I have named my Vintage Textile Sewing business in honour of my father’s four sisters – Feodosia, Anna, Maria, and Anastasia.
During World War Two, when Russia invaded Ukraine, many people suffered great persecution. The family farm was burnt to the ground, the elderly parents left homeless. The elder brother, Mykola, a partisan, murdered. My father Ivan, aged only 21, left home to fight in the war and the four young sisters, all seamstresses, were banished from their homeland and sent to the frozen depths of Siberia.
With them they took a Singer Treadle sewing machine and this, along with their other skills, enabled them to survive their time in exile by sewing in exchange for food and favours.
After ten long years they were finally allowed back home to Ukraine, and with them they brought back their trusted sewing machine, where it still stands today in the family home.
It wasn’t until fifty years later, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, that my father was allowed back to his homeland and was finally reunited with his four sisters.