The idea for Yolkstar Ornaments and Gifts was created from an experience living in Ukraine. I had been looking for a particular ornament I had seen the year before to send to my daughter as a Christmas gift and to my surprise a week later after I mentioned it to my students, one of them handed me the ornament I was seeking. He found it while touring of a small factory near Kyiv that made glass ornaments.
A year later in 2008 we exhibited the beauty and artistry of mouth blown Ukrainian hand painted glass ornaments to an American audience for the first time in Denver, Colorado. The acceptance was phenomenal. In 2009 Yolkstar expanded its audience to include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as an annual vendor at the Philadelphia Christmas Village, which has become one of the fastest growing Christmas market in America. It inspires and encouraged us to continue our life’s great adventure by traveling the back roads of Ukraine and find other distinct handmade products produced by local artisans.
In spite of the hardships living in Eastern Europe, the craftsmanship that is found is unequal. All items we select are made from natural materials only. No product is mass produced on an assemble line. You can’t help but feel and sense that each item has been made with loving human hands every step of the process. Every product tells a story of its artist’s inner character, which is filled with love and hope and an indelible spirit and bond that continue to keep alive traditions that have been past down from one generation to the next living in harmony with nature.
Living on both continents allows us to be able to seek out and discover some of the very best one of a kind handmade product from Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe by giving these extraordinary and gifted artisans a marketplace to be showcased. Remember, when you buy a product from Yolkstar you are helping to support the livelihood of artisans in a positive way!
You are invited to check back often because there is a lot more to come.
~ Randy and Lyudmila