A Ukrainian company has shared a video about its office space before and after the war in Ukraine, which has been viewed thousands of times on TikTok.
Enjoy the Wood creates handmade wooden world maps that can be hung on walls and customized with pins to mark your own adventures.
Enjoy the Wood CEO and producer Igor Fostenko described in a 2021 sponsored article newsweek How he changed his life and started his own company. When Igor’s mother died at the age of 11, he found himself homeless as a teenager – using drugs and begging. But later, along with his wife, Maryna, with whom he has four daughters, he established a business that eventually grew to serve more than 100,000 customers worldwide.
But on February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin of Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine, leading to the largest military conflict in Europe since World War II.
In the now-viral video shared by the team at Enjoy the Wood, footage of their office location in Irpin, Ukraine – located outside of Kyiv – the video flicks from polished office interiors to ravaged places.
Since the start of the war, Irpin has seen intense fighting and heavy bombardment from Russian forces. Russian troops have recently left areas around Kyiv, including Irpin, leaving Ukrainians to watch over the fighting.
The video shared on Wednesday has now garnered a combined over 690,000 views, with TikTok users reacting with heartfelt messages. The footage shown could not be independently verified.
“I hope you are all safe,” wrote one commenter, who is also a subscriber to Enjoy the Wood: “Heartbroken for you. Every time we look at the beautiful map you made we think about you think.”
Enjoy the Wood Marina co-owner told newsweek: “Over the past eight years we have been comforting and inspiring more than 100,000 homes around the world. And Russia has taken away our homes, destroyed everything and turned us away from our city.”
“As we lived in Irpin, all the team left the city and moved to different places, some in western Ukraine, some abroad,” explained Maryna. “It’s a real challenge for us and to see how much of our office has been damaged and destroyed.”
“We already know about the death of two colleagues and we are still not in touch with some of the others. We are lucky.”
“Very sad to see this,” wrote another TikTok user. While another commented: “It was hard to watch. How can we help? Can we come over someday and help you rebuild?”
On Wednesday, Enjoy the Wood launched a Kickstarter fundraiser—the seventh project the company has launched of its kind. There was a twist in this. Nicknamed “Restart,” the Kickstarter aimed to raise about $5,000 to help restart manufacturing in Ukraine with a new line of woodworking products.
On the Kickstarter page, Enjoy the Wood wrote: “We are not going to give up. We will rebuild, rebuild and renew everything that is destroyed! Don’t even doubt it. Do you know our superpower? We Ukrainians Huh!”
Within hours, the team reached its funding goal, and at the time of writing $69,000 has been raised in pledges from more than 400 people around the world.
Maryina said: “The main goal of this project now is not only to launch new products, but also to restart our manufacturing, employ our peers and support the economy of Ukraine.”
“I’m so sorry,” wrote one TikTok user: “My heart goes out to you and all the other Ukrainians.”
Another user wrote: “How did you come back from this? Devastating.”
“We need support from around the world to win this war—the war where our homes are being destroyed, people are being killed and every day we get information about hundreds of victims,” Maryna said. “Nowadays, in 2022. This is terrible and someone must stop Russia.”