New store on Khreshchatyk offers household goods made by local producers
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.
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)