Vitalii is a jeweler from Kramatorsk. He used to live and work in Horlivka, where he married and where his son was born. “Andrii was born to the sounds of air fighters — at that time, in July 2014 we were heavily bombed,” Vitali says. Having taken his wife and son from the maternity hospital, Vitaliy grabbed the documents and some belongings and evacuated his family. For several months they travelled all over Ukraine, moving from relatives to relatives, until a former colleague offered Vitalii a job at a jewelry company in Kramatorsk. When the family came to Kramatorsk, it appeared that the workplace was not available anymore... But they were tired of moving around and decided to stay anyway. Vitalii applied for his first grant, rented a shoe box room and started working for himself. From this tiny room, the “Diamond Hand” workshop grew. As his business was gradually expanding, Vitalii rented bigger premises and regular customers appeared.
“What is our specialty? It is everything you can't buy in a store,” says Vitaliy. Today, his workshop offers jewelry of any kind: religious attributes, amulets and symbols for different subcultures, customized jewelry according to individual sketches as well as repair of any complexity. Vitalii is proud that his cross pendant he made by himself is no worse than ones the priests wear. He also has crafted both of his wedding rings. Why two rings? Once, as a result of contacting with the reagents, his hand became swollen and his first wedding ring was cut...
Before casting metal jewelry, you need to get a wax prototype, so-called mater model, and then a special rubber mold. Previously, Vitaly ordered such molds and simply replicated the products, but recently he decided to move on. Last year, he applied to IOM’s small business support programme for IDPs, funded by the German Government via the German Development Bank (KfW). Having defended his business plan, he received an in-kind grant — that’s how “Diamond Hand” received lots of new equipment. Vitalii’s special pride is a vulcanizer that enables him to create his own rubber molds. “The grant has encouraged me. One day, I may completely switch from working with metal to the molds production, and then other jewelers will order them and replicate my ideas,” he dreams.
When two interns came to “Diamond Hand”, Vitaliy realized that he likes to teach: “I have pedagogical talent, I can explain and share my experience, and this is the direction I would like to develop.” During the 15 minutes of our tour around his workshop we understood a lot about the jewelry business — about a quarter of what five-year-old Andrii can tell.
A part of IOM’s grant, the microscope allows to engrave even the smallest inscriptions on jewelry.