Hello! My name is Alisa Grishaeva and I am the founder of the GRIE brand. I was born in 1990 in the family of a businessman and a fashion designer from Chernihiv.
I was growing up in a creative atmosphere. As far back as I can remember, my mother was constantly designing and sewing very cool clothes in her atelier, while I was playing alongside. Despite this, I could not even think that I would ever dedicate my life to something like that. Even the teacher at the sewing classes where my parents sent me, said: “Alice is very diligent, but sewing is not for her.” I, myself, was not very fond of sewing, but fate ruled otherwise. One time I got a hold of a piece of leather and fell in love.
I cut my first piece of leather on a wooden board that I brought in from the street. I had only one leather hole punch tool, a utility knife, and a hammer. I knew almost nothing about working with leather, so I learned from my mother, by practicing on my own and watching videos on YouTube.
After some time, a huge amount of spoiled leather and nerves, good and bad days, finally the first hand-sewn items were laying in front of me. Stitches were exactly the same as it was shown by a pro in a video — flawless, with even edges. Overall, I was pleased with myself. However, over time, I realized that most people do not see the difference between my work and the work of other manufacturers. That made me think — how can I stand out? And the GRIE brand was born — a mono-brand of sacvoyage bags. By the way, the brand name is the first letters of my last name.
I decided to focus solely on making sacvoyages. I wanted them to be of different shapes, sizes, colors; united by philosophy — these bags should be durable, timeless, and fashionable.
Frustrated by the compromises in the world of fashion, I promised myself to make bags of the highest possible quality. I’ve partnered with my talented mother because she shared my views and ideas. The first GRIE was sewn in her workshop in Lviv, where my parents lived at that time.
But that first bag was preceded by many months of preparation and material hunting. The most difficult part was finding frames and locks of the proper quality. After a painfully long search, many different frames, and attempts to make them ourselves, we decided to find a master who would make frames according to our drawings and from the metal of our choice. We found such a specialist in one of the workshops in the Lviv industrial zone. He made the perfect frames for us.
The situation with locks was even more difficult: I knew exactly how they should look, but I could not find them anywhere. After almost two months of searching through the Internet in all languages of the world, I finally found them in the factory from the USA. This manufacturer didn’t even have a website. There was only a pdf-document, where on page 10 of the catalog in the corner was an image of the coveted locks. Nowadays, they are coming to Ukraine every month to become a part of the GRIE bags.
When all the components were assembled, we started working on the first GRIE and the result exceeded all our expectations. The bag was born on November 27, 2016. Since then, GRIE started to grow. We debuted at Ukrainian Fashion Week in 2018, exhibit our collections in the leading showrooms of the country, and have customers both in Ukraine and abroad.
We’re constantly setting the bar higher and higher, our goals become more ambitious. From collection to collection, our bags will change their color, shape, and size. One thing will remain the same — their quality.