Author: minna-sarela

Alive & kicking (both Paloni and me)

The spring has been – although very interesting – also hectic and intensive. Especially the Kauppatori Finnish Design Market was a big project for us. All that building and taking down the tent, unpacking and packing… I counted that we did some 90 hours of physical work only at the marketplace, not counting in the sales hours. I couldn’t have managed without the help of my husband, cousin, another cousin Maija and many of her friends including sweet Sini, for which they all deserve a very big and warm thank you.

Sini ja Minna

Sini and me on the last morning of our month at the Kauppatori market place.

But after all the efficient workout and the early mornings at the market place, the good news are:

1) I’m still alive!

2) We have so many new interesting things and a few truly interesting new designers at Paloni that I just need to tell to you about!

So, let’s start with Kaino. This knitwear label by the designers Niina Sinisalo and Sanni Salonen from a town in western Finland called Köyliö has definitely found a soft spot from our customers’ hearts, and has soon gained a strong position as a Paloni label, and all for good reasons. The designers make their garments from yarn (and ecologically grown whenever possible) – first design the patterns and garments, then knit the beautiful jerseys on their second-hand knitting machines, and then sew the beauties together with their helping hand seamstress Anna-Kaisa Lehmus. All of this is done in Köyliö. So, as local as production can get. Although Kaino seems to resign from the pace of commercial fashion trends, it manages to answer some of our unconscious visual needs, and the bright colors, simple forms and nostalgic roses look very fresh, comforting and current right now. Yet, these garments are the kind you wear from year to year.

Kaino at Paloni

Left: Kaino Loma dress in cotton, available at Paloni in four color combinations, 70€.
Right: Kaino Seilori tunic in linen blend, 97€. Pictures by Kaino.

There’s also another duet of ladies I want to tell you about: Sonja Krogius & Veronika Kantanen from Helsinki. This time the products are not clothes, but handmade soap! There are quite many people making soap in Finland, but I had to go through many before all of my criteria were met: the Doft soaps are locally handmade using vegetable oils and essential oils (no palm oil!), they are visually appealing, and the natural scents are lovely, yet not too strong. It means they’re also suitable for vegans, that there are no artificial chemicals, and the wonderful scents are all natural. Actually a part of the ingredients used in the soaps have even been extracted by the ladies themselves from flowers they’ve grown. Quite amazing. Washing hands with soap can be a dull routine, but I love that it’s now a moment that actually makes me feel good. The blog Kemikaalicocktail has also written about Doft.


Doft soaps at Paloni. Hope I could transport the wonderful smell with this pic...

There are also so many new things at Paloni from our designers we’ve worked with for longer, like Linda Sipilä, Minna Kaartinen / Vietto, Anniina Isokangas / PaaPii Design, Elli Hukka / Lempiväri jewelry and many more… Hope the pictures below give you a hint of it all, but the rest you can only experience at our concept store.

The Raksu dog by PaaPii Design and The Vietto Scarf Dress

Left: The Raksu dog by PaaPii Design / Anniina Isokangas, Alaveteli, 46€ as a finished plush toy,
21€ as a do-it-yourself package, both options available in blue, green, black and brown.
Right: The Vietto Scarf Dress (109€) by Minna Kaartinen, Helsinki, is made from second-hand scarves using
zero-waste design. The dress has a flattering open back and an asymmetrical, flowy hemline.

Next week we’ll get e.g. new earrings from Jennifer Loiselle, London, and white and silver-colored Wing and Owl necklaces from Avaruusmuovi by Petra Eriksson,Turku, Finland. We also have new designers starting cooperation with us in August, but I’ll tell you more about it when it’s all official.

Hope you enjoy the summer sun as much as I do, taking my break outside Paloni and crocheting! And oh, this crocheting thing is another story I’ll tell you more about very soon.

/ Minna

The Summer Season Sale is here!

Paloni celebrates summer with sales! A limited edition of our designer-made pieces can now be found at truly reasonable bargain prices.

Picture by Rimma Lillemägi

Picture by Rimma Lillemägi

This beautiful hand-painted silk scarf in coral/turquoise by Zuzana Schwabová, Prague, Czech Republic (was 67€, sale price 40€) works for hide and seek, but is also the perfect summer turban scarf. Let us show you how to work on your scarf to create a unique turban look!

Picture by Rimma Lillemägi

The pleated pencil skirt dress in a black/white floral print is designed and made by Suzanne Porter in North East of England (was 119€, now 70€). Available in XS-L. Here’s a strong option for all the feminine & timeless style lovers to wear at your friend’s wedding or cousin’s graduation party. Or just for an uplifting walk in the park.
Ps. Thank you to our naturally beautiful model Tiina, a Senior Museum Guide (You wouldn’t have guessed, would you?), a mother and a warm-hearted friend!

Minna / Paloni

Crochet graffiti workshop this weekend

Paloni and Molla Mills invite you to crochet a graffiti this weekend. Sounds exciting and different, and I’m sure it will be just that. Anyone is invited to join the free-entry workshop on Saturday and Sunday at any time between 11am to 6pm at Paviljonki, Helsinki. Prior crocheting experience is not necessary – Molla is a professional and will be there to guide all participants. Materials are offered by Novita.

The project is to crochet clothes for two trees in the park “Ruttopuisto”. The clothes will be made up of small crocheted rings – making one takes about 15 minutes, so you can join the workshop for just a brief moment, or make many rings if you feel like it.

Kaupunkikirjasto & MollaMills Neulegraffiti

The trees will be called “the trees of dreams”, and we will hang signs on their branches with wishes people have written about the library of their dreams. The project is organized in cooperation with the Keskustakirjasto 2017 project. Paviljonki will be filled with different activities and workshops related to the new city library Keskustakirjasto during the whole weekend, so after crocheting you might try the cartoon workshop or join a traditional tango.

If you haven’t visited Paviljonki, the heart of the World Design Capital yet, now is the time! Join the event on Facebook, and invite your friends along. The more, the merrier!

Minna / Paloni

OutsaPop Trashion shirt workshop @ Paloni on Wednesday 13.6.

Come and turn a boring shirt into a hot summer blouse by cutting the shoulders out and decorating them with zippers, chains or pearls.

The participation fee 19€ per person includes tuition, recycled materials for decorating your blouse, and some servings. Note: you’ll need to bring the shirt yourself – a loose fit design and a draping material work best, but you can also work on a denim shirt. Everyone will finish one shirt during the evening, but you can also bring two if you like.

Our instructor is Outi Pyy herself, the blogger of the legendary trashionistas’ paradise, OutsaPop Trashion:

No separate registration required – just join this Facebook event to reserve your seat!

OutsaPop Trashion shirt workshop @ Paloni on Wednesday 13.6.

Paloni 1 Year Celebration with Eva & Manu next Friday

Eva & Manu at Paloni

Join us for a joyful celebration with lovely live music by Eva & Manu (, organic sparkling, great company – and of course all decent parties also have an after-party…

OutsaPop Trashion <3 Paloni: T-shirt shredding soiree next Tuesday

OutsaPop Trashion <3 Paloni: T-shirt shredding soiree next Tuesday

Poster by Hanne Huotari

Varaa paikkasi kevään kuumimpaan Do it yourself -iltaan! Ensi tiistaina 29.5. klo 18-20 Palonissa revitään kierrätettyjen T-paitojen selkämyksiä uuteen uskoon OutsaPop Trashion -blogin Outi Pyyn opastuksella. Illan hinta 30€/hlö sisältää Outin mustaksi värjäämän armeijan käytöstä poistuneen T-paidan, opetuksen ja tarjoilut. Paikkoja on 20 nopeimmalle – varaa omasi lähettämällä ilmoittautumisviesti osoitteeseen

Kuvia Outin aiemmista “harsopaitaprojekteista” löytyy mm. täältä. Paitojen repimistä nähtiin myös äskettäin Blogistania-ohjelmassa Outin blogia esittelevässä jaksossa.

Keväisin terveisin, Minna / Paloni

The art cabinet is ready!

Regards from the Recycling Factory – a mass event in Helsinki offering versatile content and presenting exhibitors for a sustainable lifestyle. The event was now organized for the fifth time and attracted almost 10.000 visitors during this weekend.

Paloni’s participation at the event was particularly exciting for two reasons. Firstly, we had a very special item revealed and presented at our stand: the Art Cabinet by Aino Louhi! We’ve wrote about this project at its earlier stages at its beginning and during the process. Secondly, I got to organize and moderate a panel discussion on ethical fashion at the event’s program stage. The panelists sharing their visions and personal tips on how to dress up personally and ethically were the internationally renowned model Kirsi Pyrhönen, the blogger of Kemikaalicocktail Noora Shingler and the researcher Jenni Räsänen. I will tell more about this discussion and its outcomes later on.

But now, let’s take a look at how an antique cabinet turned out to be in the hands of a young, promising Finnish artist. And don’t forget this extraordinary outcome – whatever you wish to call it – is for sale at Paloni, looking for a home to be changed.

Minna / Paloni

Aino Louhi Taidekaappi

Cabinet’s New Life

The Cabinet left my studio yesterday and headed for new adventures -leaving me waving behind, a little touched and quite proud. I’m hopeful it’s going to find people who will fall in love with it and give a good home for it and before that, I’m sure that it’s going to enjoy the inspiring and colorful athmosphere of Paloni.

Aino Louhi Taidekaappi


I do feel that I succeeded in changing the old cabinet’s nature completely. It’s fresh and modern but the beautiful, old details of it – carvings and such – stand out even better than before. I guess that is what recycling is all about: a new way of looking at things. Many people seemed to think there was no point in painting a perfectly ok antique cabinet. I myself would have never been interested in it as a furniture for my home; it was just too big and dark and clumsy-looking. So this was my interpretation of it. You may still think it was better the way it was – or you can see a whole new life of a cabinet.

Aino Louhi

Aino Louhi Taidekaappi

Aino Louhi Taidekaappi

Paloni on Finnish national TV

I was invited to a live morning TV show called Ykkösen Aamu-tv to talk about the current state and the future potential of ecological fashion. The visit was timed together with a big recycling event Kierrätystehdas at the Cable Factory, Helsinki this weekend. The other guest on the interview session was Seija Lukkala, the founder of Globe Hope.

Getting to see behind the scenes of making a live TV program was truly interesting – the the overall experience was very positive.

I was asked about how I see the current state of ecological fashion, and I told how interesting times I experience we’re living. The ecodesign and ecofashion fields are getting more and more professional and versatile, and at the same time consumers are seriously starting to look for better choices for buying clothing, which results in a growing demand for sustainable choices.

Ylen aamu-tv


When being asked about our growth plans, I revealed that the Paloni online store is opening very soon, on May 14th to be more precise!

Paloni on Finnish national TV


Me (left) and Seija Lukkala were interviewed by the Yle journalist Nicklas Wancke. I wore a HuivILO scarf (78€) from recycled / leftover fabrics, designed and made by Saara Kaaresmaa in Turku, Finland, a POGOSTICK failure Double Zipper Dress (147€) from textile industry leftover, designed and made by Minna Rytkönen and Emmi Korhonen in Kuopio, a Vietto Kimono Top (75€) from Finnish bamboo viscose jersey, designed and made by Minna Kaartinen in Helsinki, Lempiväri earrings (29€) from recycled pencils, designed and made by Elli Hukka in Helsinki, Finland, a 2. Elämä Medusa bracelet (29€) from recycled bicycle inner tube, designed and made by Yuan Long & Jaime De Vizcaya in Helsinki, Finland and Kiss kiss Art Stockings (23€) upcycled from Finnish seconds, designed and made by Maiju Ahlgrén in Helsinki, Finland.

Paloni on Finnish national TV
Recycled bicycle inner tube on my wrist - the 2. Elämä Medusa bracelet (29€).

Paloni on Finnish national TV

Color to the world - my yellow Kiss kiss Art Stockings (23€).

We presented two outfits from Paloni on models, the first one showing an example of using recycled materials so that the original material and its past life shows on the outcome and is a part of it, and the other one showing that eco fashion can be competitive youthful design and doesn’t necessarily need to underline the ecological aspects behind it.

Paloni on Finnish national TV

First Crush: Rea Dress from two recycled men's dress shirts (185€), designed and made by Mari Himmanen 
in Helsinki, Finland. Beloved Tea Spoon earrings (24€) from recycled Finnish tea spoons and fresh-water pearls,
designed and made by  Päivi and Janne Brunou in Mäntsälä, Finland.

Paloni on Finnish national TV

The second outfit presenting interesting current design made from recycled and leftover materials without
underlining the past life of the materials: Vietto headband from recycled leather, Vietto Silky top from
textile industry leftover silk & bamboo viscose jersey made in Finland, Vietto Hapsu Scarf from textile
industry leftover cotton jersey (52€) - all designed and made by Minna Kaartinen in Helsinki, Finland.

Paloni on Finnish national TV

 The bottom part of the second outfit: POGOSTICK failure Zipper Pants (169€) from Finnish textile industry leftover
cotton jersey, designed and made by Minna Rytkönen & Emmi Korhonen in Kuopio, Finland.

Paloni on Finnish national TV


The interview can be watched online for the next 30 days (only in Finland) at Yle Areena, starting from 20:25 on the clip.

Thank you to our models Laura and Essi, to the Ykkösen Aamu-tv crew and to Seija for this opportunity and experience!

Minna / Paloni

Designer of the Month: Mari Leppälä aka Molla Mills

Molla (in the middle) teaching crocheting at a workshop at Paloni on April 23rd.

Molla (in the middle) teaching crocheting at a workshop at Paloni on April 23rd.

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
I’m a serious but playful designer, wanting to leave my hand print to the culture and history of handicrafts.

How would you describe your label in five words?
Colors and graphics in crocheted loops.

Why handmade / locally produced?
As a handicrafter I tend to make all products by myself from materials I can find close. The feeling of making the whole product with my own hands is amazing. Only lately I have found the idea of sharing tasks with other people. This happened when I started studying at Taik, after years of independent working.

How are Molla Mills products ethical / ecological and what does this mean to you?
My products are local production, hand made in small quantities and the materials are mostly upcycled.

What are your most important sources of influence / inspiration?
Making a new collection has always been based on my mood. It can start after a period of ultimate happiness, depression or some other thing that’s going on in my life. It goes in cycles. Inspiration can be found from many places, mostly from seeing and experiencing new things. Negative experiences can as well create inspiration and give new perspectives on my works.

My works can be labeled as vintage inspired, since I’m a big fan of the 40s and 50s aesthetics, but slowly modernism and graphic patterns are conquering my head.

Molla (right) teaching how to make a crocheted basket.

 Molla (right) teaching how to make a crocheted basket.

How has your experience as a Paloni designer been?

I bumped into Paloni by accident, and I fell in love with the unique atmosphere immediately. Minna has a great sense of style and I can only be happy to be one of Paloni designers. It almost feels like having a community of designers – the atmosphere at Paloni is very intensive and positive.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Just walk in.

I’ve been horrified by socializing when I was younger, but I realized that if I stay in my murky room with rolls of yarn, I can never meet other creative people – or realize that they have the same fear. “Just walk in” simply means contacting people and being proud of yourself.

Your words of advice for aspiring designers / artists?
Find your own style, make it strong and let it show.

What is the most memorable highlight of your career as a designer so far?
It’s all of those moments when I realize a new idea is working out well and that people are interested in it. I’m a very down-to-earth person, I don’t usually think too far before things move on, but at this moment I have butterflies in my stomach when thinking about the near future and my first book Virkkuri to be published.

Please continue the following sentence: My passion is…
Yarn. Rough, semi-thick fisherman’s cotton yarn in natural white color. If I ever turn into zombie I will start yearning for yaaaaarn.

Molla's hand-crocheted baskets at Paloni. Prices start at 17€ per piece.

Molla's hand-crocheted baskets at Paloni. Prices start at 17€ per piece.

Cabinet, oh cabinet

“She’s going to paint it!? Such a beautiful antique cabinet!”

My friend’s comment on Facebook proved me that we’re on the right track with this art cabinet project we’re doing with the artist Aino Louhi. She has the difficult task of showing us how to turn a piece of antique from dusty to artsy, and of determining whether a piece of art can simultaneously be a usable object (and a usable object a serious piece of art). We wrote about this project at its beginning, too. Now the story continues as Aino shares her thoughts from the middle of the cabinet’s transformation process. The question seems to be: is she painting a cabinet, or is she painting on a cabinet.

The outcome will be on display and on sale at Paloni’s stand at the Kierrätystehdas 2012 on May 5th-6th at the Helsinki Cable Factory, and after that at our concept store, Eerikinkatu 7, Helsinki.

/ Minna

Cabinet, oh cabinet

It has been a bit of a rocky road so far; there are so many things I didn’t know about  varnish, its compatibility with different paints, sand papers and primers. I also got a valuable lesson in the beginning: ask help before you do anything. In this case it would have saved a lot of time and energy. Luckily I’ve had some assistance from a household carpenter, my neighbours and a few strong men.

There is a good side to this all: I had some time to think what I want to do with the cabinet while I polished the surface of it. It was incredibly challenging to let go of the idea of painting a furniture. Every side of it seemed like a separate piece of paper and to combine them felt impossible.

At first my method was just to do the boldest and most interesting color combinations and see what comes out of it. Soon that started to feel just like – painting a furniture! The light bulb turned on in my head last week when I finally got an idea of how to use the cabinet’s 3-dimensional character in the painting. Now I’m shaking from excitement to see how it’s all going to turn out.

/ Aino Louhi

Aino Louhi kaappi

Painting a furnit... piece of art!