Our story

Ours is a story of friendship, adventure, and connection.

Kairat and Aliya, both Kyrgyz, grew up in Bishkek and met in college. They lost touch . . . and then found each other again, many years later, through an errant Facebook interaction in the United States. They’ve been friends ever since. During Kairat and Aliya’s Lost Years, Mailande and Aliya were placed together as roommates for a pre-admission event at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. They became friends immediately, shared many stories and adventures, and explored the US and Kyrgyzstan together. Someone’s random administrative decision resulted in a powerful bond, fueled by joy, laughter, and lots of time on Skype.

As Nakta became more than just an idea, Aliya introduced Mailande and Kairat, who each thought the other was pretty awesome. A team was born, and a company began to grow – a company based on a passion for economic inclusion, an affinity for beautiful products with a story to tell, and a deep love for the people and culture of a little Central Asian country called Kyrgyzstan. 

We couldn’t be more excited to share this journey with you. Thanks for joining us.