Igniting a fire of hope.
Petel’s mission is to fund education and training for Mauritanian children and youth, through the sale of products made from traditional Fulani textiles.
Through Petel, we also aim to encourage the continuation of hand weaving in Fulani cultures. If the younger generation of Fulani see ancillary value and appreciation of their traditional textiles, the methods will be preserved.
Petel means “little spark” in Fulani, the tribal language of our weavers, a sentiment that came to us when we came up with our collaborative idea to combine forces. It is our dream that this “little spark” will ignite a fire of hope, inspiration and self-sufficiency through craft among the Fulani in West Africa and transform the lives of children through education.
Petel Design was founded in 2012 by Ibrahima and Julie Wagne and is a partnership between artists, designers, and weavers in West Africa and San Francisco. We work with master Fulani weavers and San Franciscan craftsmen and women to create uniquely beautiful designs that cross cultural aesthetic sensibilities.
It began with a spark of love.
Julie and Ibrahima met in Mauritania when Julie was in the Peace Corps and Ibrahima was teaching in Nouakchott. Julie was eventually placed in Ibrahima’s home village and they fell in love. After they married, they moved to San Francisco and began sending money back to Mauritania to Ibrahima’s family. But soon, they began to wonder what they could do to make more money and support the Mauritanian economy. As they began to think about what they loved, they realized that they could use the unique Fulani handwoven, mostly vintage, fabric that was widely available in Mauritania to create beautiful products that they could sell in the United States and return the profits back to the country to fund the dying art of hand weaving and more recently, to fund education for the children of Mauritania.