Updated: Mar 2
Reposted from Instagram as I've had such a great response over there requesting links and more information about this way that we can all show direct support. I’ve edited my original post for the blog to include a few steps which I hope will help anyone who wants to do so, to buy direct from Ukraine's small business community.
"LOVE” by Ukrainian artist Alexander Milov. A story of hope and a reminder that there is always light in our hearts, no matter how dark it is outside.💙💛
This picture is from Burning Man 2015, it was the first time a Ukrainian artist received an art grant from Burning Man. Customs made Alexander late to the festival as his arrival was met with perhaps unnecessary delays. And after arriving at the festival, Alexander worked hard to finish his installation a few days before the festival ended.
At night, the children inside light up.
Fast forward to 2022 and the shocking events of late February. I found this image while helping a friend research how easy it is to buy direct via platforms like Etsy. Feeling helpless and hopeless, we wondered if buying online was even possible given the displacement that is happening.
But after a frantic half-hour on Insta and Etsy we remembered that when you buy anything digital it doesn’t require shipping. So of course the transaction is immediate - thanks PayPal, that is indeed money in the bank. Right now. Today.
Digital templates, printables and e-zines don’t need to be shipped and yes, payment is immediate. I’ve had some frank conversations with the teenagers around me as I worked. They have sent me some brilliant links, videos and memes and helped me find the hoodie (and the sarcasm embroidery templates!).
Of course I cannot answer their questions. I don't honestly understand how it has come to this, I thought the New Russia had severed ties with the old... And fear tugs at my heart just as it does theirs. Yet their desire to JFD something is as fierce as my utter bewilderment at what we are seeing unfold. And still...we are so far away from the front line. So very protected from it all via these digital screens.
However we feel about social media spaces so beloved of our teenagers, YouTube and TikTok are excellent peer-to-peer storytelling channels. So, our youngsters are able to find a relatable story which can be a starting point to try to figure this all out (so much better than news reports as few teenagers watch MSM news these days).
And for all of us, whatever we may feel like purchasing from punk embroidery to downloadable screensavers, platforms like Etsy allow us to directly support our small business peers. Direct from our home to theirs.
It’s a small thing and I’m by no means virtue signaling here, but to make one, small purchase gives me hope that many, many small actions like this will collectively help and make a difference.
Finding Etsy Ukraine Digital Creators
Go to https://www.etsy.com/ Use the Search bar and type in ‘digital files’ or 'digital' or 'downloadable'
Choose the All Filters hamburger top left of your screen, it sits just below the white space in a lozenge icon.
Scroll down past 'Filter by Category' until you get to 'Country'... and type ‘Ukraine’ in the space that says 'Enter Location. And scroll down a little more and choose the black button that reads 'Apply'
So much to choose from, here is a quick link: https://etsy.me/3HyDaZb
Truly, I hope you decide to purchase an embroidery template, a printable artwork, some pretty flamingo (digital) paper or a template for your Goodnotes app.
These are micro-purchases and have nothing like the logistical impact that donating to the charities at the front line. But this is a different, and much more personal, way to show your support.
If you want to send a message to your seller - optional of course - you may find the contact with the outside world is as appreciated as the purchases.
Now, here are some lovely digital ideas and a sweatshirt - and some links:
Digital Planner from a micro business who has the loveliest - and very practical collection. Yes, I did buy the bundle which was a bargain at about £20: https://etsy.me/3IBXOZw
Watercolour, hi-res printable artworks: https://etsy.me/3C30Wvg
Sarcastic embroidery template: https://etsy.me/3putetw
Sweary sweatshirt: https://etsy.me/3K2rEqo
Flamingo paper: https://etsy.me/3IyZEus
Alien artwork: https://etsy.me/3Mh6rew
Phone screen: https://etsy.me/35mx6G6
And if you've scrolled this far... thank you.