- Was it difficult to move your store from Belarus to Poland?
There’s no problem to move your store from Belarus to Poland.
You have to constantly talk to tech support and in 14 cases out of 15, they will give you the cold shoulder. But on the fifteenth try, you’ll probably break through. But you have to speak in legal language to be heard.
The main problem was to prove to Etsy that we live in Poland because the countries of the former soviet union can't sell in the U.S. They argued that it was due to sanctions but there is a commercial move as well.
There were a lot of crafters in Belarus, Ukraine, and russia who sold their products at normal prices. Then this market got shut down and corporations began to order similar products in China. Before, corporations used to get 6% of the sales and now, they get 100%. So they cheated everyone.
- Who's your target audience?
Our customers were very funny to watch. Our brand has 3 generations of buyers: older "hippies", "happy people", and savvy young adults advocating for legalization. And so, these grandparents give mushrooms to their grandkids for the New Year, guys give mushrooms to their girlfriends, husbands give them to their wives, and vice versa. Three generations! Can you imagine? But that’s about the United States.
In Belarus, it was weird. We noticed that something was wrong with our clients. Because of all the pressure from the government, folks just kind of stopped trying to be different and stand out from the crowd. Sure thing, they are afraid of going to jail for anything. You don't go out with a mushroom earring to hang out anymore. And why would you need it at home?
We once traveled to russia for the “Bessonitsa” ("Insomnia") festival and met girls in their 30s who went "Wow, wow mushrooms!" And then they were like "How would you wear them to work?". In the post-soviet space, there is less freedom. It’s important how others perceive you. The way you look determines whom you’re lucky to work and how much you get paid.