The war in Ukraine weighed heavily on the hearts of Shanny Harel and Kelly Roth, the Israeli businesswomen behind The Nopo (Nomad Popup), a two-year-old online marketplace for handmade crafts from Morocco, Mexico and Colombia.
And in response, they curated a collection of ceramics, scarves, jewelry, candles and embroidery from artisans in Ukraine’s Gunia Project.
One hundred percent of sales of Gunia wares on The Nopo website will go directly to the project, with zero fees taken out.
Gunia Project was created in 2017 by Ukrainian fashion industry executives Natasha Kamenska and Maria Gavryliuk to preserve Ukrainian identity and nationality by selling the works of 30 master artisans.
Harel said The Nopo team “spent time learning about Ukraine’s rich history of craftsmanship and the impact of the war on artisans’ livelihood.”
They felt that partnering with Gunia Project would perfectly align with The Nopo’s “mission of bringing the world’s most exceptional artisans to the fore” while supporting local artisans during this time of great uncertainty.
“We know many people have been looking for meaningful ways to get involved, and this is as direct as can be,” said Harel.
Kamenska Gavryliuk told The Nopo that the first three weeks following the Russian invasion they were in a state of shock.
“On the first day, we paid all our team’s salaries, suspended our production, and closed our showroom. We stayed in touch with our family and team but were forced to leave our hometown of Kyiv,” they said.
“We volunteered, helped raise funds for the army, helped our family and local defense with everything we could, and distracted ourselves as much as possible from all the horrors going on around us.”
After those first three weeks, they restarted order fulfillment and began accepting new orders although production is currently suspended.
In fact, The Nopo notes on its website that, given the current situation, it cannot guarantee every product ordered will be delivered, and that unfulfilled orders cannot be refunded. The money will go to Gunia Project regardless.
“There is a military front, there is a volunteer front, and there is an economic front. We know that our mission to tell the world about Ukraine is now only becoming more valuable,” Kamenska and Gavryliuk said.
“We want Gunia to be in every home within independent Ukraine and all over the world. The brand will bring joy, warmth and education about our rich culture. … Ukraine has always been famous for its craftsmen, and we are doing everything possible to keep it that way.”