I am not an entrepreneur. I am not a businesswoman. I am a musician. And yes, to be successful at the third one, you also have to be good at the first two (or else very lucky). But to make more progress with my music, I’ve largely put my secondary business, Živo Naturals, on the back burner while I travel to different cities in Europe playing shows. There was one person I knew I could trust to handle things while I was away—and lucky for me, she volunteered to do it before I could even ask. She happens to be one of my very best friends...and she happens to be Ukrainian.
I’ve been asking Ira, my Friend-Turned-Fulfillment-Manager, for updates on Ukraine and how things are going with all the loved ones she still has over there. The situation is not good. Not having many resources of my own, I’ve been wanting to do something but just didn’t know what to do. Recently Ira rallied some friends to make piroshkis to raise money for a woman named Inna who is feeding Ukrainians in war-ravaged Kyiv. (You can see Ira's post about it here.) Inna is a cake baker who completely transformed her bakery so she could make bread to give to people in areas where such a simple staple is hard to come by, many bakeries having closed down in the wake of the war. She gathered some volunteers to help with baking and distributing the bread and is now supplying many areas in need. When I saw the remarkable efforts of these two women, one in the US and one on the front lines in Ukraine, I knew exactly what to do.
From now through May 31, I’ll be donating 25% of Živo Naturals’ gross sales to helping Ukrainians. We’ll start with Inna the baker...and if a more urgent need arises, I’ll update you and we’ll keep giving where most needed.
As a gift to thank you, I have some beautiful limited-edition zipper pouches that were handmade for us in Croatia. Orders over $35 will receive a free small pouch and orders over $50 will receive a free large pouch, while supplies last (assorted colors).
One of my grandmothers was also Ukrainian. I didn’t learn that until shortly before she passed and I didn’t have the benefit of growing up with Ukrainian traditions, but for years I have dreamt of visiting the area where our family came from and exploring our roots. Now I’m aware that much of what I would have found has likely been destroyed. And I am devastated.
Is this an over-share? Probably. Was it supposed to be an uplifting message? Yeah. But sometimes we have to leave the marketing facade behind and just be real with each other. This is a very real situation, and I feel all-but helpless, as I’m sure a lot of people do. But this is what I’ve got.
My effort may be small, but if it helps a few people I will be grateful. And if I can help you feel good in the process, with products that I’m confident you’ll love, I’ll call that a win.