Why in the good golly lord of mercy did we open this store? What's wrong with Etsy?
TL;DR; Babushka (My Grandmother) knits, I buy it all, re-sell it here. Both my purchase price and your purchase price goes to babushka and associates in Ukraine.
Well, similarly to many other stories, this store came to be out of a need.
My name is Kirill, and I am a software developer living in Ottawa, Canada. I was born in Ukraine, where most of my family, including my grandmother (babushka) currently lives. I was born in 1991, the year when the Soviet Union broke down. This major world event has left Ukraine in a great economic despair. My family; highly educated and well respected members of the community, were struggling with the very basics.
Luckily, the government has given my grandparents a piece of land, and being the resourceful people that they were, they built a farm and a house. Much of my childhood was spent at that farm, and the majority of our food was provided by the hard work and effort that was put into that farm. I tend to believe that the only reason I am in good health and shape today, is because of that farm. We always had quality food on our table, no matter how skinny the wallet was.
While my grandparents were labouring at their day jobs, and at the farm to feed us, my parents were working tirelessly at the Department of Chemistry in a Institute in Kharkiv, saving up every dime they had for a plane ticket, while submitting applications to all the scholarships and mentorship programs they could find, hoping for a kind hearted professor to give them a position to do a PhD abroad. When I was 8, my parents found a position in Israel, at the Weizmann Institute of Science. We embarked on a long journey to a better life, the end of which has brought us to Ottawa Canada, where we are quite happy.
The grandparents, however, were left behind. The only signs of gratitude for their hard work and endless efforts were talking to us over Skype, and seeing the occasional pictures of three happy faces, half the world away.
Back to the babushka.shop. My grandmother is quite the knitter. She is ridiculously good. And she is very resourceful. She saved all the wool she had gathered back in the post USSR breakup days (high quality, 100% strong wool), and has knit an endless amount of goods. Hats, socks, laptop bags, sweaters, blankets, you name it.
I bought them all, and I keep buying whatever new stuff she makes, as it comes in. I sell it here, and when an item is purchased, the money goes back to her and the family and friends in Ukraine. Whatever you pay for an item, will be sent to Ukraine, on top of whatever I pay for the Item. I do not cover my initial expenses, or try to make a personal profit.
In a nut shell, each item gets sold twice. First to me, second to you. Both profits go to babushka.
Now, who are the associates? Well, as you might have heard, Ukraine has not recovered since the USSR breakup, and is facing new economic struggle with the escalated politcal situation around the border. Babushka has gathered some family members and old friends who are struggling as well, and has asked me to re-sell their items too. Associate items get sold once, to you, and I still forward them all the profit.
To conclude. This is my sign of gratitude for all the hard work and effort, for all the sacrifices. With the money gathered here we are able to bring babushka into Canada for 4 months a year, every year. We have set up a 10 year visa, and insurance, and are now working towards figuring out some fixes and amenities for the farm back in Ukraine.
Thank you, for having spend the time reading this story. Thank you for visiting our store, and Thank you for existing.
Babushka & Dedushka