I come from Savonlinna, which is a small town in Eastern Finland. Although I love my home town, I have to admit that when I was young, the main thing I wanted to do was get away from it as soon as possible. I wanted somewhere bigger. I was going to be someone, I thought. I just didn’t know what yet.
My first passion was dance. That got me to the big city – well to Kuopio, which feels like a big city when you come from Savonlinna. I started studying at a music high school. The arrangement I had with my parents was that I would pay my own way. So I was working the whole time I was studying. I’ve had an entrepreneurial spirit from a very early age.
I got a job at the theatre as an assistant backstage and as a dancer. I was fascinated by the theatrical costume side and spent a lot of my time in the props department. That was where I saw how the props manager used leather patches to make a leather jacket.
In those days, I had more determination than expertise. I just thought that if they could do it, so could I.
Through trial and error, I made myself a leather jacket. It looked great.
Once I had completed high school, I still wanted to be part of something bigger. I moved to Helsinki. I just had a vision that I was going to be OK.
I bumped into someone I knew who worked in sales. Again I thought: “If they can do it, so can I.”
I started working in sales and I managed to earn a living from it. Quite a good one too.
But the spark lit by those leather patches in the props department at Kuopio theatre was still smouldering. I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in sales.
While travelling abroad, I saw flower jewellery made from leather.
That was my Eureka moment.
I knew I’d found my calling – a calling where I could combine my craft skills, my creativity and my entrepreneurial spirit.
Viaminnet was born as a start-up in a garage in Tuusula in 2014.
Viaminnet’s light, leather jewellery went down well from day one. It’s now made in Kruununhaka in Helsinki and sold in Finland and worldwide. My aim is to build an international design brand.
If I can do it, so can you. My philosophy is that everyone should be free to find and practise their own calling. Each in their own way. Accepting difference. Supporting each other. Viaminnet is jewellery for strong women.
Show your feathers.