Icing Almost on the Cake

I know I have mentioned it before but my last few months here have absolutely flown. I’m lucky, that isn’t always the case with people. This week, I am putting the final touches on what is most likely the last major project-related work at site. To say that working with Eastern Rinok over the past year has dominated my daily activity at the office would be an understatement – I have become full-blown invested in the project and couldn’t be happier! So much so, that the experience has sparked my future interests – more on that in a future post.

Last Friday, we were able to open three new shops right here in Zaporozhye! However, by we, I really mean that Tatyana Rosienko facilitated the opening of shops. I printed documents, answered questions, and served as a general liaison/consultant/comic relief.

Teamwork to set up a shop
Teamwork to set up a shop
Going step-by-step through the training manual
Going step-by-step through the training manual
Halfway to opening up shops online!
Halfway to opening up shops online! (Me, Larisa, Tatyana, Irina) #KCCO

The entire project is a series of five trainings that leads to the step-by-step process of opening a shop on Etsy.com. To some the processes can be intuitive, whereas to others they aren’t. Coupled with this is the fact that all the information needs to be entered in English; not the native language here. We’re only as good as our trainer and Tatyana was a pleasure to work with! Her level of preparation, patience, ability to provide great examples, and level of business knowledge in general made this training what it was.

Post-training, shops open
Post-training, shops open (Tatyana, Irina, Julia, Larisa)
Tatyana and I. She killed it. Apparently I also only own gray sweaters
Tatyana and I. She killed it. Apparently I also only own gray sweaters…

Now we are going through the process of perfecting product descriptions, updating tags, discussing shipping costs, editing pictures, and what to do when something is sold (Irina already sold something!!). We are in no way done, it is an ongoing process to continue to perfect one’s shop – regardless of virtual or physical. However, the biggest hurdle is passed and from here on out it is a fine-tuning process.

Check out the new additions!

Larisa Levchenko and her shop FloralMood

One of Larisa's hairpin creations: "Aster Pink"
One of Larisa’s hairpin creations: “Aster Pink”

Irina Kovernik and her shop IrinArts

A designer decoupage cutting board

Julia Usova and her shop JuliaCharm

Some lovely pearl beaded earrings

I have no problem saying with full confidence that this is the tip of the iceberg for these women. They are all extremely talented artisans and have double-digit items ready to post! Now is when the Eastern Rinok team comes in and helps develop product names, descriptions, determine what tags to use, etc. Like anything, this is a learning process and eventually our role will simply be cheerleader and promotion assistant. Honestly, I want to go in and do everything for these women in terms of shop design – however that is not the point.

In the meantime, if you have Facebook, go give us a like to stay up to date with new products: https://www.facebook.com/TheEasternRinok, follow us on our blog for a list of our shops, meet new artisans, read highlights, and learn more about the project: http://easternrinok.wordpress.com, or see all the items posted by any of our artisans at http://www.etsy.com (search Eastern Rinok or click the link).

Less than a month left as a Peace Corps Volunteer, one more final project to go, riding hard through the finish…




5 thoughts on “Icing Almost on the Cake

  1. Great post. Didnt realize you were writing on here now. Need to get updated on everything going on. FYI – my office is all doing Movember this year. Keeping the legacy going!

    1. Thanks man! Yeah, I’ve been writing on here pretty much the whole time – though definitely not nearly as frequent as I potentially should. It has been more of a summary of events – I’m still missing one big one, mostly because it will make me overly emotional to write it…maybe stateside or while I’m on a beach in SE Asia on my way home 🙂

      Glad you guys are doing Movember!! We did it here last year and I made mugs for a bunch of the guys who I shared Thanksgiving with. Still have the mug, still laugh every time I look at it. I’m expecting daily/weekly picture updates from you and your amazing growth…not sure I’m doing it this year as I’ve already asked a lot of people to donate for a lot of things – and I have to give a professional presentation right before I finish.

      Thanks for reading and checking out the blog, I hope you enjoy reading other posts as well!

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