbyanskaya says.

She explains: “You think you're just buying a thing. And you, acquiring this thing from a person, get a piece of his heart, and make him so happy that you cannot even imagine. "

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