New store on Khreshchatyk of­fers house­hold goods made by lo­cal pro­duc­ers

Kyiv Post - - Lifestyle - WITH TOMA ISTOMINA, ISTOMINA@KYIVPOST.COM,

Rid­ing the made-in-Ukraine wave, Vsi Svoi com­pany has opened yet an­other store sell­ing prod­ucts made by lo­cal pro­duc­ers — this one of­fer­ing house­hold goods.

Lo­cated on Kyiv’s main street Khreshchatyk, the new Vsi Svoi Store 34 opened its doors on Sept. 26. It sells both mass-pro­duced and more ex­clu­sive prod­ucts, in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture and home dé­cor items.

This is the big­gest home ac­ces­sories store in the coun­try in which the en­tire range of goods is pro­duced by lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers.

“We want to pro­mote lo­cal pro­duc­ers,” Anna Lukovk­ina, the founder of the store, told the Kyiv Post. “We want the world to know about them. We want all of the peo­ple walk­ing along the main street of the coun­try to be able to buy them, so that all this beauty is ac­ces­si­ble.”

The Vsi Svoi com­pany runs a series of mar­kets, held from two to four times a month, as well as op­er­at­ing cloth­ing and shoes store of the same name and an e-com­merce web­site.

Lukovk­ina founded the mar­kets back in 2015 when madein-Ukraine prod­ucts started to be­come trendy af­ter the Euromaidan Revo­lu­tion in Kyiv, which saw the oust­ing of the pro-Russian for­mer Ukrainian pres­i­dent, Vik­tor Yanukovych, from power.

Since then, the mar­kets have grown into must-visit en­ter­tain­ment events, with food courts, drinks, mu­sic and par­ties, of­fer­ing a wide range of goods and at­tract­ing around 20,000 vis­i­tors over two days. Each mar­ket is usu­ally themed, and brings to­gether pro­duc­ers of sim­i­lar cat­e­gories — warm clothes and shoes for chil­dren, a grill mar­ket of­fer­ing var­i­ous food and drinks, a mar­ket with Christ­mas presents and dec­o­ra­tions, and many more.

In 2016, Lukovk­ina opened a large Vsi Svoi clothes, shoes and ac­ces­sories store, lo­cated in a three-story build­ing on Khreshchatyk Street. The store is suc­cess­fully com­pet­ing with its neigh­bors, the stores of global brands Zara and Mango.

This Septem­ber, two years af­ter the first store opened, Vsi Svoi cus­tomers can now cross the street and pur­chase

house­hold goods made by Ukrainian brands at an­other Vsi Svoi store.

Like home

Vsi Svoi has or­ga­nized house­hold goods mar­kets once ev­ery two to three months since 2016. Lukovk­ina says that the mar­kets are rarely held but very pop­u­lar.

Apart from that, the brands come to Kyiv from all over Ukraine for the mar­kets, but their prod­ucts are dif­fi­cult to pur­chase in the cap­i­tal when the mak­ers go back to their home re­gions.

For that rea­son, and be­cause of the grow­ing in­ter­est in house­hold prod­ucts, the Vsi Svoi team de­cided to open Vsi Svoi Store 34.

“We re­al­ized that all these prod­ucts de­serve a sep­a­rate large space,” Lukovk­ina said.

The space they se­cure is in­deed large — the store is lo­cated on the three floors of a spa­cious build­ing on 34 Khreshchatyk Street.

Lukovk­ina says the team went from the idea of cre­at­ing a one-floor store to a three-floor one be­cause so many brands wanted to sup­ply their prod­ucts. In or­der to meet the dead­line for open­ing, the team had to accelerate its plans and even work overnight.

“It’s good that there’s a lot of fur­ni­ture here,” Lukovk­ina laughed.

The store stocks around 150 brands from over 20 Ukrainian cities.

Lukovk­ina says that the team in­vited all of the pro­duc­ers them­selves, as they got to know them at the mar­kets.

“We chose the best brands in Ukraine, in our opin­ion, they do their craft with love and make un­usual, cool things,” she said.

The brands of­fer var­i­ous types of fur­ni­ture, decor, kitchen sup­plies, dishes, plant pots, blan­kets, cush­ions, bed linen, and lamps for any taste and any bud­get.

Lukovk­ina says that she loves pro- duc­ers that have a per­sonal, rec­og­niz­able style.

Dwell The Space cre­ates min­i­mal­is­tic decor items like plant pots and vases made out of con­crete, Ku­lik Wood makes bulky wooden chairs and ta­bles, and Yalanzhi Ob­jects of­fers lamps with round forms, rough sur­faces, and fu­tur­is­tic de­signs.

As well as hav­ing shelves stuffed with goods, Vsi Svoi has set up a small café inside the store. It sells cof­fee, tea, le­mon­ade, pies and sweets — all served on a va­ri­ety of Ukrainian-made dishes.

“The café is like home, it’s cozy,” Lukovk­ina said.

Ac­cess to lo­cal prod­ucts

One of the brands fea­tured at the new Vsi Svoi store, 8 Komora, sells artsy hand­made ce­ram­ics.

There are only two peo­ple in their team — Svit­lana Sholomit­ska, an artist and de­signer, and her part­ner Ivan Kozik, who man­ages the brand. They say they are not ready to open their own store yet, and their ce­ram­ics have never been sold in any other lo­cal stores ei­ther.

The cou­ple says that in­stead, they mostly work to-or­der — they’ve creat- ed dishes for over 20 restau­rants in Ukraine, and some of their goods are sold in New York.

Sholomit­ska says that they have re­ceived of­fers from stores be­fore, how­ever, they de­manded mass pro­duc­tion, which doesn’t match their phi­los­o­phy.

She says that ce­ram­ics for her is rather an art, and she loves cre­at­ing one-of-a-kind goods.

“It’s a re­flec­tion of my feel­ings, it’s sin­cere, and that’s why peo­ple like it,” Sholomit­ska said. “Mak­ing it only be­cause it can be sold is not our way.”

But 8 Komora couldn’t turn down the of­fer they got from Vsi Svoi. Here, they will be able to sell any prod­ucts they like, of­fer new de­signs, and will have no obli­ga­tion to pro­vide a cer­tain quan­tity of any of their goods.

Sholomit­ska be­lieves that Vsi Svoi is con­tribut­ing to the change in peo­ple’s per­cep­tions of their own homes.

“We should show and tell peo­ple that their homes can be artsy, and it’s nor­mal — it’s not a lux­ury,” she said.

Lukovk­ina says that she wants to con­tinue pro­mot­ing lo­cal brands by open­ing Vsi Svoi stores, as well as hold­ing mar­kets not only in Kyiv, but also in other Ukrainian cities.

“I want it (lo­cal prod­ucts) to be ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one, so that peo­ple can go to the city cen­ter and buy them.”

Prices: ce­ramic cup — from Hr 210, plate — from Hr 120, cot­ton blan­ket — from Hr 900, bed linen — from Hr 1,140, fur­ni­ture — from Hr 2,000.

Vsi Svoi Store 34. 34 Khreshchatyk St. Mon-Sun. 10 a.m.— 10 p.m.

Peo­ple walk around the Vsi Svoi Store 34 in Kyiv as the store opens its doors on Sept. 25. (Oleg Pe­tra­siuk)

Anna Lukovk­ina, the founder of Vsi Svoi stores and mar­kets gives the me­dia a tour around the new Vsi Svoi Store 34 in Kyiv on Sept. 25. (Oleg Pe­tra­siuk)

Cus­tomers eye prod­ucts as they visit the open­ing of the new Vsi Svoi Store 34 on Sept. 25 on 34 Khreshchatyk St. in Kyiv. (Oleg Pe­tra­siuk)

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