This week starts with a special announcement: I would like to use this Monday Postcard to introduce you to my latest project and let you know why I decided to start it.
It is probably no surprise to you that I really love to travel, I am always up in the air. And one of my guilty pleasures has always been shopping. My travels have a strong influence on what I buy. I do not really enjoy to spend my money on mainstream items. I always look for something really special, a piece that reminds me of my travels and which is really hard to get. When I come back home, my friends always ask me about those pieces.
I have always been inspired by women like style icon Iris Apfel, who travelled the world and found special items to complete her unique look. Another source of inspiration are my mother Susanna and my friend Olivia who always effortlessly find the most amazing things – whether it is in the antique markets of Beijing or the small streets of Rome.
The idea of this project already came to my mind years ago when I worked in China. I was surrounded by all these beautiful Chinese decor items and thought how great it would be to ship them to Europe. However, at this point in time, I had other plans. My company transferred me back to another post in Germany and later on I founded my tech start-up.
But wherever I went, the idea kept following me – the handcrafted brass belts I saw in Cambodia, beach bags in Greece and coconut decor items in Thailand. I bought a lot of items as presents and got so many positive reactions which further confirmed my idea. And finally – also after quite some encouragement by my boyfriend – I decided to set up an online store.
Pelagona is built from my personal passion for travel, fashion, design, history and the beautiful things in life. This store is the address where I share the special items and their stories from my travels. You will be able to shop for the most singular pieces by artisans from around the world – from jewellery, to accessories to interior items.
The name is inspired by the Austrian pronunciation of the pelargonium flower. This flower has two meanings for me: its origin in the Greek word “pelargós” means stork. Like the stork, I travel long distances but I always love to come back home. The flower itself reminds me of Austria where it is popular in many gardens. (Also in my grandmother’s – she calls it “Peligauna”.)
I have been putting a lot of effort in finding the most interesting pieces for you. All the products on the store are handpicked by myself and I personally built up a relationship with my suppliers. I know their stories, how they hustle to support their families and why the items are special.
I learned a lot from starting my first business. One key takeaway was that it is better to start small instead of waiting until everything is 100% perfect. I am a perfectionist and had to learn it the hard way: The most important thing is to just get it out there and spread the word. Therefore, I decided to start with a small range of products and I will slowly broaden the range over the next weeks and months. Quality over quantity.
I intentionally decided not use the typical marketing and sales strategies: in my store, you will see “full” prices instead of the usual “only 10.99” which would make the items appear as bargains. What I wish to achieve with Pelagona is to offer items with personal stories capturing special moments. I also aim to support artisans and prevent local handicrafts and arts from dying out. I think with that in mind, you understand that I neither want to cheat you into buying the products nor do I want to make them appear as bargains because there are real people behind these items.
The store is going online in the course of this week. You can now head to www.pelagona.com to be the first to hear about the launch. And I have another special treat for my readers: you can be part of the exclusive group receiving the pre-launch catalogue and get 10% off your purchase. You will then also be among the first to be on our waitlist for the newest additions to the store. Just send me an email or let me know via Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin if you want to receive the catalogue.
Christmas is approaching with big steps. This week we are going to celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. And if you want to give something special with a unique story this year, head over to my store.
What I especially enjoy is that I can take you on my journey. I will keep you updated on my social channels and give you a sneak peak into the Pelagona collection and my favourite items. And, of course, you will get some behind-the-scenes of a girlboss. I am really excited about this and hope you will travel with me!