By British Council

19 April 2021 - 11:31

The head of the Assylmura workshop and a master of using felt, Ulbosyn actively participates in our Crafting Futures seminars and master classes. She shared with us her story of falling in love with the art of felt and how seminars have helped her to develop her own business.

“I was born and raised in a small but very beautiful mountain village near Almaty. I graduated from a polytechnic with a degree in mining and worked as an engineer-geologist. But later I attended a master class on creating a felt seat. I became very curious about felt products: its creation and technology. I wanted to know more about this exciting process. Since then, I have become an experimenter. I created a static, shape-retaining felt for handbags, shoes, and national takiya hats and then vice versa - I created thin, silk-laminated knitted felt for clothing. This was possible thanks to Aigul Zhanserikova, the head of our workshop and patriot of the folk craft revival. She created some of the best opportunities for us - she invited felt masters from Kyrgyzstan, Germany and Austria and conducted masterclasses for us. I am very grateful to Aigul for everything she has done. At the same time, we ourselves trained rural masters”.

Ulbosyn has been taking part in British Council crafting programmes since 2006.

“I attend all programmes with great pleasure, as they stimulate self-development and expand horizons. For example, during the last seminar we learned to analyse the process of creating and selling our products, interaction with partners and customers, step by step tasks to find necessary resources and increase production and sales. I am interested in textured felt creation and its technologies and creating designs in felt clothes. I also consider it my duty to teach as many women as possible this interesting and profitable craft. In 2018 Mrs Aizhan Bekkulova invited me to give a masterclass on felt to unemployed women. I am very grateful to her for this opportunity as now I am training women in my own workshop” notes Ulbosyn.

Ulbosyn admits that she learns to work in an organised and conscious manner, improving the quality of the products to be a competitive entrepreneur. Together with colleagues she has made a list of souvenir products, works on increasing the production volume, studies the market.

“The last workshops taught me to present a brand. Listening to each other, we understood how to make a brief and develop a convincing presentation and use actions or words to interest an interlocutor. I really enjoyed the presentations of Azhar, Gulnar Omirbek and Gulmira Terlikbaeva. Of course, we need to work hard and study brand promotion aspects, but it is not in vain that they say: "the road will be mastered by the one walking". Also, it really means a lot when you are not alone, but in a friendly environment of artisans. Our Union is a community of strong-willed, self-sufficient, and enthusiastic people with whom it is interesting and useful to communicate. And I am happy to be a part of this community” says Ulbosyn.

To find more information on Crafting Futures, please, follow the link.