Mum opens Southport shop after first was 'burnt to the ground'

Lyudmila Redka, owner of Curtains & More on Tulketh Street in Southport
-Credit: (Image: Iain Watts)

A Ukrainian mum has opened a new shop in Merseyside after her former business was destroyed during the Russian invasion.

Liudymyla Redka moved to Southport two years ago with her 15-year-old daughter, Darina, after Russian soldiers occupied their hometown. The 39-year-old said she knew she needed to move as it was too unsafe for Darina to continue attending school whilst the war raged on.

Liudmyla has been in the curtain and fabric business for over a decade and owned a shop in her home country. However, one day when she arrived for work it had been “burnt to the ground”.

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She told the ECHO: “I lived close to the Russian border so it was a very dangerous region to be in. My town was taken over for a month. It’s very upsetting because my family still live in Ukraine so it’s been difficult. But it was a dangerous situation to be in.

“My business was totally destroyed with all the fighting going on. My shop, all my stock inside, was burnt out. It was all just gone. I cried because it was so horrible but you can replace a shop but you can’t replace family.”

Having settled in Southport, Liudmyla decided it was time to start a new venture. She opened Curtains and More, on Tulketh Street in the town centre, and has been “loving” the response so far.

Lyudmila Redka, owner of Curtains & More on Tulketh Street in Southport
Lyudmila Redka has been in the curtain and fabric business for 13 years -Credit:Iain Watts

She said: “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.

“It’s been great living here, everyone is so friendly. It’s a quiet town but filled with nice people so we are very happy to stay here.

"Customers come in to say hello and check in on me. It makes me very happy to have the shop and job back again.”

Liudmyla specialises in alterations to curtains and dresses, repairs and makes made-to-order materials.

In the future, she hopes to get more suppliers, so customers can have more variety to choose from. She added: “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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