Andriy Myronenko from Soledar, Donetsk Oblast, turned an industrial novelty into a creative business. Well known for its salt mines, the southeastern region of Donbas has huge salt deposits that emerged 250 million years ago.
Ten years ago, Andriy started selling simple crafts in this kiosk next to the giant state-owned Artemis salt mine. Today, people visiting the salt mine come to Andriy’s shop not just for souvenirs. Salt lamps have a positive effect on the immune system and human body. The warmth of the lamp causes salt evaporation with ions cleaning the air.
Andriy’s team makes salt lamps of various forms and sizes. His son takes care of plywood carvings. A grant from DRC-DDG helped them buy a big laser machine to develop new styles and create unique plywood products.
With Russia’s war in the Donbas, their sales had dropped tenfold. But Andriy has big ideas to implement. Besides opening a salt gallery, he aspires to expand his business beyond Ukraine. Thanks to the DRC for their cooperation.
Author: Iryna Matviyishyn
The material was prepared with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation within the framework of the project Stories from Ukraine. The material reflects the position of the authors and does not necessarily coincide with the position of the International Renaissance Foundation.