Original, useful, practical creations, made with great taste !!!
I will introduce you to Sandra and Pagna Mania, deciphering her brand and the person for you.
P – Pania Mania how and when did the adventure begin ?
I arrived in Côte d’Ivoire on September 27, 2013. After 20 years of absence, a return to my roots, Africa, my native land, I needed to find myself, to recharge my batteries. Therefore, I did not want to resume a professional activity directly. Need to rest from my hectic European life. Having a Masters in political science, having worked in the advertising world for 12 years, here I am imagining another life. Not knowing how to remain inactive, I decided two months after my arrival in November to dive into a world other than mine, that of creativity.
As soon as the suitcases have been unpacked, many memories invade me: the smells, colors, flavors, light, human warmth … are found. And there boom, a memory of a childhood friend by the pool in Kinshasa. But why this memory in particular? It will indeed be decisive for the creation of Pagna Mania. My friend never came to the pool without her sublime towel surrounded by loincloth. And this is how my first creation was born: bath towels available in a set of 3 towels and XL beach or pool towels.
Over time, the towels have become my reference product, my flagship product.
A – Aspiration. What are yours ?
I want to be able to continue this great adventure and always have new inspirations that will allow me to be happy and fulfilled in my work.
G – Guide to life. Do you have one? And what are your principles of life in general ?
The main guide in my life is my Dad who left to join the angels in October of last year. It was he who partly built me, he was the one who instilled in me the values of life !! He transmitted to me the love of life, to be yourself, to be positive and enthusiastic in your actions, to move forward in your life projects, to believe in them with determination without crushing others around you.
So I believe in myself and in my Pagna Mania project.
N – NO – Give me 3 words, where your NO would be automatic. 3 words that would describe, what revolts you in general ?
No to racism, from a mixed marriage (Indian father and Belgian mother and adopted by Africa), I have already experienced situations in which I felt excluded only because I did not belong to a single community (Indian, Belgian or Congolese in my case).
No to political violence, in 1991 I lived through a war that marked my life forever. Even today I sometimes live with fear in my stomach. Some people experience atrocities without the world moving and that is really unbearable to me. Today, I have only one message to pass: that of peace in our beautiful country, the Ivory Coast.
No to abusive authority. I am obviously not totally against authority. In life, you have to be well supervised such as having a certain parental authority or police authority or other… but I am against an abusive authority. In my professional environment, I don’t like being led, but I prefer to be my own boss and master of my own destiny. Which is why I like to work independently. My principle is not to look sideways but to move forward with my team.
A – Africa. Is it a favorite with the continent or a country ?
For me it’s more a favorite of the continent, it’s my native land !! Of course, I was born in Kinshasa but I had the chance to travel to several African countries to land in Ivory Coast 7 years ago. These countries are of course all different with their own identities, but for me they have one thing in common, human warmth. This heat warms my heart.
M – Bad habits? You have some ? And if so which ones ?
Obviously I have. To say otherwise would be a lie !! I mostly have a bad habit of saying what I mean quite easily. I know my frankness can be offensive because people don’t always appreciate being told the truth to their face. But luckily as the years go by, I manage to say it in a more diplomatic way.
A – Atmosphere. Describe the Pagna Mania atmosphere.
The ambiance of Pagna Mania is a relaxed family atmosphere. Everyone is involved in this Pagna Mania adventure :
My husband Thierry who supports me on a daily basis in my projects and who support my fabrics, my loincloths and my mess in the house.
My two wonderful daughters, Théa and Clara who are my favorite models! They willingly participate in sales and exhibitions. As young teens, they also give me lots of leads and ideas. They always have an opinion to share on my new products! This is really super constructive.
N – New products. Any surprises for the end of the year? New collections planned?
For those who follow me on fairs or on social media, know that I love new things. In general, each year, I present at least 5 new products. But this year, which is experiencing a special global atmosphere, I have decided to do more. Right after confinement, I took on the challenge of trying to bring you something new each month.
In June, there was the Covid kit,
in July the makeup bag, in September the jewelry bag and the men’s polo shirt.
and in October the new wedding flower collection and the new Akissi top.
My novelties for November and December are already in the works at the workshop. Unveiling them to you would no longer be a surprise. Continue to follow me on social networks and you will be the first to know.
I – Inspiration. How does Inspiration come to you and how does it materialize?
Inspiration comes from the needs of my daily life on the one hand and from my travels on the other. Some accessories clearly come from the needs of everyday life. The latest is the Covid kit. In the midst of a pandemic, I needed an object that would allow me to store everything I needed to fight this virus. This is how this kit was born.
A trio of case: a transparent case so that it can be disinfected at any time, a flat loincloth case to slip in your clean masks and a small tarpaulin case to slip in your other useful products.
Okay, I’m cracking a little clue for the novelty of November: an object that will be useful to you to be even better organized as an active woman !!
Other articles are from travel inspiration. My last two winter trips to Sicily and Morocco have inspired me a lot.
How does inspiration actually materialize? The needs of everyday life and travel inspire me. This inspiration gives me ideas. Once you have the idea in mind, you have to make it happen and materialize it. From there was born a first conceptualized prototype. For me, a proto is never a finished product. Before its final approval, I show it and test it personally. Changes will be made and then only the launch of the finished product can be done. You should know that some prototypes will be abandoned along the way, others will be put aside for a period and resumed after reflection. (The latest example is the jewelry case).
This is what I love about making a product a reality, there is never just one rule of conduct but several ways to get there. So it’s really exciting !!
A – Associations. In the past you have collected a lot of donations for associations, thanks to your various sales. Your preference this year to help?
I have no preference on this. When an aid project presents itself to me and it is possible for me to participate, I do so. Of course, I have aid projects that come my way every year, like the AIFCI sales in which I participate with great pleasure.
I am particularly fond of the AIM association, Association Imagine le Monde including Perles de femme, which creates jewelry and makes loincloth accessories. Whenever possible, I invite them to the sales I organize with Carole.
For the end of the year, I will be participating in an aid project for Lebanon for the Tartine du matin association, a humanitarian organization. Their latest aid project is called Operation Pleasure of Choosing, which has helped over 300 Lebanese families refurnish their homes following the August 4 explosion. Even at over 7,000 KM, we all have the power to help others. Follow me on social networks, the date of the « Solidarity Beirut » event will be communicated to you soon.
Finally, Sandra wanted to leave us a little final note :
I wanted to thank the craftsmen’s corner and especially Delphine for this interview, an interview in which I revealed myself to you without taboos dear readers. I enjoyed writing it very much, I hope with all my heart you will enjoy reading it as much.
I simply wish you to live happily and enjoy the little moments of happiness that life offers us, even if it seems gloomy and very sad for the moment.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones !!!!
Sandra from Pagna Mania
« Thank you Sandra for opening your heart and explaining to us who you are, as well as your brand. We have discovered a touching designer, who takes special care in her creations that she makes with love. And this allowed us to see the person who is behind all this universe of loincloth so well thought out. I wish you a beautiful continuation !!! « Delphine
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