Gulnara Kydyrmyshova is the Director of 'Kork, Fiber Art Group.' In 1991 when Kyrgyzstan became an independent country most of Kyrgyzstan's talented artists fled to the more creative cities of Moscow or Bishkek, the captial of Kyrgyzstan. However, Kydyrmyshova had to stay behind in Karakol, a fairly unknown city in Eastern Kyrgyzstan. A specially-trained artist under the Soviet Union, Kydyrmyshova was commissioned for many projects reflecting the ideology and nature of the Union. Post independence Kydyrmyshova established a small retail store called 'Kork,’ meaning vision in the Kyrygz language. Kyrdyrmyshova’s vision was to revive Kyrgyz craftsmanship and help relieve her nation of poverty through the trade of handmade felted works. For about twelve years she supported local craftsmanship by selling felted handicrafts in her store. She also conducted free sewing classes to unemployed women in her community.
Around 2003 Kydyrmyshova wanted to expand the reach of Kyrgyz felted handicrafts and with members of her family began to participate in regional and national exhibitions. From 2003 to 2008 she would attend festivals and exhibitions in Turkey, Germany, Canada, and Russia.
Little by little Kydyrmyshova’s vision of reviving Kyrgyz craftsmanship was becoming a reality. In 2011 Kydyrmyshova connected with Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Kuschner, and together Kuschner and Kydyrmyshova worked together to bring Kyrgyz handicrafts to the American market. Through their work together they have been able to bring stable work to over twenty artisans and create an interest in the revival of traditional craftsmanship amongst the local population.