We often hear different stories about people’s path to success. The path which shapes and changes us makes us stronger. That is where the roots of our values and integrity are set and the foundations of self-confidence are laid. I would feel privileged to invite you into my world and tell you my story. Step by step discover me and find answers to most frequently asked questions.

I can surely call myself a lucky and happy person. In the spring of 2008, I was fortunate to win a car in a lottery draw. Then I right away decided to fulfill my dream of traveling Europe for the first time. That event changed my life! I was 33 when, with 2 sewing machines in my luggage, I moved to Prague and started building my life and business from scratch. Day by day I was creating my brand, discovering the new market and achieving recognition.

A tender September morning, year 1958. A boy enters the classroom filled with sunshine. The teacher announces the new classmate’s name and seats him next to a fragile teenage girl. That was the moment when my parents met each other. Years later, I was born and given the name Naila, which in Arabic means "the achiever". Now I can say that my whole colorful life has been defined by this motto! Yet, since the childhood many people have called me Nanay, and I like that. So later, it’s become the name of my brand.

Azerbaijan is the Land of Fire! Baku, the City of Winds filled with the rich aroma of the Caspian Sea, is a progressive cosmopolitan capital known for its hot sun and delicious food. Home of impressive historical heritage, haven of age-old traditions, and part of the Silk Road! Here, respect to elders and appreciations of the national culture are taught from the childhood. Hospitality of the Caucasus and the tea tradition gather all generations around large tables. My Motherland has defined my core life values.

I grew up with the music of James Brown, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin. My grandmother and mother taught me how to sew and paint, cook and create cosy environment. Mom cultivated in me the sense of color, shape, proportions and everything related to the aesthetics. Dad developed my taste in music, interior and furniture design. With him I learned to use all the working tools. As a child, I created non-stop, drew, knitted, sewed and embroidered. My unstoppable creativity identified my life path.

First key events in my life took a place on the dark background of the USSR collapse and political issues in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. My decision to transfer to a different school and change my social environment brought new colors into my life. At the age of 19, I got the unique opportunity to exhibit my paintings at the International Triennial of Contemporary Art in Istanbul, where I got to speak English for the first time in my life and met designers from all over the world. These events changed my worldview and shaped my personality.

Various painting techniques, the art of Persian miniature, carpet-making and jewelry crafts I discovered during my university studies! With my collections of avant-garde models I participated in fashion shows. The music of Sade, Bjork and Portishead, philosophy of Osho and Nietzsche inspired my creativity. My master’s thesis was dedicated to the history of silk painting. Within its practical part, I created 4 large batiks according to the four elements philosophy. These batiks are still stored in the archives of the Azerbaijan State University of Art and Culture.

An unexpected twist of fate happened to me when I was 26. Through a small ad in the newspaper I got a job as a forged metal product designer. All of a sudden I discovered my passion to balconies, railings and fences design! I also enjoyed creating furniture and other decorative elements. Such a wonderful experience and incredible memories! That was the time of my self-realization and recognition – not only as a professional designer, but also a colleague and a friend. It's a pleasure to know that my creations still embellish houses in my hometown.

Besides design, my responsibilities included product quality control and participation in the installation process. Of course, I didn’t forge the metal myself. But I usually manually applied patina at the end of production. I often had to draw my designs on the working desk in the actual size. After 5 years of working at dirty construction sites, I decided to change my life! The desire to redirect my creative potential and dedicate myself to elegant fashion became the beginning of my fashion designer career.

When I was 12 years old, I sewed myself a skirt and wore it to school for a long time. But I started making bespoke clothing for women only in 2005. My first clients were friends, sisters, and colleagues. I enjoyed analyzing their wardrobes and creating individual styles. My sincere gratitude belongs to my Baku friends for having fully trusted me in choosing the colors and fabrics. They let me experiment, and most importantly, learn from my mistakes. Step by step I was creating and forming my first brand “Nanay designing with love”.

In 2009, I took on a big challenge. Relying on my experience and faith in myself, I moved to Prague on my own. The opportunities of free Europe and the inspiring beauty of Prague motivated me to leave my hometown and start building my life and business here from scratch. At first, I lived and worked in a small apartment, which barely fit the wedding dresses and working desks. It was tough, but my ambitions only kept growing! I was eager to achieve recognition in the new environment and develop my brand on the new stage!

I was struggling to find ways to enter the market: used social networks, distributed leaflets on the street, offered lower prices. Still, that didn’t bring the desired results. So I decided to create my first collection! High-quality promotional materials and participation in wedding fair shows got me to a new level. And finally, it worked out and I got noticed! I got my first satisfied customers and positive recommendations. Stitch by stitch, without assistants or advertising agencies, I managed to put my business on its feet by myself!

In spring 2016, I came up with the concept of a new casual clothing brand “ONA color wear” based on idea of capsule wardrobe with harmonious combinations of colors. I did marketing analysis and research, found manufacturer, wrote a very detailed business plan, and I kept searching for an investor. Everyone whom I showed my project highly valued and appreciated it’s unique concept. But I have to admit, it was very difficult to find someone who would be ready to invest in fashion. So after 3 years I had to freeze this project and fully dedicate my time to “NANAY textile design & couture”.