Way to success with Three Snails
Handmade goods are popular all over the world and at present, the demand is significantly higher than the offer. Thus, the world handmade market equaled USD 18 mlrd and this is not the limit. The statistics testifies that it grows annually by 25-30% in the money equivalent.
Ukraine is a country of centuries-old craft traditions which have been passed from parents to children.
Ukrainian artisans create unique goods practically of all available materials: wood, clay, wool, fabrics, straw.
The demand on the local handmade market has been drastically low recently.
Sadly, most of Ukrainian artisans don’t know how to make their way to the Western customer who highly values the craft tradition and vibes rendered by handmade items.
Most often, Ukrainian talents lack the command of English, knowledge of marketing and elementary, they just don’t have the internet access as the internet signal covers only 53% of the territory in the regions of Ukraine.
Being unable to provide their families, Ukrainians give up their crafts which they are passionate about, which they followed from their ancestors and leave to seek low-paid jobs in the near abroad.
Compassionate with these problems, Elena Vechkanova has founded the Three Snails project aimed to help Ukrainian craftsmen and to declare them to the world.
The company represents 9000+ goods items already, has gathered 1000+ masters whose crafts are sold at the global market.
Vitaliy - a wood crafter from the Dnipropetrovsk region, shares his experience
Vitaliy, tell us please, about yourself a little.
I am 53, married, have children and grandchildren who learn in the first grade already. My father was a carpenter and actually, a Jack of all trades. I inherited that – I saw how to work with wood since my childhood. Also, I am a “wooden dragon” according to the horoscope, this is likely to be important, too. I like active recreation in my free time – ride my bicycle and plan to do it forever.
You are a woodcraft master. How long have you been into it? What is your source of inspiration?
I have been working with wood since my school years – I have always had a desire to create, to make something with my own hands. I made two guitars myself. They play one of them in a school orchestra and the other was a gift to my friend. I thought about one more for myself – but have not managed to do that yet. At difficult times I made rolling pins and clothes pegs to make both ends meet. I have never stopped this activity – I like it a lot. I am interested as well what other masters craft, both in Ukraine and abroad.
Is this your main source of income? What are your other occupations?
I appreciate freedom and I don’t like to be tied to anything particular. I like to handle wood items for myself and as gifts and now I am working with TS.
What did your cooperation with Three Snails start with?
I was selling wooden boards and containers for spices at the electric train. A girl approached me and introduced as Julia. She said she represented the company TS selling handmade goods. I believed in my chances and decided to try. This meeting helped me greatly. I am sure that everything is done for a reason and kindred souls find each other.
We discussed the details after that over the phone. I made the first order and it turned out to be successful. You understand, when a person is engaged with something, they live, and I want to live too, this is my life.
Actually, how did TS help you?
They estimated the quality and helped with professional photos and the price policy. They also advised what should be changed in order to sell my goods better. I manufactured items in the folk style before and now I am making them in the modern one. I got orders with extraordinary design. I mastered it. I am very glad that there are people who like my works. That’s why I am busy and I am grateful to the Three Snails team for their assistance.
Did you listen to them? Did you believe them? Why? Did you hear/know about Three Snails before?
Yes, I listened to their words of advice. I did not know anything about the company before, but I visited their site on the internet, I saw a great range of goods, read the reviews on other resources about this platform and I understood that they could be trusted. They help masters a lot, and one has barely a chance to cope without them.
How long have you been cooperating with Three Snails? What have you gained?
Around a year and a half and I am very happy with that. I have a lot of orders and I am quite busy thanks to this company. I make rather good money – 10-15 thousand UAH monthly, and this is quite a big sum for Ukraine. I hardly could earn my living before.
The work process never stops. I get new drawings, ideas. It is interesting for me to bring them to life. I am especially glad when an invented idea turns into successful goods which are sold in hundreds of items.
What would your advice to other young masters?
To be busy with what you are passionate about and to trust this platform. They are professionals, they help and give precious guidelines which have proved to work. They have helped me a lot. I tried to sell my stuff on my own. I heard about Etsy at training, made photos the way I could, translated the description with Google-translate. The experience was not successful, nobody was interested in my goods. I did now know English, I had no idea how to describe and sell products in the correct way, tried to learn. I did not want to pay commissions to intermediaries. I felt sad about the time wasted as I could do something instead in my workshop but did not even earn that miserable money which I made at the electric train.
The things went smooth with Three Snails:)
The beginning masters should follow their passion. It took me almost 25 years to achieve mine. It is very important to do in what your heart is. I am happy as I am occupied with what I like. Let’s say, I see a stump and I know already this is what I need and I have an idea what I will make from it. The main thing is to believe in your dream and not to betray it, to live with one's heart and never give up.
These are Vitality's works - they are worth admiring. They prove that he is a gifted master and he puts his heart in what he creates. This is the way how a dream looks like when it is brought to reality: