Launching on Monday 28 November, Ukrainian refugee Yana Smaglo will open a pop-up shop in Trinity Leeds, ready for the Christmas shopping period. Her second pop-up in Leeds will showcase her fashion brand ‘Nenya’, which promotes Ukrainian fashion and style, whilst also supporting companies in Ukraine, providing an income and continued business.
Having fled the war earlier this year, Yana lost her business and livelihood. Supported by a number of Yorkshire businesses, she has been able to start a new company and hopes to develop it to involve other refugees, by providing employment. Excited and getting ready for the launch Yana stated, “I can’t wait to open my second pop-up shop, following the success of the one we previously did in Victoria Gate. I have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement from both Yorkshire businesses and people, and now Shopify. I will be introducing some new brands from Ukraine, and hope that people will support me in the run up to Christmas.”
Using global commerce platform Shopify for her online store at nenya.online, Yana has also sparked their interest in Nenya and the activities she is doing. Flying a crew over from Canada to film and document the launch, the company will share Yana’s story as part of a global internal event for employees in early 2023 that celebrates the people and businesses doing inspiring things using Shopify.
“We believe the future of commerce has more voices, and as a company we work hard to reduce the barriers to business ownership. Yana’s story is an incredible example of this change in action, demonstrating that entrepreneurship and the ability to build your own business is open to everyone,” commented Deann Evans, Director of EMEA Expansion & Partnerships from Shopify.
“Her story is genuinely inspiring, we want to make sure that all our colleagues around the globe - and beyond - know it. Because of hearing Yana’s story, others like her may go on to start their own business. This is why we do what we do. Shopify helps all types of aspiring entrepreneurs go from just an idea to thriving, fully-scalable businesses with all the tools they need to start, manage and grow a business.”
Based in the prestigious Trinity Leeds shopping and leisure centre, the pop-up shop will be part of the centre’s Platform+ initiative which helps independent businesses launch retail stores.
Nick Jones, assistant centre director, at Trinity Leeds, said: “We are delighted to welcome Nenya as we approach the busy festive season. Yana’s story is an inspiration and we are proud to have her clothing brand here trading alongside global fashion labels and independent stores.”
Leading the campaign to support Yana, local businesswoman Antonia Kinlan, who heads the support group added, “this is a really exciting step for Yana, with exposure in another major shopping centre in Leeds, and the additional support from Shopify. There has been significant interest in the fashion Yana is showcasing, and we hope to find a more permanent base for her in the New Year, so she can trade on an ongoing basis. The support from the local business community has been overwhelming, and we can’t thank people enough.”
‘Nenya’ will be available in Trinity throughout December, or is available online www.Nenya.online
Yana is pictured with Yorkshire Businesswoman ambassador and actress Natalie Anderson.