My name is Volodymyr, and together with my wife Olena and our daughter Yuliia, we left our home in Kyiv to escape the war in Ukraine. After initially staying in temporary accommodation in Inveraray, with the help of Argyll and Bute Council, in August 2022, we secured an apartment in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.
The Scottish Government helped us rent an apartment in Rothesay as part of a visa scheme for Ukrainian Refugees. We are very grateful to the people of Scotland, particularly Argyll and Bute, for their support during this difficult time for us and our country.
We really like the kind and friendly people of Argyll and Bute and the sea, nature, and fresh air on the Isle of Bute. The setting of Bute and the stunning natural landscape inspired us to pursue our passion for painting and crafts and turn it into a business on Bute. We had successful business experience. For 10 years, we owned a business in Kyiv that provided us with income until the onset of the war in Ukraine. We decided to launch our arts and crafts business, Dutor on Bute in October 2022.
With deep gratitude, we acknowledge the tremendous support provided by Business Gateway, who helped us greatly as we were unaware of the processes involved in setting up and running a business in Scotland. We dream of opening a shop here on Bute and selling our paintings and handmade products.
The beautiful landscapes and serene ambiance of Argyll and Bute evoke a sense of artistic expression, enticing us to unleash our creativity through the mediums of painting and crafting.
There is a saying in Ukraine, “the eyes are afraid, but the hands are doing”, it emphasises the importance of taking small steps towards one’s goals everyday despite any fears or doubts.