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Relocation, Adaptation, and Business: Three Kyrgyz Success Stories in the US

Moving to another country is always stressful. But it is associated not only with a huge number of documents and things, but mostly with the lack of acquaintances and adaptation to new conditions. About his experience of moving to the publication Weproject.Media told 3 natives of Kyrgyzstan.

Photo: Shutterstock

Further - from the first person.

Nursel Koigeldieva, hometown - Cholpon-Ata, entrepreneur

About moving

I have been living in the USA since 2011. The future husband left for the States, settled down and called me.

Adaptation took years. I had a poor knowledge of English. At first I went to language courses, but I had to combine study with work, and it did not work out as thoroughly as I would like. Mostly learned English through practice, in communication.

About business

My calling and hobby is cooking. I do not have a special education, but since childhood I like to cook and enjoy it.

I have been in the restaurant business since I was 16 years old. In Issyk-Kul, we had a summer cafe for a long time. In 2011, my sister and I opened an institution in Bishkek. The sister financed the opening of the cafe, but the investment was unsuccessful, and we went bankrupt. I was disappointed and promised myself that I would not return to the restaurant business.

In the USA, we first lived in Los Angeles. Then they moved to San Francisco. Almost a year ago, I started cooking at home. First I replaced a friend who cooked cakes at home, then I was asked to cook for someone's birthday. People came to my house and took food. The flow began, and I cooked to order every day cakes and hot dishes, exclusively of Kyrgyz national cuisine.

Six months later, I realized that I was cramped in the kitchen. By chance, in a conversation with a friend, I found out that he was renting a room. So I opened a small institution.

We prepare only dishes of national cuisine: beshbarmak, pilaf, manti, shorpa, lagman, kuyrdak. Today, half of the customers come from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and other CIS countries, and the other half are Americans.

We work without ads because people come back - they like the way I cook. Word of mouth works, visitors recommend a place to each other.

On the subject: Families, brides and green card lottery winners: whom in Kyrgyzstan were affected by the ban on entry into the USA

Not everything can be measured in money. It is more important for me that a person is satisfied. I want people to leave us in a good mood. Sometimes for this you just need to say a good word, give support.

About the difficulties

The main difficulty that I encountered is frames.

Americans are open to the new and omnivorous. They like to try new tastes. There should be no difficulties with doing business in the restaurant business.

No one will be as responsible as you. Workers will fall ill, leave, and you should always be on the alert.

Recommendations for those who want to open a business in the USA

There are all the opportunities for the development of small and medium-sized businesses. But we are used to complicating things, not believing in ourselves. If there is incentive, zeal, faith, then opening a business here does not even require a lot of money.

Dololot Karimbekov, hometown - Karakol, Software Developer

About moving

The first time I came to the USA was on a student visa. Having received a bachelor's and master's degree, he worked as a developer for about three years. Then he left for Kyrgyzstan for personal reasons.

Adaptation did not cause much difficulty, I came here as a young man.

About business

Initially, I wanted to create a business in the field of IT, so I studied for a programmer. In the future, I always had ideas regarding the IT sphere.

If you want to open a business in the United States, you should work with the right people.

When people with the same interests and goals come together, good ideas are always born.

The company is called We outsource, take orders in the States and ship them to Kyrgyzstan. The development team is located in Bishkek, they are working on the creation of the product, while we negotiate with clients and resolve all legal issues.

The business model has been successful. Customers appreciate us for working for quality. We have reasonable prices, since the developers are in Kyrgyzstan.

About the difficulties

Difficulties are always and everywhere. In the initial stages, they consisted of having to solve a lot of legal issues, to prepare a large number of documents.

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When we created the team, we also encountered difficulties. It was important to bring together strong professionals.

Recommendations for those who want to open a business in the USA

If you want to open a business in the United States, you should work with the right people. If they know American culture and the market, this will be a big plus. From the very beginning, you need to move in the direction where you have abilities, knowledge and experience.

Elmira Dragusanu, hometown - Bishkek, President of Spa Lashes, Inc

About moving

The first time I came to the United States nine years ago. I wanted to recharge with new ideas, culture, philosophy and bring all this to Kyrgyzstan. But getting to know the country closer, I realized that I needed to stay in order to learn. And after three or four months I wanted to move here and transport the children.

Adapting to the USA was not easy. To learn a language and speak it fluently, it took more than one month of hard work and sleepless nights. Learning with a zero level of knowledge from native speakers, doing homework was difficult. I could not imagine that in a few years I would speak English and train other people.

About Us

I grew up in an entrepreneurial environment. Before moving to the States, I had my own business in Kyrgyzstan.

The first four years we lived in New York. And five years ago, they moved to Los Angeles.

I opened a SPA salon in 2015. But the process of preparing for this began long before this moment. To open a business in the United States, you must first obtain a license and permits. It takes time and effort. According to the law, a future cosmetologist must pass 600 hours of continuous study.

The salon specializes in cosmetology. Spa Lashes has a five-star rating on all platforms.

On the subject: As a pianist from Kyrgyzstan, got on the stage of Carnegie Hall

A year later, the Academy opened. Suddenly, the next room was vacated, and we decided not to wait. The mayor of Burbank came to the opening of the academy by invitation; he participated in cutting the ribbon. Our prince was also a guest of Germany.

At the Academy, we organize training for beauty industry specialists. I conduct some courses myself.

In 2018, we launched another business - the production of our own product line. We have a registered trademark, and people already recognize the brand. Clients are mostly Americans and only two to three percent of compatriots and people from Kazakhstan, Russia and other CIS countries.

We live and work in Burbank, here are all the famous studios: Warner Brothers, Disney, Nickelodeon. In 2016, residents voted for Spa Lashes as the city’s best showroom. And we get this title for three years in a row.

To open a new direction every year and expand is risky, but I clearly saw the goal in front of me and believed that we would succeed. In addition, my family always supports me. In matters of business, a spouse assumes part of the responsibilities.

Recommendations for those who want to open a business in the States

The USA is a country of opportunity. Follow your dream and do not stop in front of difficulties.

Miscellaneous USA Kyrgyzstan Our people

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