The M8 windfoiling and 1D – One Design Sails brands are the results of dreams, curiosity, willingness and loads of hard work. Hard work, that you can’t always see, but without that hard work our team and companies wouldn’t be where we are right now. And that’s the hard work of our CEO, Panka Csepregi.
While our logo and brand name suggest that our brand, M8 windfoiling, just popped out of my head (Hey there! it’s #martonspeaking!), it’s not entirely true! I do get some of the spotlight on social media, as I love posting on our social channels, taking videos of our team and chatting to customers. But thankfully we have a great team who actually do their jobs and Panka, who manages almost everything else in the background, so you are not left without sails!
Our physical team members in the loft, Barbi, Andi, Nandi and Lovi put in great effort in creating the greatest sails for you, in every class. They are there every stitch of the way. If you’ve ordered something from us, you’ve most probably talked to Erika, who juggles your orders and makes sure they’re delivered to you. Without these guys, we wouldn’t be able to deliver our sails to you. We also have a racing team, who test and race with our sails. They are always there for us, not only on water, but on land as well, with our customers, and contributing to our developments. Big thank you to all of you guys!
And behind all operations, Panka keeps things moving. She is more than the ‘Big Boss’, or the Queen of the M8 sails! She is our glue! The cohesive force of our brands and our companies.
Our story started quite a while ago. I met her before I started sailmaking or sail design. We spent our time in marinas and our weekend activities were mainly drilling, welding and stepping masts.
Basically our sail making and sail repairing business started out from her living room. (Yes, it was a huge room!). As we needed a professional space, we moved to an old school’s gym, which became our first loft. This is how our small business started out, and when Panka decided to give up her job in Budapest (she is a lawyer), and moved to Balaton. Her family had and still has a huge impact on our professional background.
Panka was there every step of the way. She supported me in Italy, learning all the bits and pieces, and small tricks of catamaran sails. She stood behind my back when I was learning the sail design software and later, when we developed our own software. Panka is not just a supporting partner in all my new ideas, like the M8 windfoil sail line, or the moth sails of 1D Sails, or my newest addiction – foiling and foiling gear. She is even a partner in supporting my newest love affair with the Nazaré waves, and travels with me, when I want to be close to my new “girlfriend”. (She knows, every boy needs a girlfriend, and I think she is secretly in love with her too :)) And as a result she asks less and less why I need a newer foilboard, or a ‘13.876th’ foil. She just knows that a foil makes life better… although I usually wait with the question ‘till we are in the middle of Lake Balaton with our SUPs. 🙂
As a result of her being there every step of the way and watching every detail as our company grew, she knows everything. Literally everything! She has an in-depth knowledge on sails, sail making and even on aerodynamics. She knows about the bits and bobs of our sails, shapes, construction, material, and even about the smallest magic parts. And while I thought, she stepped back and didn’t want to be part of the foiling related developments, she already knows too much, just from listening in the background.
As a CEO she directs the company, she deals with finances and cash-flow, she keeps the conversation going with our customers and the work moving with the 1D Sails/M8 windfoiling team. She is responsible for our marketing and she even has the energy and pays attention to picking up my phone, when I’m too busy in the production area. All while raising our son and glueing our family together! I’m always wondering where she gets the energy from…( Probably from my endless number of foils… :D)
It was a true adventure to get where we are now with her, and we know there is a long way ahead of us. But one thing is for sure, she should have been tagged in all the posts instead of me. Panka is the one who should get all the spotlight! She is the one, without whom our sails wouldn’t exist.
Have you seen the interview with her? You can watch it HERE (press cc for English subtitle)