Valeriya Guzema: In Ukraine, creativity wins

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At the beginning of 2022, it was to start preparing to enter the overseas market. Instead, when the war began, the brand had to discard its preparations and immediately take the lead in the global market, with little in-depth analysis and calculation of risks. It was planned, but had to be postponed until February 2023. A lot has changed in the last year.

On the eve of the full-scale invasion on February 23rd, our team discussed the possibility of starting new projects and offline events. Little did we realize in the morning that war was on the horizon.

Valeria Guzema

The next day, I had to make a rather important and urgent decision. First, he quickly decided to pay the salaries of all his employees and transferred one million hryvnia (£25,000) to the army. At first, the team and I were in touch with him 24/7, mostly discussing volunteer and charity work, as well as personal issues they were having. My team has been busy volunteering at orphanages, helping doctors and the military, but sometimes reaching out to each other’s friends and acquaintances when it comes to evacuation and housing. When the war started, all Ukrainians could ask each other, “How are you?”, which quickly became “I love you.”

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From the first day of the war, we started volunteering. My charitable foundation, the Guzema Foundation, immediately took action. We kept our eyes on the phone and no time wasted confirming our request. Rather, I focused on helping those in need, whether through funds or personally from me or someone on my team. of social media platforms dedicated to sharing information and emergency contact details.

During that time, the most difficult part was controlling my emotions, filtering the news as much as possible, and not taking everything too personally. , have a hard time helping others.

Little did we realize in the morning that war was on the horizon

During the first days of the war, part of the Kiev region was occupied by Russian troops. We didn’t know what would happen, so we built a warehouse in Europe to keep all Guzema’s jewelery in a safe place. Fortunately, thanks to this warehouse, we are now able to deliver orders to our international customers quickly.

Valeria Guzema

Our production has been carried out in Ukraine to this day. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues were forced to leave the country due to the war and have no plans to return. It’s a big loss, but I couldn’t think of moving the production base. I believed that work could resume on the Kiev site, and this has come true by his early summer 2022. Due to my limited experience with production in Europe, I realized that the Ukrainian site is incomparable. speed, quality and cost. We are proud to manufacture our products in Ukraine. We will continue to work in Kiev, no matter how difficult it is in the midst of power outages and the constant threat of missile attacks.

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One of the biggest challenges facing Ukrainian businesses today is the inability to plan for the long term. Brands can set goals and create new strategies, but entrepreneurs should be ready for change soon.

We are proud to manufacture our products in Ukraine

The first 2022 collection entitled “Freedom” and featuring pieces in the colors of the Ukrainian flag was released at the end of April. All net profits from the sale of the collection were donated to the Guzema Foundation. Six months after its launch, it has repeatedly added new items to its collection and has become a national icon for many of its customers. For Ukraine’s Independence Day last summer, I created the “Spadok” collection inspired by Ukrainian culture, history, origins and national identity. The dot-shaped ornaments were pierced with red thread, which involved working with a team of embroiderers.

Valeria Guzema

Last October, we planned a street style photo shoot in Lviv, the same day Russia decided to launch missiles into Ukraine. Hundreds of rockets and air raid sirens were overhead. All power and communication networks were cut off. But as soon as the air raid sirens went off, I went outside and started filming. It seems silly to think that we continued to work in such horrific conditions, but in that moment we thought. If Russia tries to intimidate us, they will not succeed.

We aim to win in 2023. All Guzema’s activities and philanthropic activities are focused on supporting the Ukrainian military and economy. Despite all the difficulties we faced, we want to continue to shine a light on our country to the wider world until we are victorious, grow our business and celebrate the products made by Ukrainians in Ukraine. .

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