Five From Finland
Valentine’s Day gift ideas
From Finland with love: here are five ways to show how much you care for your close ones on Valentine’s Day.miobuono / Adobe
From classic options to more creative takes, these five Finnish gift ideas are bound to impress your significant other, friends, family and colleagues on Valentine’s Day (or any other day, for that matter).
In many parts of the world, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating romantic love. Here up north, 14 February is known as Ystävänpäivä, or friend’s day, and just as the name suggests it’s about celebrating friendship. Spreading love beyond romantic partners, Finns use the occasion to show how much they appreciate those who hold a special place in their lives, be it a soulmate, relative, co-worker or neighbour.
To spark some inspiration, here are five of the most delightful Valentine’s Day gift ideas from Finland to honour romance, friendship or self-love.
How about pampering your nearest and dearest with all-natural goodness? Founded in 2011 by Marjo Räsänen, a nature enthusiast who first tried her hand at making cosmetics at the age of nine, Onnenpussi is particularly known for its heart-shaped vegan salt soaps. Handcrafted in small batches using the finest natural ingredients, the soap bars are claimed to be beneficial for all skin types, helping to gently cleanse, nourish and hydrate even the most demanding skin.
“Onnenpussi salt soap has helped thousands of people (myself included) with their skin conditions, such as eczema, acne, psoriasis and dry skin,” said Räsänen. “I am overjoyed that my soap is giving relief to so many people, and I treasure the feedback I get from customers.”
Inspiring people to move away from chemically loaded skincare products by offering environmentally friendly and cruelty-free alternatives, Onnenpussi focuses on quality and does it with a passion.
“I still wake up every day feeling motivated and committed to bring the finest, skin-loving natural cosmetics around,” Räsänen added.
No one is on a diet on Valentine’s Day, and chocolate is undoubtedly one of the top gifts guaranteed to win over any heart (and stomach). Finland is awash with excellent chocolate makers, with more and more artisanal chocolatiers popping up across the country. One of the pioneers in the field is Kultasuklaa, a chocolate factory located in the village of Iittala in the Häme region.
“When the business started in 1991, little chocolate was made by hand in Finland,” CEO Juha-Pekka Kärkkäinen recounted.
Today, Kultasuklaa produces a wide range of chocolate delicacies, including chocolate boxes, blocks and bars, as well as confections and figurines. They come in every imaginable shape and flavour, and premium domestic ingredients, such as Arctic berries, are always prioritised. As a tribute to Finnish natural heritage, Kultasuklaa has also introduced the world’s first gourmet chocolates containing 24-carat river gold from Lapland.
“We have always strived to bring our products to the forefront of chocolate making trends, both in terms of flavours and shapes,” Kärkkäinen pointed out. “We’re bringing to the market what hasn’t been experienced or tasted yet.”
Friends are always there for us when we seek encouragement, comfort and support. And so is CupOfTheraphy, a company on a mission to raise awareness about mental wellbeing through illustrations of animal characters complete with heart-warming, uplifting phrases.
Founded by psychotherapy professionals Elina Rehmonen and Antti Ervasti and award-winning graphic designer Matti Pikkujämsä, CupOfTheraphy is spreading its positive pictures and messages online, and they’re also printed on a wide range of consumer products, such as postcards, T-shirts, mugs, calendars and bags.
Earlier this month, the company released its first English-language book, Self-Care Every Day, together with UK publisher Quercus. Combining humour and wisdom and offering practical tips to navigate through everyday challenges, this is the latest addition to a series of CupOfTheraphy books available in Finnish and Japanese.
“CupOfTherapy is all about making the mind’s landscapes visible,” Rehmonen said. “The animal characters offer something anyone anywhere in the world can relate to, provoking emotions and discussions.”
Nowadays, we almost always have a camera at hand to capture precious moments with our most special people. Meant to be preserved, those photos, however, rarely end up being printed. Helsinki-based Plywood Print is helping to make memories more vivid and long-lasting by printing your photos on plywood.
“Create your own wall art from your own pictures is the principle we sell to customers,” explained Mirna Shampemba, the company’s former marketing expert. “Printing on plywood adds character to the photograph, with the wood grains and colours making the image livelier and adding to the depth.”
On top of customised prints, the company offers versatile collections made in collaboration with both renowned and less-known Finnish artists, illustrators and photographers.
While the designs vary, one thing remains constant – Plywood Print’s commitment to environmental values. The company uses sustainably sourced Finnish birch plywood, and the UV-stable inks are eco-friendly. Moreover, through its partnership with the environmental organisation Trees for the Future and with the support of its eco-conscious customers, Plywood Print is helping to plant thousands of trees to end hunger, poverty and deforestation in areas with the most pressing need.
The Moomins are without a doubt love at first sight. For Lasse Lähteenmäki, these adorable characters and their values of curiosity, courage and determination turned out to be a source of inspiration for starting a street clothing company in 2019.
Targeted primarily at young adults, Nordicbuddies designs and creates an incredible range of colourful and eye-catching Moomin-themed socks, hats, mittens, face masks, bags and more. Its collection of sweatshirts and T-shirts, which are gender-neutral and timeless in style, has also made waves internationally and become a hit with global Moomin fans.
“Moomins are both pioneers and daring and that is what we want Nordicbuddies to be all about,” Lähteenmäki noted.
Since the Moomins’ values also include respect for nature, Nordicbuddies keeps on investing in making its products more environmentally sound. The manufacturing partners are carefully considered, the shirts are made of 100 per cent organic and recycled materials, unnecessary packaging is avoided and increasing attention is paid to sustainable packaging alternatives.