People gathered in Romare Bearden Park, draped in flags and carrying signs.
- Small businesses offered deals for Ukrainians.
- Big businesses lit up their buildings in yellow and blue.
What’s happening: Support for Ukraine in Charlotte grew louder over the weekend, as the city joined other places around the state and world to call for an end to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the sovereign country.
Why it matters: Charlotte is home to more than 10,000 Ukrainian Americans, according to recent U.S. Census figures.
Meanwhile, many of our readers have asked what they can do.
- Here are a few ideas and Ukrainian-owned businesses in Charlotte, suggested to us by people who attended Saturday’s rally. If you have others to add, please email us at [email protected].
Like leather? This family-owned business, based in Mooresville but with brick-and-mortar location in South End, makes journals, travel bags, aprons, watch bands, books, laptop cases and so on.
Everything’s made in Mooresville, but the story began in Ukraine in 2014:
- That’s when master tailor Viktor Oleksyn started making goods there.
- Julia and Pavlo Prannyk took up sales and marketing for him, and soon online sales were all over the world.
- When customers in the U.S. started asking why shipments were taking so long, the team moved to Mooresville.
Of note: This past summer, olpr. donated 1,000 leather aprons to small and locally owned businesses around the country, to thank them for helping the leather goods store make it through the pandemic, WCNC’s Michelle Boudin reported.
Olga Nikolaienko, who’s from Kiev, has been in the flower business for 15 years and in Charlotte since 2018.
She does flower boxes, vase arrangements and has a subscription program where you can get bouquets monthly or bi-weekly. Delivering in the Charlotte area only.
How to order: Shop online or call 704-763-6756.
Family-owned building company whose owners moved to Charlotte in 2019 and 2021, respectively, according to a recent Instagram post.
Women-owned photography and styling business.
- They’re holding a fundraising headshot photo day on March 27. All the money raised will go toward Ukrainian humanitarian efforts, according to their Instagram.
Ukrainian business owner turns bridal bouquets into art.
The company, located in South Charlotte, is owned by a Ukrainian man named Vladimir.
- Axios reader Howard tells us he does great work.
Company located in Mint Hill, offering kitchen cabinet refinishing and painting services.
- Axios reader Beverly says they recently did a “stellar job” refinishing her kitchen cabinets.
A Ukrainian-owned Crêperie in the Matthews area. The owners are sending some of their proceeds to causes that support their families and friends still there.
- Axios reader Amanda tells us “the owner is lovely and the food is even better.”
Also: It’s not a Ukrainian business, but Manolo’s Bakery is offering free cakes to any Ukrainians who have birthdays in the next month.
- “I would rather for them to send the cake’s money to their families and friends than spend it in my bakery,” says owner Manolo Betancur, who is from Colombia.
And, The Home T, a Charlotte T-shirt business, has a Ukraine collection where 100% of profits are being donated to United for Ukraine, according to their website.