When Kyrgyzstan became an independent country in 1991, most of the country's talented artists fled to larger and more creative cities. But specially trained artist Gulnara Kydyrmyshova stayed behind and established a small retail store with the vision to revive Kyrgyz craftsmanship and help relieve her nation of poverty through the trade of handmade felted works. For over a decade, she supported local craftsmanship by selling felted handicrafts in her store. She also conducted free sewing classes to unemployed women in her community.
Read more about about this work (and see some stunning photos of Kyrgyzstan) on our blog.