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Ukrainian mum opens new curtain shop in Southport after fleeing war

4 weeks ago

Ukrainian mum opens new curtain shop in Southport after fleeing war
Ukrainian curtain maker Liudmyla Redka has set up a new shop on Tulketh Street in Southport town centre. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Liudmyla Redka, a 39-year-old mother from Ukraine, has opened a new curtain shop on Tulketh Street in Southport town centre.

Liudmyla, who moved to Southport two years ago with her 15-year-old daughter after Russian soldiers occupied their town, brings 13 years of experience in the curtain and fabric business to her new venture, Curtains & More.

Liudmyla’s journey to Southport and her new business began in the most challenging of circumstances. Her shop in Ukraine was destroyed during the invasion, forcing her to make the difficult decision to leave her homeland.

Liudmyla said:

“It was horrible. All my stuff had gone and the Russian soldiers had occupied my town.

“That’s when I decided to leave with my daughter, it’s still a very dangerous place.”

Despite the setbacks, Liudmyla’s passion for working with fabrics and curtains never faltered.

She added:

“When I first came to Southport, I was in different jobs like cleaning but I knew I wanted to work with fabrics and curtains again, it’s my favourite thing.” 

Liudmyla received crucial support from Sefton@Work, a local team that offers free advice and guidance on jobs, education, and training. They assisted her in setting up the business, registering as self-employed, and provided her with a job coach.

Thanks to this support, Curtains & More officially opened its doors on 1 April 2024.

Ukrainian curtain maker Liudmyla Redka has set up a new shop on Tulketh Street in Southport town centre. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport
Ukrainian curtain maker Liudmyla Redka has set up a new shop on Tulketh Street in Southport town centre. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Working six days a week, Liudmyla has already started to make a name for herself, crafting beautiful curtains and providing alterations and repairs not just for curtains but for dresses too.

“The people are amazing and so kind,” she said. “Customers who have already picked up their orders still come in to say hello. I hope it will get better and better.”

Her shop at 66 Tulketh Street is welcoming to all, offering bespoke, made-to-order materials. Looking to the future, Liudmyla plans to expand her range of suppliers to offer customers a greater choice of fabrics.

She has also taken courses to learn about the different types of English curtains and special linings, noting the stylistic differences between English and Ukrainian preferences.

Liudmyla said:

“I have taken courses about types of English curtains and special linings. I have noticed people in Ukraine prefer different styles, such as full-length curtains.

“I don’t want to stop, I want to keep improving.”

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