Losinj Island Cookbook
Twirl Bag
Lošinj Crochet Earrings
Ići Mići Octopus

About us: The meaning of Bongolala

The bongolala way of life is inspired by the Swahili proverb: “Haraka haraka, haina baraka”, meaning “Hurry, hurry has no blessings”. Ultimately, it’s all about the journey in life that counts, not the destination. Our bongolala brand embodies this proverb by ensuring that the journey of every product is intentional. We intentionally source ethical materials for each product. We only work with local designers, ensuring every product is handmade in Croatia or Tanzania. We believe that by doing this, Bongolala can make a difference. Read more about us and how we started below.

Our Mission: bongolala’s mission is to celebrate creativity and diversity through our ethically handmade limited-edition and original contemporary collections.

Our Vision: Our vision is to continuously strive to maintain an ethical and empowering brand as we discover new sustainable materials and designers.

Petra Balenovic

Our story: how it started

The story of Bongolala started long before its official launch in 2018. It began when Petra, the founder, fell in love with African arts and crafts. Born in Croatia, Petra spent 34 years working at her own graphic design firm in Tanzania, where her love for African art and design grew over time. She soon became an avid collector of different art from local painters and sculpture artists, and was particularly drawn to the vibrant colors and bold patterns found in African wax fabrics.

Eventually, Petra decided to move back to the beautiful island of Mali Lošinj in Croatia with her husband and son. Combining her two walks of life with European style and African influence, Bongolala was born. Today, Bongolala is a brand that offers a range of unique and high-quality products that reflect Petra’s African influence.

The brand’s collection of limited-edition clothing is designed and handmade in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, using premium African wax fabrics. The clothing collection includes dresses, skirts, blouses, and shorts, all of which are crafted with attention to detail and quality. We work with various Croatian and Tanzanian designers, women-led artisan businesses to produce beautiful children’s toys and purposeful accessories and home decor.

In the past Bongolala has collaborated with Croatian designer Irena Kučić, to produce unique clothing made from vibrant, premium African wax fabrics. This collaboration resulted in a collection of clothing that seamlessly combined European and African style as well as a collection of vintage-inspired mini handbags, creative wall hanging decor, and handmade tableware. Working with women on the island of Lošinj, Bongolala also created unique earrings that brought together traditional needlework skills with modern use. All of Bongolala’s products are made with high-quality materials and are crafted with attention to detail, ensuring that each piece is a unique and special addition to your wardrobe or home.

Choosing to shop at Bongolala means supporting and empowering our selection of designers, as well as transforming your home, wardrobe, and life with our exclusive products that add a unique essence of effortless style. With Bongolala, you can be confident that you are purchasing products that are ethically made, sustainably sourced, and of the highest quality.

Read more about Petra in this online article.

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