Introducing: Dima and our Ukrainian Fundraiser Collaboration
When Dima Deinega approached us with an idea to create a product together to help fundraise for Ukraine, we jumped at the chance. The result is our 'Budmo! Let us be' T-shirt, find out more about Dima and the project here:
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine and have always maintained close ties to the country and its rich culture. As a son of the owner of Ukraine’s first Irish pub, I have long been immersed in the country’s intriguing food and beverage scene and fascinated by the significance of vodka within Ukrainian culture. Increasingly frustrated by Ukraine’s lack of recognition as a leading global vodka producer, I identified a gap in Europe’s spirits market for not only a premium Ukrainian vodka, but a flavourful and smooth vodka overall – the idea for Dima’s Vodka was born.
Tell us about your t-shirt?
Our 100% organic cotton T-shirt designed by Birdsong, features a bold statement chosen to reflect Ukraine’s strength and resilience. “Budmo!” meaning “let us be” is an iconic saying in Ukrainian society – a toasting ritual equivalent to the British “Cheers!”. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the phrase has taken on a dual meaning and carries extra significance to those fighting for freedom. 10% of the RRP from each sale is donated to Marsh Zhinok charity – a Ukrainian organisation providing shelter, essential deliveries and legal and psychological support for women and children throughout the conflict.
What are you working on currently?
Alongside collaborating with Birdsong, I am preparing to release an interactive cocktail recipe book – fittingly titled ‘Budmo!’. The book will showcase a collection of elegant and refined cocktail recipes, complete with QR codes for virtual demonstrations. Priced at £25, £5 from each sale is donated to First Aid Ukraine. Alongside Dima’s Vodka’s signature cocktails and innovative twists on classic favourites, Budmo! includes exclusive cocktail recipes created by internationally acclaimed mixologists from Kyiv’s leading cocktail bars.
What brings you joy?
At the moment, it’s very challenging to forget about the tragedy and hardship facing Ukraine but the resilience and optimism of Ukrainians in the face of this adversity brings me an element of joy and provides the strength to keep positive. Educating people about the rich Ukrainian culture is where I feel at my best, giving back and helping in any way possible. It’s refreshing to see people so eager to learn about the history behind the country’s customs and practices, while supporting Ukraine. I also enjoy collaborating with likeminded brands and individuals on creative fundraising campaigns – whether that be experiential cocktails, fundraising dinners or the Budmo t-shirt.
Is this the first time you’ll see your work on tee? Where will you wear it? Although in the past I’ve worked with artists for fundraising initiatives – i.e. I partnered with Ukrainian artist and illustrator Kateryna Kyslitsksa to create four limited edition, hand painted vodka bottles – this is the first time my work will be on a tee! I’ll be wearing it regularly and while attending fundraisers – I’m looking forward to people asking about the meaning behind the slogan and being able to share the story, and how they can support Ukraine.
How can we best support the refugee crisis?
Donations no matter how big or small are invaluable. Supporting physically through attending fundraisers is another way that people can help to garner community spirit and demonstrate solidarity while also seeing if they can help Ukrainians in any practical way too.
Where can we find you online?