Celebrate and Learn a Skill!

What an amazing idea was to create a movement that showcases and celebrates skills, vocation and trade! WorldSkills movement (that was born 70 years ago) has been inspiring young people to develop passion through learning skills that unite, help solve problems, empower and give purpose. WorldSkills 2019 competition was held Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia  this summer (August 22-27, 2019)! It is very exciting and promising to see that youth is inspired and dedicated to learn and practice skills. Desire to perform and master a skill can make you powerful! Powerful to make a difference, to lead meaningful and purposeful life! Powerful to restore, re-ignite, recover ancient arts and trades that have been struggling to survive in modern times.

Look at these inspiring young ladies: They are keeping the ancient skill – art of Tatar leather mosaic  – and turning it into a flourishing and popular brand!

Young ladies of Bulgari companyIMG_4583

A young company “Bulgari” makes leather goods incorporating traditional leather mosaic technique, modern designs and edgy looks. The company is run by young ladies, who believe that the power (and joy) is in finding the passion in one’s roots: Tatar Leather Mosaic made a perfect cut for them.

What an example to follow! Let’s look to our roots, heritage, backgrounds! Let’s search for some skills that are on the brink of disappearing! Let’s re-discover, re-learn, bring them back to life! It will make us better, kinder, more patient, more grateful!

If you want to buy exceptional leather goods, to learn Tatar Leather Mosaic technique, let us know.

Longing for the sunshine


With cold and grey winter weather in progress, the longing for sunshine and warmth is getting stronger. The constant search for ideas that can replicate the magic of the sunshine while it is not available allows amazing discoveries, like this one:

Who knew that setting up several cute shoes with Tatar leather mosaic designs in form of the sun may fill up the day with positivity and warmth!

It is pretty impressive how beautiful, colorful and esthetically pleasing items can re-charge and empower, comfort and energize. Let us know if you want to create comfortable experiences: Tatar leather mosaic footwear can do the magic!


Never late to inspire!



Would you ever guess that the traditional Tatar outfit and the leather chiteks on this cute doll was designed and stitched by hands of 80 year-old Flyora apa – an extraordinary woman who was so passionate about her hobby that she made everyone around her inspired and energized.

She would salvage unwanted old dolls and would make them irresistible and ethnic by dressing them up in hand-made Tatar costumes and hand-stitched Tatar ornamental footwear.




Hard to accept that this wonderful lady is gone. Her kind and powerful spirit will be remembered for long: she inspired people to be young-at-heart, to be excited about ethnic heritage, to love what you do. She served as an impressive role model to follow. You will be deeply missed, Flyora apa! Thank you for keeping Tatar tradition alive! Thank you for your passionate and powerful spirit, for masterful hands!

Урының өҗмахта булсын, Флөра апа!

Milestones and cultural heritage


When it comes to milestones,FullSizeRender there is an interesting tendency of me resorting back to my roots to celebrate them.

When I wear my Tatar boots made using leather mosaic technique, I feel like home, not just because they are cosy and beautiful, but also because they carry wisdom of my culture and hold the warmth, passion and hard work of at least three artisans who designed, hand-cut, hand-stitched, assembled those works of art for me to enjoy.


Every time I wear them I feel joyous, satisfied, and needed like I feel when I accomplish something meaningful for myself and for others.

 I will be happy to find you exceptional piece of Tatar Leather Mosaic, so you understand how I feel when I wear them. Just let me know .

Kazan is TripAdvisor’s Destinations on the Rise

What can be more exciting than to find out from the coworker that my home town is one of 10 top places to travel in the world and she wants to visit Kazan the sooner the better!


Downtown Kazan, Russia

TripAdvisor (an American website that provides reviews of travel-related content) named Kazan, Russian Federation, as its #8 Traveler’s Choice Destinations on the Rise. in 2015. This award highlights spots around the world that have received the greatest increase in positive feedback and interest from TripAdvisor members over the years. CNN notes that historic Kazan “along the Volga River has stunning architecture to admire, including the Kazan Kremlin, which offers “a mix of Orthodox Christian and Muslim cultures”.

Indeed, Kazan city presents fascinating, peaceful and empowering collaboration of various cultures, religions, traditions and mindsets.

Chiteks – gorgeous and comfortable

Among many attractions and works of art that Kazan offers, there is an exceptional, unique and functional one created centuries ago by the Tatars – the Art of Leather Mosaic.

These one-of-a-kind chiteks (Tatar boots) are created through a complex process of stitching genuine leather patterns by hands with so-called Kazan stitch and golden twisted threads. The patterns are build up into sophisticated designs that incorporate motifs of Islamic art traditions. Tatar boots look impressively beautiful and exceptional on one’s legs!


Chiteks – cosy, warm and cute!

If Kazan is on your 2015 travel list, and if you want to own a pair or two of Tatar boots and to see how chiteks are created, email me at uniqueleathermosaic@gmail.com.

Exceptional boot is called chitek

When you google boot, tons of images of different boots come up:  fancy, classy, ugly, modern, in all shapes and colors. But the boots that are created using leather mosaic technique do not come up… I am realizing that it is not only because of my poor implementation of SEO tactics but also because the boots that I am talking about on my website belong to different category. These boots are right between footwear and art. These boots are one-of-a kind and hand-made, always!

New Sah boots

made by Sahtian

The special category that they belong to is Chitek . The word chitek comes from Tatar word çitek (читек or ичиги ) which means  “a boot made from soft leather and ornamented with cutout designs that are stitched together by hands”. The technique is so unique and sophisticated that no other ethnos but the Tatars could master it over the centuries. Chiteks are very popular in many regions of Russia and highly treasured by their owners because you can conquer the world in them.  The word читек is googalabe. But chitek is not yet…  I am on a mission to figuring out the ways to make association of boot  with chitek more recognizable in people’s and web workers’ mind. If you have any ideas, I appreciate if you share them with me via uniqueleathermosaic@gmail.com

made by Sahtianboot 4boot 5


Better way to get away from politics


At the times when it is so confusing and upsetting to watch news and follow politics, I always turn my eyes to the art and… shoes…. I feel so lucky to own this pair of flats that is so beautiful, comfortable and excepional. IMG_1761

And they are piece of art…. unique art. This shoes are hand-made – every bits of them – by craftsmen from Sahtiyan.IMG_1743

The three-colored flower ornament is designed using the best traditions of Tatar folk patterns.

The patterns are cut out and stitched together from inside by hands using silk threads of different colors.


this is how the ornament looks inside


Let me know (UniqueLeatherMosaic@gmail.com)

if you want to own something like this and  I will make sure you have it!

25 cultures in one spot!

Do you know that almost every school in the area called Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina can boast of population of students whose families come from so many different cultures and countries? Local communities here in RTP: kids and adults – are exposed to such an exceptional and unique mixture of languages, cultures, traditions, arts, music and flavors from all around the world.

Tonight, my son’s elementary school hosts an International Festival – an exciting celebration of more than 25 cultures and countries! Kids and their parents will have an amazing opportunity to explore the cultures of the world from first hands without leaving US! What a treat!

international festival in elementary school

The Tatar culture is represented in the 2013 International Festival

Flags in the school hallway represet countries of students' heritage

Flags in the school hallway represent countries of students’ heritage

Finally, we have snow in Cary, North Carolina…

a lot of snow! Something unheard of: about 4 inches (2 sm)!

And what can be better for a snow day than a pair of warm and beautiful boots. No one is as prepared here for the perfect snow day as I am: I have several of them and they are so comfy and warm and look so good on (or with) the snow!

Check them out and let me know if you want a pair  for your perfect snow day!


This year the introduction of Tatar culture and arts at the 28th annual International Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina has become inevitable because the theme was “Art, Crafts and Music”. The Tatars have so much to share and to be proud of! There are several unique art techniques that the Tatars developed, among which Tatar leather mosaic takes the special place. This year the festival was attended by over 25000 guests. Debutant of the festival -Tatar cultural exhibit – was warmly welcomed and heavily visited. Amazing volunteers from different cultural backgrounds (Tatar, American, Uzbek, Indian, Chinese…) helped to put together and run the booth.

Boot showcase

Explaining that the boot has been stitched by hand

Over 3 days we explained our guests who are the Tatars, where majority of them live, why Tatar culture is different from Russian, what are the arts and crafts that Tatars are accountable for. We showcased Tatar leather mosaic, embroidery, weaving, jewelry, book illustrations. We gave opportunity to listen to Tatar music, to repeat Tatar dance moves and to decorate paper boots; aprons and hats by very own Tatar ornamental patterns.  We observed such emotions as surprise, when guests learned about the ethnic group the majority have never heard before; the excitement, when the guests realized that they discovered something new and interesting; the amazement, when they saw how the leather mosaic is created… I, particularly, will never forget the big amazed eyes of a young girl when she realized that all the boots in the exhibits were made by hand.

I hope this first experience of showcasing Tatar arts and crafts to such broad American audience is a good start in changing stereotypical associations of Tatars with Mongols, warriors and peace breakers. I want Tatars to be well-known as peaceful, creative, innovative, sport-loving and caring people with culture and arts to be inspired and strived for.

I want to thank everyone who supported and encouraged me to organize and run the exhibit! I am, particularly, expressing my cheers to an exceptional American girl – Lily – whose incredible desire to learn and enjoy Tatar language, whose unimaginable inner power and strong and humble personality inspire me to diligently spread the word about the Tatars and their rich and mesmerizing culture.