petel africa: a love story.
Julie and Ibrahima’s story began in 2000 when they met working with the Peace Corps in Mauritania, and fell in love communicating in French and Pulaar (the Fulani language). Inspired by other cultures and places they’ve been, from Paris to Algeria and beyond, they’ve created a new business together — Petel, in San Francisco. importing handwoven textiles from his home country of Mauritania and designing them here into totes, table runners, zip pouches, and pillows, they believe that through Petel, they can reinvest in the vibrant color and culture from the land that brought them together by introducing these traditional handmade textiles to a broader audience.
Petel creates beautiful objects from handmade textiles crafted on rugged African looms and their designs combine traditional West African colors and patterns with a contemporary western aesthetic. materials are created by Fulani weavers in Mauritania and through Petel their products support these artisans. Julie and Ibrahima are trying to save a dying art in West Africa, by creating a market outside of the region for these amazing hand-woven textile strips, and their goal is to use Petel’s profits to create a training program for younger Fulani artists interested in textile art. If the younger generation of Fulani see ancillary value in their traditional textiles, the methods will be preserved. Petel translates to “little spark” in Pulaar, the native language of their weavers. It is their dream that this spark will ignite a fire of hope, inspiration and self-sufficiency among the Fulani in Mauritania.