Sana Khan Niazi, Co-Founder of Paimona Talks About Her High Quality Home Furnishings
It’s an honorable privileged for us to have some words with Sana Khan Niazi, Co-Founder of Paimona. A promising startup reviving the cultural heritage of Pakistan by producing elegant ornaments made by their creative artisan’s team. Sana is not only a creative designer of her products but she is also a stand-up comedian, Theater Artist and holding Accounting & Finance Degree from the Oxford Brookes University.
Before reading her interesting interview you can also have a look at the video in which she described about Paimona.
Quadmind: Hello, I hope you are doing well and it’s a pleasure to have you on board for an interview. Like you have mentioned that at Paimona, we believe that when honest effort meets great artistry — magic happens. Tell about Paimona and yourself briefly.
Ans : I always had a sense of creativity and design instilled in me. Although, I started out with an Accounting & Finance Degree from the Oxford Brookes University, I soon transitioned into a theater artist. I also do stand-up comedy, and am of course, an entrepreneur.
Paimona believes in the power of Pakistan’s story — it’s culture, heritage and most importantly, its people. The brand stands for creating handcrafted, ethereal and timeless furniture pieces that can lend unshakable beauty and elegance to any living space. We are the perfect blend of modern aesthetics and cultural relevance and are made to suit your artistic sensibilities.
Quadmind: How did you come up with the idea of Paimona and what is the spark in it for Pakistanis? Anything special that motivated you?
Ans : While I was travelling in Dubai for a theater production by Anwar Maqsood, I came across a Decor shop. I’d always had a pet quirk which was checking product tags to see where they were made. So, when I came across these exquisite decor pieces, and to my surprise, couldn’t find any from Pakistan, it was a reality check for me.
Pakistan’s heritage dates back to even before the Mughal and Ottoman Eras, but due to the lack of support and involvement, it’s struggling to survive. With the declining appreciation of our tradition, the Artisans alone lift the weight of carrying our craft forward from one decade into another.
The time and evolution of methodology has taken its toll on the ways of the artisans, who with the absence of resources, training and education plunge deeper and deeper into the abyss of poverty. With every generation, the artisans and craftsmen find themselves under a thicker layer of pressure from the world surrounding them yet they continue to fight for the craft that they hold so dear to their existence.
On the realization that our tradition is on the brink of losing its value and that the artisans are faced with an increasing amount of challenges just to survive, I decided to intervene and save the beauty of Pakistan’s culture and the craft of its people.
With this goal, I set out on a search for the lost heritage of Pakistan with whatever little resources I had. And hence Paimona was born, emerging as a breath of fresh air in the fluidity of tradition. It became the gradual evolution of the rich culture & history of Pakistan, infused with functionality and modernity; the ultimate transformation of traditional grandeur to global aesthetics.
Quadmind: Your work speaks for you, Paimona has made Pakistan proud. How successful do you think have you been in presenting the cultural heritage and vivid picture of Pakistan throughout this journey?
Ans : Paimona has been able to collaborate with multiple artisans around Pakistan, and has helped them move past their generic way of doing things. We give them a competitive advantage by teaching them how to incorporate modern trends with cultural elements. We definitely think we’ve made a good amount of progress, but we’ve still got a long way to go.
Quadmind: How Paimona is different from other furniture brands and what makes it so special? Your designs are so elegant and unique how you makeup the idea of it ?
Ans : Paimona doesn’t mass produce furniture pieces or replicate the designs of other firms. We have our own unique vision and philosophy, and we aim to embody that in our furniture pieces.
Quadmind: Describe the process of making handcrafted items, how your team collaborates and produce remarkable work? How the designs became so elegant and unique?
Ans : The entire process starts with design inspirations taken from Pakistan’s culture, such as the ode to our food loving sides with the Deigh, and then combining them with a modern furniture element such as the Ottoman. Once I have finalized the design, I collaborate with artisans around Pakistan to materialize my designs. There is a transfer of knowledge which happens when we work together. Here are glimpse of some of our products.
Quadmind: What do you have to say on why countries should save their culture heritage? Do you think the current and future generation will continue to look after it?
Ans : I believe that it is necessary for any country’s identity that they know, and preserve where they started out from and what their heritage signifies. Without this, it’s very easy for a country’s culture to become obsolete.
Quadmind: Great minds think alike, share about the mentors who help you in product expansion and guide you on important perspectives of this startup? Are they proud of what Paimona is today?
Ans : We’ve had a lot of people provide us with their support, and we wouldn’t have reached this stage without them. I’m also sure that they’re proud of what we’ve achieved and are glad that they’ve been part of the cause we’re fighting for.
Quadmind: How does Paimona take care of its employees who give such beautiful artisans? What has been the biggest struggle for you so far?
Ans : We work closely with the artisans and craftsmen, train them educate them to do better at the skill they know all too well. We also help them to innovate and incorporate their skill with modern design in order to expand their capabilities.
The process liberates them from the limitations in their surroundings which stop them from moving forward. Knowing that their pieces furnish the spaces of people all over the world, who genuinely care about their stories, really makes a difference to them. We celebrate what our Artisans create, and we want you to celebrate their work with us.
Quadmind: What new products are coming in, how more people can be a part of Paimona for selling products?
Ans : The team at Paimona is currently focusing on promoting our most recently launch line of products. Our crowdfunding campaign also went live recently of Indiegogo, and we’re raising funds to boost our efforts. You can view and support our campaign at Indiegogo
Quadmind: What marketing strategies Paimona are being adopted for selling products? Are you keeping the track of international market?
Ans : We focus on two prime aspects to create demand for our products. The first is the unique edge our products offer. Considering that our target market includes mostly foreigners, our products come off as something exotic to them. With our pieces they can add more character to their living spaces, because they take back something from our culture. The second aspect we focus on is what our work means for our Artisans. We tell our customers what their support means for the people who create the products for them. This way, we get our customers involved and make them a part of the process of giving our Artisans a better life.
Quadmind: Share your experience in the The Nest I/0 and how startup accelerators facilitating startups? What’s been your strength throughout?
Ans : Having a certain ecosystem for a startup is necessary for its growth, and that is what the Nest iO provides. It has helped in tackling tremendous challenges along the way, and has provided multiple tools necessary for our growth. We are ever so grateful for everything the Nest I/O does.
Quadmind: Does Paimona sells product outside Pakistan? And if yes what is the process how can someone order from abroad?
Ans : Yes, we do. Anyone who wants to purchase our products can place an order on our website.
Quadmind: In the end, what advice would you like to give fresh startups? Something you would like to say for the people of Pakistan?
Ans : Resilience is imperative for any Entrepreneur. It is necessary to have faith in oneself, and the work you’re trying to do. Failure is evident, but resilience is what helps you learn from failure and get to success.
Quadmind wishes a very best of luck to Sana & her Team for the Future of Paimona! :)