Amid the onset of the Russian invasion, we acquired an e mail from Ukraine. The sender was the co-owner of the Whidegroup, an ecommerce company in Zaporizhzhia, close to Crimea. Politely, Anastasia Zhuk requested if we’d renew her firm’s listing itemizing.
She didn’t point out the battle and its upheaval on her enterprise, household, and life — solely the request, adopted by a thanks.
Thus started my dialog along with her, resulting in this interview. Our complete audio dialog is embedded under. The transcript is edited for readability and size.
Kerry Murdock: Inform us in regards to the Whidegroup.
Anastasia Zhuk: Whidegroup is a boutique ecommerce improvement company. We work with small-to-medium-sized ecommerce companies worldwide. We concentrate on Shopify and Magento, though we’re skilled on many platforms.
We do design, improvement, and integrations of ecommerce websites with ERPs, CRMs, logistic options, and so forth. We additionally work with service suppliers — transport, funds, others — and assist them develop extensions and functions to combine with the most well-liked ecommerce platforms.
My husband Anton and I based the Whidegroup in 2014. The corporate is positioned within the industrial metropolis of Zaporizhzhia. My husband already had expertise working within the ecommerce business, managing initiatives and consulting with ecommerce retailers. We’ve about 20 workers, all in Ukraine.
Murdock: Zaporizhzhia is in southeastern Ukraine close to heavy preventing.
Zhuk: Sure, that’s right.
Murdock: How has the battle impacted you, your loved ones, and the Whidegroup?
Zhuk: It’s undoubtedly not the best of instances for us. A few of our workers tried to depart Zaporizhzhia for safer locations. Anton and I are in Western Ukraine, as is our 5-year-old son. We didn’t go away town due to the battle. We had been on trip on February 24, when the Russians invaded. We’ve been unable to return.
I’ll always remember that morning. My husband woke me up and mentioned, “The battle has began.”
It’s historical past that we’re seeing with our eyes. It’s a tragic scenario. We’re praying and hoping that the battle gained’t final years.
Two of our workers are exterior Ukraine now. They went with their kids to Poland and Serbia. A couple of are right here in Western Ukraine. The others stay in Zaporizhzhia.
Our authorities has enlisted folks to patrol and defend town militarily. So, a few of our guys full their every day duties for us after which battle within the battle afterward. I don’t know the way they do it. Perhaps they don’t sleep. I’m undecided.
However I’m very grateful and comfortable to report that we will nonetheless meet all expectations of our purchasers.
Murdock: The place is Anton?
Zhuk: Anton shouldn’t be with me. He left us yesterday and went to Lviv, a metropolis in Western Ukraine. He joined a volunteer group that receives humanitarian assist from Europe — medication, hospital provides, gear — and distributes it to these in want.
Murdock: Let’s speak extra in regards to the Whidegroup. You talked about experience with Magento and Shopify.
Zhuk: We began as Magento builders. That was Anton’s experience. He had his personal ecommerce retailer on Magento. He was additionally a developer, designer, and marketer.
We do all kinds of integrations, extensions, velocity optimization, and consulting. We do migrations from Magento 1 to Magento 2.
Murdock: You are able to do it.
Zhuk: We are able to do it. Our Shopify experience was essential throughout Covid as many retailers needed to transfer rapidly from offline to on-line. We had been capable of assist them.
Regardless of the battle, we’re open for enterprise, able to serve ecommerce firms.
Murdock: How can of us attain out to you and the Whidegroup?
We might be very fast with consultations, recommendation, and no matter help they want.
Murdock: The rest?
Zhuk: I hope everybody learns extra about Ukraine and our historical past. We’ve all the time been a nation that loves freedom, that doesn’t invade different international locations. We solely wish to dwell our life. Don’t watch Russian TV or learn Russian media. It’s a fairytale they inform in regards to the battle.
We don’t want anybody on our land. We wish solely to have our nation.