Joanna Przetakiewicz made a fortune on this. Not only Kulczyk helped her
She opened her first business while studying and immediately turned out to be the perfect “shot” in the right market niche. Interestingly, she already had two children at the time.
“In the morning I was at the university and at work, then I flew home to my children and in the evening I went back to work. I didn’t get out of the car” – she said in an interview with viva.pl. In the meantime, she did legal training, mainly to finish what she started, because she already liked the role of a businesswoman too much to start over in the legal profession. Her business was great, but dentistry wasn’t what she really wanted to do. Apparently, she was interested in fashion, designing and sewing as a little girl, and in high school she was to organize fashion shows in which her friends were models.
Satisfaction, recognition and a lot of money brought her the creation of the La Mania brand, to which – as she says in interviews – she was inspired by a conversation with fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld and with the financial support of her long-term partner – Jan Kulczyk. The late billionaire and one of the richest Poles was supposed to secure Joanna Przetakiewicz financially for the rest of her life.
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Business instead of a lawyer’s career
On December 11, 2022, Joanna Przetakiewicz turned 55. A slender, athletic figure, a smooth face with almost no make-up, long, well-groomed blond hair – Joanna Przetakiewicz seems to deny with her appearance that the passage of time and the law of gravity exist. However, she does not hide the fact that she uses aesthetic medicine and that money is of great importance here. In interviews and TV shows, she is confident, open, expresses her opinions freely. The Internet is full of her everywhere, she does not avoid the media, she willingly talks about herself and shows photos. This is definitely one of the most “visible” Polish celebrities, who is by no means spared by online haters.
She is a native of Warsaw, graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw. When she was in her third year of studies, she had already planned her first business. Together with her then sister-in-law, in 1992 they founded the company Vita-Dent – one of the first chains of dental clinics in Poland at that time. She is still a co-owner of several network outlets, but – as she emphasized a few years ago in Łukasz Jakóbiak’s “20 m2” program – she does not want to be identified with this industry now. However, she remembers it as a milestone to independence and freedom.
– I always assumed that the company would flourish, I would still be its co-owner, but I would no longer deal with the day-to-day management, but I would start a career as a lawyer. Over the years, it turned out that having your own venture is a great idea for life. Especially when you have children – she said in the Jakubiak program.
Thoughtful design with a “bit of madness”
What were the beginnings of La Mania? In an interview for “Rzeczpospolita” in 2011, Joanna Przetakiewicz said that this company “is not a whim, but a well-thought-out fashion project, built on solid financial foundations, but also a bit of madness and intuition.” She did not provide specific amounts that were invested in the brand, but boasted one of the best months in the first year of the company’s operation, in which it managed to sell 90 percent. collection. She had not done extensive market research before, she had not analyzed the needs of potential customers. “Honestly, I relied on my intuition,” she said in an interview.
La Mania presented its first collection in 2010 at Zachęta in Warsaw. It was supposed to be a prêt-à-porter brand, i.e. offering clothing from mass production, not sewn to order. La Mania buys materials in Italy and France. Clothing is sewn in Poland, and accessories – abroad, e.g. in Bangladesh. The prices of clothes are high, but not exaggerated – not for everyone, but for women with the so-called middle class. The goods are sold not only in Poland. The dress designed by Joanna Przetakiewicz could be admired, e.g. at the Cannes Film Festival.
During the pandemic, tracksuits from La Mania turned out to be a hit – in the circles of the “young affluent”, having them is even a good tone. — We focused on “comfortable” fashion, i.e. one in which every woman feels comfortable and, above all, can be herself. In fact, the whole company immediately found itself in the new trend of our collection – said Aleksander Przetakiewicz, Joanna’s son, who has been the president of La Mania since 2014, in an interview with “Monitor Rynkowy”.
Despite several years of history, the company promotes itself as an innovative startup that boldly introduces new solutions. Not only did it adapt its offer to the pandemic reality at the right moment, but also spread its wings in online sales, created interactive online fitting rooms, while continuing to expand the network of stationary stores. Today, together with the La Mania Home brand founded in 2019, it offers over 850 products in 10 categories.
The history of La Mania was full of scandals. Two years ago, it became famous due to allegations that not all brand products are sewn in Poland. It was about a cap with a label that said it was made in Bangladesh, while La Mania claims to be a brand that is 100% organic. produces in Poland.
Joanna Przetakiewicz, in addition to issuing an official statement in this case, also referred to the allegations in an interview with Business Insider. She admitted then that in fact 100 percent. products are made in Polish factories, but this applies only to clothes, and the cap is in the group of accessories – among 5 percent. items made abroad.
– I will immediately add that through a trusted factory, where the best brands in the world are also sewn, which does not use child labor and meets European standards – stressed Przetakiewicz. She also added that in her opinion, this is not a reason to destroy the credibility of the company, which has existed for 10 years. “Our company was attacked,” she told Business Insider. “We were pelted with mud.
Joanna Przetakiewicz is one of the most recognizable Polish celebrities. Not only because of the creation of La Mania, but also because of the often discussed private life in the media. For many years, she was the life partner of Jan Kulczyk – a billionaire, owner of Kulczyk Investments, about whom she spoke in the Magda Mołek program “Starring”: — It was love at first sight and its essence. I wish every woman such an experience in life. It was something so wonderful that it is impossible to describe.
Since 2017, her partner is the Dutch producer, director and screenwriter Rinke Rooyens, with whom she married in 2020 in Greece.
Her activity in the media undoubtedly contributed to the increase in popularity. In 2014–2015, she was a juror in the Polish edition of Project Runway, broadcast by TVN. In autumn 2017, she took part in the second edition of the “Azja Express” program, where her partner in Asian adventures was journalist and youtuber Łukasz Jakóbiak. It coincided with a photo session for one of the issues of the popular magazine “Playboy”.
A few years later, she initiated the Era New Women social movement, which is to create a space for women from different backgrounds to joint activities and share experiences. For this, she was awarded during the gala of the weekly “Wprost” in 2019. As part of this movement, she wrote a book entitled “#I wasn’t afraid to talk about it. Stories without retouching”, which was released in July 2020. She also published a book – a guide “Money brings happiness”.
Joanna Przetakiewicz often talks about the need for women’s financial independence, breaking stereotypes according to which only men can have money. “Woman firecracker” – Kuba Wojewódzki wrote about her on Instagram. And she about herself: “I love to plan. Have new goals. Have the so-called goal line. Work. Do a lot. Achieve a lot and more. I love development.”
Source: businessinsider.com.pl, zyciorysy.info, rp.pl, monitorrynkowy.pl, viva.pl, plotek.pl
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