New opportunities from traditional Kazakh jewellery making
ITC assists jewellers in Central Asia to find new clientele through e-commerce sales channels
Ardak Abishev is an artist and jeweller who creates handcrafted pieces with traditional techniques and styles from Western Kazakhstan.
Ardak has a technical degree in electronics technology and did not even imagine that one day he would design jewellery. He was looking for a job and ended up in a jewellery workshop, where he spent three years learning different techniques and Kazakh traditional crafts. Ardak fell in love with this art, went deeper into different techniques and styles, and decided to open his own workshop called Amanat in 2013.
The young jeweller is looking to revive, preserve, and develop the unique technique of traditional Kazakh jewellery making.
"A nation that has forgotten its past has no future,” he says. “I feel it is my duty to preserve and continue to do what I do, and to pass it on to the next generation. That is why I named my workshop Amanat.” The name translates literally as “ancestral will".
Restoring the ancestral will
In 2021, Ardak joined the EU-funded Ready4Trade project to learn how to market and sell his unique products online. Prior to the e-commerce foundation training, he had some online activities but had no skills in sales, e-commerce, and digital marketing.
"I heard about Ready4Trade e-commerce training from the Union of Craftsmen of Kazakhstan and decided to join the programme,” he shares. “When I opened my workshop, I did not know how to sell at all, as we were always focusing on how to make jewellery, and no one taught us how to sell. Our e-commerce coach trained us from scratch, starting from the buyer personas to the market research, photography, products' content creation, and customer support. During the pandemic, this training helped us a lot to stand on our feet."
Today, Amanat’s main sales channel is Instagram. During the training, Ardak started applying new skills by creating Instagram content and focusing more on products’ descriptions and photos. He is currently working on his e-commerce website to reach international clients and provide online payments and deliveries.
The training helped Ardak to make his business plan and expand.
"At the beginning of the training, I was living in my own little world and not interested in any networking and communication activities,” he says “I was focusing on jewellery design and making, it was my comfort zone. Now after the training, everything is different. I got out of this state, and I became more active. At the moment, my plan is to expand my workshop, increase production, and go globally."
About the project
The Ready4Trade Central Asia project is a joint initiative of the European Union and the International Trade Centre. It aims to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular women-led enterprises, and business support organizations.