About us

The project.


The Kyrgyzway project was born in 2013 as a platform for cross-cultural, social and economic exchange to address challenges of an over-mechanized, de-humanising and rapidly accelerating world. It is about questioning why do we want that things go fast? Why is it important to remain a sensitive, open human organism that reflects upon the contact with the world than an efficient, fast reacting being who is mainly focused on getting things done? Who are we: humans or robots?


 “The adventure with Kyrgyz Felt Art started back in 2006 when I started observing during my summer visits to Kyrgyzstan the unusual hand-made objects made from felted sheep wool. Uneven ends, raw aspects of it were like a call from the wild and invited to explore deeper. I could feel that it was alive, vibrant with some unknown, yet appealing energy”.


All products presented here are hand-made, in each of them unique creativity and individuality are expressed. They are produced by women in small workshop settings, each collective not surpassing 30 persons which allows creativity to be expressed at best.

Ancient, traditional and vernacular techniques, upcycling, creative use of wool, felt, silk and other textiles are used daily to meet the demands of the contemporary tastes and desires.

Upcycling is especially interesting as it allows to transform an old, long forgotten material into a modern accessory, a clothes which combines the past and the present and at the same time evokes a certain timelessness of the object. What better way to feel eternity?

And of course, there is beauty. Everything here is beautiful, you are in the universe which believes that beauty will change the world. Perhaps, it can contribute in making it more sustainable, more socially just, more human.

There is a story behind each symbol, each pattern, each product. Umaï - goddess protecting mothers and children, Tengri - sky god protecting life on Earth, Solar Man deity radiating light and divine knowledge onto the world... More than that, there is a story behind this story. Perhaps our story is about a revival of a long-lost identity which is older than the time itself, which longs to rejoin its original and wild state transposed with contemporary, globalised but very abstract form of who we are. It goes beyond national identity, beyond tradition, it is like a calling to remind you about important, essential things to care about.

Economics of this project. To support women artists, women mothers, women professionals in their process of individuation through a work which is both creative and economically viable. Women are not torn apart from their families to do this work, they come to join other sisters in a flexible environment where the job has to adapt to their lives and not vice versa.

The post-soviet era had left people of the entire region with little means of subsistence and huge insecurity as to where to go. Women doctors, women teachers, women mothers, young women showed great resilience, strength and courage in finding creative ways to face these challenges and many did so through the revival of ancient crafts, traditional knowledge, hand-made know-how...

Why hand-made? Why not let machines wove our carpets en masse, let our clothes be made in huge factories where even people are treated like machines? In this enterprise we show our allegiance to ancestors who were here before us and who left us knowledge and skills about how to make things and why and about human dignity, respect and love of one another.


About us.


Ilona was born and grew up in Kyrgyzstan until age 21. When the open market transition from communism was in full swing she left to UK to graduate the Reading University with Masters in Banking in Transition Economies. After arriving to Geneva she worked in a banking sector as well as at International Organizations and graduated Bern University with a second master in International Law and Economics. With all this, she was constantly drawn to explore deeper questions of the meaning of things. This led her to several years of self-inquiry touching the spheres of spirituality and personal growth.

Three things came into play: the need to re-connect with roots back in Kyrgyzstan, the desire to support women artists and work with others in a mutually supportive and creative environment, and to create a network of women artists . This took many years to mature, especially many years of trial and error.

Luc is a Swiss materials science engineer. He finished his masters from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 1992 and spent may years doing R&D in various fields from wood fracture mechanics to archery through composite materials, renewable energies and fuel cells. Concerned with ecology, he has been involved in some actions for the energy education of children. Also, involved in the living arts as stage&light designer, technician and truck driver, he works for many theaters and companies in Geneva and around.

Some years after meeting with Ilona, he had the opportunity to take part in this project by supplying the technical support to create this website. He also, took most of the products' pictures. Luc is also a pilot and most of his leisure time spends soaring with his glider over the alps.