The Embroidered Soul of Ukraine: Dyka Spidnytsia

Monobrand of skirts, owned by Dyka Oksana. The story of our brand began three years ago, and it was more of an adventure and a game for me rather than something serious.

The story of our brand began three years ago, and it was more of an adventure and a game for me rather than something serious. By then, I had worked as a web designer for the largest online store in Ukraine, Rozetka, and liked the job. The brand was like an outlet, a place where I could create something new in my free time. Everything developed calmly and step by step. Therefore, it did not have great results compared to other brands. Or something serious. 

The goods we create, first of all, cover my personal needs. I like to wear skirts, and buying them in mass market stores is challenging because I cannot choose something that best suits me due to my type of figure, short height, and body proportions. That’s how the idea of sewing skirts and becoming the best in this field arose. I have about 30 of them in my wardrobe, and I wear them all. The name of our brand also appeared easily and quickly. We did not try to come up with something exotic. I wanted the name to be associated with skirts and easy to remember. We come from the Central part of Ukraine, from the Cherkasy region, and a simple Ukrainian name seemed the most logical to me. Dyka Spidnytsya (Wild Skirt) is the brand’s name, immediately clarifying who we are and what we do. The first part of the name is my family name, and the second is what we produce.

 Before the war, only two people were on our team – me and my mother, Iryna. I handle all administrative work, social networks, and sales and develop models. She is the heart and soul of all technical issues, including the construction of patterns to the high-quality tailoring of all our skirts. She has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing women’s clothing and can be considered a master in her field. I am confident about all our skirts and the exceptionally high production quality. There is also my dad – he is a professional in adjusting sewing equipment. That`s the way how a mini-family business appeared. 

Girls who come to us to buy skirts inspire me. They are all very different, but they have the same problem as I once had, that it is difficult to find something to suit them, that the goods in the stores are usually made for tall girls, and those who are shorter do not look that good wearing them. I am just like them, so it is easy for me to understand what they need. We can shorten the length if the girl is short or, on the contrary, sew a longer one to order and according to individual measurements. We are all different, and I love that we can accommodate any need.

When the war started, I thought it was the end of everything. On the first day of the war, I was fired from my position as a designer, where I had worked for many years, and everything seemed to have stopped. I froze and did not know where to head. Volunteering and helping people got me out of the emotional abyss. We quickly reorganized and actively began to sew and re-stitch everything possible for the needs of the war. There was a terrible shortage of all materials. People brought us all possible pieces of fabric so that we could help the army and not stop. We produced military equipment, and skirts seemed to be a thing of the past.

I continued to maintain the page of our brand on Instagram and tell about our work, but for the needs of the army. There was a day when a girl wrote to me and ordered a skirt similar to her favorite one that was left at home while she was fleeing. She only had her winter clothes, and it was spring. The skirt reminded her of her happy life before the war. It was the story that broke my heart. At that moment, I realized that my skirts were a thin thread to my previous life, that this was a thing that could save someone and cheer somebody up. I gave many skirts to those who needed them and contacted me. This gave me the push to continue working and fully concentrate on the brand. The final understanding came that our work was essential, and nobody could stop me since then. All skirts were made in our home workshop for all three years, and a month ago, we finally dared to expand, rented premises, and hired another seamstress. Now there are three of us who are making things for women. For me, this is a considerable risk and fear, as there is war in the country, and at any moment, a rocket can hit and destroy everything. But I am optimistic. I believe we are on the right path; we work, pay taxes, provide a workplace, and look forward to victory. I started participating in charity fairs more actively, where we donate to the needs of the Armed Forces, in arranging the charity lottery, where we draw a skirt as a prize for a donation. I help friends and acquaintances directly. If the brand didn’t work, I wouldn’t be able to send money to charities. These are small amounts, but they should not be underestimated.

I dream of creating a collection of skirts that fit with embroidery made of natural fabrics and lace and expanding the range of goods. I began to immerse myself in our culture and study the clothes worn by our ancestors. Ukrainian culture is unique and rich in details. We aim to continue popularizing skirts to make the largest selection of basic, trendy and traditional skirts. To show that skirts are common to any wardrobe and that you can make up multiple styles and outfits with them. The war showed me that one must be decisive, value yourself, adapt to the country’s situation, and be more flexible.