Our Story

Petel began as a labor of love.

Petel means “little spark” in Fulani, the tribal language of the Mauritanian weavers we work with, and it's a sentiment that came to us when we began to develop the idea to combine our creative forces.

Our dream is that this “little spark” will ignite a fire of hope, inspiration and self-sufficiency by using the Fulani craft to help transform the lives of West African children through education.

Petel Design was founded by Julie and Ibrahima Wagne in 2012.

Julie and Ibrahima met in Mauritania when Julie was in the Peace Corps and Ibrahima was teaching in the capital city of 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. They realized that they could use the beautiful unique Fulani handwoven fabric – much of which is vintage and widely available throughout Mauritania – to create beautiful products that they could sell in the United States and return the profits back to the country.

Videos + more 

About us video 
Photos by Claire Harlan