With the Russian invasion of Ukraine underway, Andrey Klen, co-founder of design firm O0 and internet-connected laser-toy maker Petcube, had been preparing his staff for the possibility of relocation. Along with Alex Neskin, Klen helped over half of his 50 employees in Ukraine to relocate, while others enlisted in the Ukrainian army or helped with local defense groups. Petcube, now a fully remote company, is supporting its employees and the Ukrainian defense with salaries and donations.
In response to the crisis, the design firm created the Spend With Ukraine campaign in less than two weeks. The campaign showcases more than 100 Ukrainian brands offering a range of services, products, fashion, and technology. All the companies approached by O0 were eager to be a part of the effort, as there is a sense of unity in Ukraine during times of disaster.
The campaign, launched with a YouTube video, has been actively promoted by Klen and Neskin’s teams, who are using the same approach they would use to launch a new startup. The goal is to increase awareness of the economic contributions made by small companies, even in a country under martial law. By spending with Ukraine, one can support the economy and help turn it back on, as all money that goes into Ukraine will benefit the country.