We were honoured to welcome the brilliant Sasha on stage to share her experiences of founding Leleka - a not for profit initiative selling unique artworks created by children of Ukraine. Funds raised are distributed back to families to support them financially and provide the child artist a sense of contribution and support during the war. LELEKA’s mission is to bring the sense of safety, belonging, and purpose back to children from Ukraine.
In the month since Russia invaded Ukraine, 4.3 million children have been displaced, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It is more than half of the country’s estimated 7.5 million child population.
Unlike most adults, children do not have the same opportunity to be involved in tangible actions to support their families and communities. Being able to raise funds for their families through their artwork can help to provide a sense of belonging and control back to them. Sasha spoke about the noticeable impact this has had on participating children's mental health and confidence.
The audience heard from Sasha about the LELEKA journey - the current operations, their process and results, the strengths and challenges, and what they have learnt from their trial of an Etsy shop! She shared a particular challenge that has become hard to navigate for them: a trend of some children having artworks sold and not others. There is determination to grow sales for these less popular artworks, to encourage even distribution of funds back to these children and families. With that in mind, the audience broke off in their groups to brainstorm creative solutions to the question of the evening:
What strategies and technologies could LELEKA employ to ensure that every child gets at least 1 purchase?
FOCUS: Having physical goods to sell using an outsourced printing provider and doing limited runs of products available until the end of the month to avoid overproduction.
FOCUS: Retaining existing customers with subscriptions, bundles and differentiating pricing to help encourage sales of less popular artworks.
FOCUS: Offline sales with real life events such as fashion pop-ups and art fairs, fundraising events such as auctions for Leleka artwork and collaborating with schools to connect children from the UK and Ukraine.
FOCUS: Increase conversion rate on the website by helping buyers to choose their items. One way would be to communicate the stories behind the artist and artwork to create an emotional attachment.
FOCUS: Quick wins with changes to the website, and partnerships for limited edition release of kombucha or beer bottle designs.
THE WINNER: TEAM PURPLE!
The evening was closed off with thanks to all who contributed their time and skills voluntarily, before celebrating with food and drinks, giving the opportunity to network and make new friends!
Our key take-aways from the event: it was inspiring, with an amazing audience, high levels of engagement, and creative and practical solutions. It was an opportunity to bring together different worlds of people to share experience and stories in an inviting and safe space.
We are now working on continuing the conversation with those who expressed interest in sharing more brilliant ideas with Leleka! And already planning our next event in October 2023 - we hope to see you there!
A big shout out to the depot_ for being such amazing hosts and letting us take over their beautiful space for the evening.