Polochon & Cie

Portrait

Manuela, mother of Victor and Paul, former Parisian now living in Beaujolais.

Founder of the POLOCHON & CIE brand. Perfectionist, she loves the magic that animates our children. Manuela's genius idea is the nomadic "Passe-partout" lamp. A flashlight that the youngest can easily turn on even in the middle of the night, customizable, two light intensities, an automatic and rechargeable switch-off. Manuela has thought of everything. Your children will adopt it and above all this lamp will save your nights! Discover in Manuela's portrait, her background, her inspirations and how she succeeded in creating from A to Z her nomadic lamp!

Polochon & Cie

What is your background?

For nearly 20 years, I worked in large groups such as Renault, Carrefour and TF1 in positions such as sales administration, IT management and others. During this part of my life, I was very ambitious and especially very curious. I was always learning something. In these large groups, we change positions about every two years, so it was perfect to meet my expectations. And then I became Victor's mother, our first child. I then held two positions. The rhythm was intense but this work nourished me. In concrete terms, it built me on my organization, I was also able to work with people from different backgrounds, to negotiate and exhibit. I have learned a lot.
Then I saturated our second one when Paul arrived. Two young children, a husband who was often on the move, a more than steady pace of work, it was no longer possible. I left and it was at the same time that I finally felt capable of being an entrepreneur. Before it was clear that I wasn't ready. I always liked the decoration and I was talking more and more about it with my girlfriends and I missed my children.
This is where the "POLOCHON & CIE" adventure begins.


How did you think of the Nomadic Lamp?

Thanks to my grandfather's construction site hand lamp! You see this flashlight with a metal cage around the bulb that can be hung anywhere, with a huge cable? That's her. I wanted a lamp for children that projects light to read, to make shadows, not to be afraid of the dark... All the other existing flashlights have a diffuse light, you can't chase monsters away with it! And my children were simply not well lit!


Now you work alone, you who loved working in a team so much, isn't it too complicated?

I am the only one launching the project, but it is a real team effort. It is important for me to work closely with my suppliers. Quite simply because I need to be in direct contact with them, to develop together, everyone is involved.
I also worked with an electronics design office but also with people in charge of innovation. When I started this adventure, I had never designed a product before, I discovered the design phases, the materials, the components...

Discovering all this, being in contact with all these people gave me a crazy energy! When I visited the suppliers, I wrote every third word on my notebooks, because I didn't understand much and I intended to assimilate everything, ask the right questions to get to the nomadic lamp I wanted to propose!


Just getting to the lamp you wanted, how long did it take?

Between one and a half years of development. It takes time! I worked with a design agency to produce a specification. I wanted the lamp to be progressive, to hang on, to have wood... The design agency offered me 20 sketch models that I eliminated as I went along. I arrived on two models. Each step, each detail requires reflection and choices to be made.
For example, how will the child light his lamp? He must be able to do it on his own, easily. Well for this simple function there are several possibilities, push a button, shake the lamp, turn the handle. The lamp must also be lightweight less than 300gr. All these steps take time and are important.


Where does the name POLOCHON & CIE and its logo come from?

It's a family story. Polochon is the nickname Victor gave to his little brother. And for the logo I left with a graphic designer on two ideas, the battle of duffel and for Cie small birds who discuss for the confidences, the stories...


Victor and Paul are your best testers?

Yes, and from the very beginning with the prototype! They allowed me to test, to see the lamp in use and to have some thoughts from Mom quite simply. Do they hang it on the door handle, how much light they need, the automatic shutdown after an hour. Another important detail is that the lamp flashes when it runs out of battery power and the power is switched off smoothly. The list is long!


What materials do you use?

Wood for the handle, raw beech without varnish for touch and mouthfeel. It gets a patina and changes colour. PVC-free plastic with food approval.
Finally there is a battery that is rechargeable with safety to standards. The protection also serves as a diffuser dome.

Where are the nomadic lamps made?

Made in France, designed within an eco-responsible framework: choice of local suppliers, use of wood from sustainably managed forests (PEFC) and assembled in a solidarity workshop.


Who is the nomadic lamp for?

Baby, child, even to mothers! A client used it during her stay in the maternity ward. Or to take care of your baby at night, when you breastfeed or bottle-feed, so you don't wake your partner or little brother too.


Wants, projects?

At first I had ambitions for decorative objects. Light is a message carrier and I didn't expect that. I would like to create a universe around the lamp. Work on catchphrases. I like objects that tell stories, their poetic side. Children have this strength there, this facility to invent a story from nothing. The nomadic lamp is once an ice cream cone, another a churro cone. I want to keep this magic!