5 Questions To Daryna Parashchyn From Freedom Showroom
From a career in entrepreneurship in Ukraine to launching the Freedom Showroom in the heart of Amsterdam- a sustainable place for unique Ukrainian handcrafts, full of history, artists and culture, brought to you by Daryna!
What is your business about?
‘My business idea is an open, offline showroom with Ukrainian brands. I chose this because in Ukraine, I had my own brand, and I know a lot of Ukrainians who do handcraft design. These people are really creative and really talented. Therefore, this business idea is to show Europe and Netherlands that Ukraine is not just a warzone but that in Ukraine, many talented and creative people continue to create businesses around our ethnicity. This is important because Europeans don’t understand our history, ethnicity and uniqueness. Hence, from my showroom and its stories, we can show our identity.’
In your whole entrepreneurial journey, what are you proud of?
‘I am really proud that I was able to move to The Netherlands, a new country for me, with new rules and a new language, and I could easily adapt to this place and managed to build something from scratch. Even if I had an entrepreneurial experience in Ukraine prior to coming here, it was still hard for me to start a new venture. I am also proud that I could start Freedom in such a short time with the help of Forward·Inc. I created a brand and will continue to develop my idea, which is so exciting for me.’
What comes to mind when you think about your journey at Forward?
‘First of all, the support I received from Forward·Inc was really important, as it’s really hard when you move abroad and know no people, as you feel like you are not alone. You have the possibility to learn more about how to build a business, as different countries have different tax regulations. Also, the support I have received from the Forward·Inc team was incredible and made me feel like I can do anything, outside and within the programs as well. I also plan on joining the Growth Program, but first, I’d like to take care of the legal part of my business and feel more stable. This is because I want to feel the freedom of feeling comfortable with your idea, ad later on, I can focus on my journey onwards within Forward·Inc.’
What is your current challenge?
‘For me, a big challenge is legalisation because I don’t only want to sell my products via social media only, but within the market as well. I already have customers, so the only issue for me is the legal side. Therefore, the issue is not that I cannot open a Dutch bank account; the issue is that I need to be authorised to sell my products in the Netherlands to the local people. However, I hope that Ukrainian lawyers living in The Netherlands will be able to help me with these problems. The situation I am in is not ideal, as a lot of Ukrainians are really good entrepreneurs. In fact, I consider Ukraine to be the land of entrepreneurs, even if not many foreigners know that!’
What do you wish for Forward·Inc and all the entrepreneurs joining Forward·Inc?
‘I wish them to be open to anything. When I first started DEP, I was a bit confused because it was half a year ago, and I was more inexperienced. When I started my journey with Forward·Inc, I was unsure if I wanted to start my own business or not, as I was in a new country where I didn’t know the language, but I was open to new experiences, and it all worked out. What this openness has taught me is that you will always be able to network, even if your goal is not to open a business. For instance, I met a lot of Forward·Inc entrepreneurs, and step-by-step, I was able to make connections and get more comfortable with launching my own startup. So, in the beginning, you have to be open because you never know how this might help you. Maybe you can find a co-founder or a job; you never know. So I highly encourage any aspiring newcomer entrepreneurs to apply to the Growth Program, so that they can really take their business to the next level’