How I became a cover girl

Picture by Sami Perttilä. Knit tunic by Kaino, hat by Fiona Timantti, leggings by Kiss kiss and pattern of the crochet chain by Molla Mills. All from Paloni

Picture by Sami Perttilä. Knit tunic by Kaino, hat by Fiona Timantti, leggings by Kiss kiss
and pattern of the crochet chain by Molla Mills. All from Paloni.

Last autumn the photographer Sami Perttilä took this picture of me in Paloni for the Taito magazine. It turned out so nice that it then was chosen as the official campaign picture of the Taito Group‘s Anniversary of Finnish Crafts 2013. Was quite freaky when a friend of mine sent me a picture of the Taito shop display window in Jyväskylä and wrote: “I bumped into a giant you in the middle of one of Jyväskylä’s main streets. :D” I have also spotted myself from the Taito Group’s exhibition booth and brochures.


Now the very same picture is nominated with two other pictures as a finalist to become “The Lifestyle picture of the Year” in the competition “Aikakauslehtikilpailu EDIT” by the Finnish Periodical Publishers’ Association (FPPA). The winner will be announced TODAY! Can’t wait to hear the results. The list of all categories and nominees can be found from here.

So what actually made me a cover girl and a campaign face? An exceptionally talented photographer who was able to capture the essence of finding peace and tranquility through handicrafts. Sami Perttilä is a Finnish freelance photographer, fun to work with and available for many kinds of photography projects. You’ll find his contacts from here.

Minna / Paloni

Designers of the Month: Sanni Salonen & Niina Sinisalo / Kaino

Anni Hautala wearing a Kaino Rose tunic on The Voice morning show

Anni Hautala wearing a Kaino Rose tunic on The Voice morning show

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
We’re two innovative young women with faith in intuition, a yearning for beauty, and a healthy dose of recklessness -  plus a chronic shortage of time owing to an overflow of ideas.

How would you describe your label in five words?
Comfortable, beautiful, nostalgic, timeless, unique.

Why handmade / locally produced?
Simply because it’s more fun, more personal, more environment-friendly, more individual, smarter, more genuine, more soulful… And also because it allows us more opportunity to express ourselves as designers.

How are Kaino products ethical / ecological and what does this mean to you?
Both of us are friends of nature with common sense. In our products we favor pure natural materials such as cotton and merino wool, and most of the new yarn used is organically produced. We seem to have a tendency for hoarding and have difficulty in parting with anything that might prove useful someday. As a result, our production facility is sometimes about to burst with leftover knit, which we then use to create new products: pouches, potholders, quilts, jewelry… However, it’s impossible for us to utilize all the excess material generated during production so we also donate and sell it to craftspeople. The point is not to take any usable material to the landfill.

What are your most important sources of influence / inspiration?
Imagination, art, childhood, granny’s house, dreams, nature – new ideas can actually spring from anything! We play with the original idea until it gets refined into a finished product. Both of us bring our own vision and competence into the process and work it together into a seamless weave. We both have strong,  somewhat differing visions, but each new product is still a joint creation.

Member of Finland's Parliament Kristiina Salonen wearing a Kaino evening gown for Finland's Independence Day
 Reception. Picture by Jenni Gästgivar / Iltalehti.

How has your experience as a Paloni designer been?
During the past six months of cooperation we have only had positive experiences. It’s an honour to be among Paloni’s talented craftspeople and designers, and cooperation with Minna is smooth. They’re a great, inspiring bunch that enhance our faith in our own work.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Stay true to yourself and your vision.” Especially in the very beginning we were far too susceptible to the comments and opinions of others; it was a struggle to recognize our own voice and obey it.

Your words of advice for aspiring designers / artists?
Success consists of three parts, all equally important: head, heart and elbow grease. No matter how great your vision, success always entails work – even futile work – and sacrifice and disappointments, and you must be prepared for that. On the other hand: the more you strive, the greater the value and satisfaction you get from your achievement.

What is the most memorable highlight of your career as a designer so far?
It’s difficult to name just one: during our three years of the Kaino adventure, there have been many achievements that may seem inconsequential, but for us they’ve been priceless. Most of them begin with the words ”the first”: the first official fashion collection, the first dealership, the first Kaino appearance on TV, the first ball gown at the Independence Day Reception at the Presidential Palace (that’s right!)…

Please continue the following sentence: Our passion is…
…to produce Kaino garments with soul, sensitivity and a strong will – and see how far it’ll take us!

Sanni Salonen and Niina Salonen with their Kaino Spring-Summer 2013 collection on its way to New York

Sanni Salonen and Niina Salonen with their Kaino Spring-Summer 2013 collection on its way to New York

Vietto shows and grows

When buying an independent designer’s works, your every purchase counts and makes a difference. And when many customers acknowledge the talent of a designer and buy her/his items, that makes a huge difference. Vietto, the eco-fashion label by Minna Kaartinen from Helsinki, is the first of Paloni’s labels to grow its team solely because of sales at Paloni. On our hang tags for Vietto, there’s now a new name in addition to the designer: cutting and sewing is now partly done with the help of Maarit Suvinen, also from Helsinki.

Our customers are not the only ones who have acknowledged Minna’s talent lately. Her organic cotton turban – for which the material, by the way, is cut waste of Kaino, another of our labels – has been featured in blogs from the US to Russia. The turban has been so popular that Kaino should make more garments to be able to send Minna more material…

Vietto organic cotton turban
Picture by

The Vietto transformable winter coat was photographed for the latest issue of REVS magazine. I got the chance to celebrate the launch of the magazine with her.


The picture by Federico Cabrera is stunning, don’t you think? (Styling: Heidi Marika Urpalainen, make-up & hair: Emilie Tuuminen, model: Minna Puro.)

The picture by Federico Cabrera

Thank you to all of our customers for making it possible for our talented designers to do the work they were meant to do! You’re the ones turning their dreams into reality.

Minna / Paloni

Merry Christmas!

I couldn’t run Paloni without the help of my family – or at least many things would be left undone and it all wouldn’t be the same at all.

When we organize courses and workshops at our store, it’s usually my mom who takes care of the catering. Her special are the roasted cinnamon almonds. Many of our customers have already asked for the recipe, so as a Christmas gift to our customers and friends, I decided to share it to you all.

With this recipe, I want to wish you all a very joyful and relaxed Christmas! I hope that you, like I, have the chance to spend some relaxing time with your families.

Roasted cinnamon almonds

Paahdetut kanelimantelit

3 dl kuorimattomia manteita
2 rkl hunajaa
2 rkl vettä
2 tl rypsiöljyä
1/2 dl sokeria
2 tl kanelia
1/2 tl suolaa

Levitä mantelit leivinpaperilla päällystetylle pellille ja paahda 225 asteisessa uunissa n 10 min (meidän uunissa n 5-7 min). Hämmentele manteleita aika ajoin ja ole tarkkana, etteivät mantelit kärvähdä. Kun mantelit ovat kullanruskeita ja tuoksuvia, nosta pelti uunista.

Sekoita teflonkasarissa ( wokkipannu kätevä) hunaja, vesi ja öljy kiehumispisteeseen. Kun neste kiehuu, lisää mantelit. Sekoita ja anna kiehua n 5 min kunnes suurin osa nesteestä on imeytynyt manteleihin. Nosta mantelit vatiin, jossa on puolet sokeri-kaneli-suolaseoksesta. Kierittele manteleita seoksessa ja ripottele loput sokeriseoksesta päälle.

Jäähdytä mantelit ja irroittele niitä toisistaan leivinpaperin päällä. Herkkusi ovat valmiita nautittaviksi!


Roasted cinnamon almonds

3 dl almonds (un-peeled)
2 table spoons honey
2 table spoons water
2 tea spoons canola oil
1/2 dl sugar
2 tea spoons cinnamon (minced)
1/2 tea spoons salt

Spread the almonds on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 225 degrees Celsius for about 10 minutes (or for a bit shorter time, 5-7 minutes, if the oven is effective). Stir the almonds once in a while and be careful that they don’t burn. When the almonds have a nice amber color and smell good, take the tray out from the oven.

Mix honey, water and oil in a frying pan (a wok pan is handy) and heat up until it boils. Then add the almonds. Mix and let boil for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the almonds.

Mix half of the sugar and cinnamon powder in a bowl, and add the almonds. Roll the almonds in the mix, then add the other half of the sugar and cinnamon powder to the top.

Let the almonds cool off, then pour them onto a tray / greaseproof paper, and separate them from each other. Your cinnamon almonds are ready to be served!

Minna / Paloni

Christmas card workshop @ Late Night Shopping

Late Night Shopping
The last Late Night Shopping evening of the year is here on Thursday. The theme couldn’t be anything else than Christmas, so let’s make it very Christmasy, shall we?

We have doors open until 9pm and we renew our free-entry Christmas card workshop from 6pm to 9pm. Also free glögg to all visitors and card crafters! Materials and a warm Christmas feeling are offered by us – just bring yourself.

Christmas card workshop

We love Tampere

Right after the opening party of the Ex Tempore Pop Up Shop at Kluuvi on Saturday evening, I continued to Paloni to prepare for the next day – I packed and inventoried all items for the Designtori joulu event in Tampere, finished after midnight and left home early the next morning to head to the next destination. Seems like sometimes (and lately a bit too often) my working days get over 12 hours long, but once again Tampere made it all worthwhile. There’s just the kind of energy at these Tampere events that is hard to describe. Maybe it’s because of the energy of the organizers (the Design on Tampere organization) or maybe it’s because there’s not too much of such events there yet. Whatever the reason, Tampere seems to like us, and we love it in return.

Paloni at Designtori joulu event in Tampere

Paloni at Designtori joulu event in Tampere

Paloni at Designtori joulu event in Tampere

Ex Tempore!

On Saturday we celebrated the opening of the Ex Tempore Pop Up Shop at Kluuvi shopping center, Helsinki. Ex Tempore brings together the most interesting uprising labels and designers for two weeks, until December 22nd.

The day before opening Ex Tempore I was first working at our concept store and at the same time packing for the pop up. I was a bit worried if I’d make it in time and get our department ready before the last doors of the shopping center were closed at 11pm, but luckily everything went smoothly. Jussi Salminen, the designer of Olav and the creative director of Ex Tempore, had done a great job in organizing everything and getting all the gear we all needed for building our departments.

This is how the place looked like the night before the opening at 10pm

This is how the place looked like the night before the opening at 10pm.

Along with the opening of Ex Tempore, we also presented Paloni’s new designer, the trashionista Outi Pyy. Her shredded shirts are now sold at Paloni’s department at Ex Tempore. Outi also talked at the opening party about the ideology of trashion and her brand new book. And yes, there was also some talk about the evening gown she designed and made from recycled leather jackets for the actress Laura Birn for the presidential reception on our Independence Day.

Jussi admiring at Outi's shredded shirts, while Outi shreds more

Jussi admiring at Outi's shredded shirts, while Outi shreds more.

Outi talks about trashion at the opening party of Ex Tempore

Outi talks about trashion at the opening party of Ex Tempore.

If you’re around Helsinki during this or next week, I recommend visiting this pop-up. At Paloni’s department we have e.g. Kaino knits, Emmi Malmström Shoes  Mari & Arrow jewellery, Vietto clothing and accessories, Min Goodie pot holders, 2. Elämä jewellery, Tauko dresses, POGOSTICK failure clothes and shopping bags and Ainokainen jewellery. And there’s also a bunch of other interesting labels at Ex Tempore: OlavDesign in a BoxHouse of PoViona BluSIPILÄ and Moiko.

Paloni at Ex Tempore
Paloni at Ex Tempore
Paloni at Ex Tempore
Paloni at Ex Tempore
Minna / Paloni

Paloni goes Kluuvi!

This is so exciting! Tomorrow the Ex Tempore Pop Up Shop opens at the shopping center Kluuvi, and Paloni will be there with a bunch of other interesting and upcoming labels and designers.

 Ex Tempore Pop Up Shop

So, for the coming two weeks, this will be the place to find the coolest Christmas gift (for yourself or) for your dear ones. Ex Tempore will be open every day starting from tomorrow, Saturday Dec. 8th until Saturday Dec. 22nd. It’s located on Kluuvi’s second floor.

We also have other very exciting news: we have a new designer whose creations will be for sale at Paloni for the first time at Ex Tempore. She is also known as an international blogger and as an author, and as a pioneer of making and promoting do-it-yourself high-fashion out of recycled materials. I’m sure many of you already guess who I’m talking about. Yes, she is the trashionista Outi Pyy, the blogger from behind OutsaPop Trashion and the author of the brand new book Trashion!  So, among all the other items at Ex Tempore, you’ll find Outi’s shredded shirts by the label OutsaPop Trashion. Starting from next week, you’ll also find them from Paloni’s concept store at Eerikinkatu.

Outi Pyy in her shredded shirt. Picture by Hanne Granberg

 Outi Pyy in her shredded shirt. Picture by Hanne Granberg for

Tomorrow you also have the chance to hear a bit more about trashion and to meet Outi in person. She will be at Ex Tempore giving a presentation about the backgrounds and ideology of her book at 4pm (free entry!) after which you’ll have the chance to buy a signed copy of her book (35€). The book is amazing, and I’ve wrote about it before, here.

Hope to see you at Ex Tempore – if not tomorrow, then during the coming weeks!

Minna / Paloni

SIPILÄ dress and Finland’s former president on TV

The journalist Hannamari Hoikkala has just interviewed Finland’s former president Mrs. Tarja Halonen about the Finlandia prize and about tomorrow’s Independence Day on Finnish national TV. Hannamari dignified the occasion by wearing handmade Finnish design from Paloni – a SIPILÄ print dress by Linda Sipilä. The dress is also available on our online store.

Hannamari Hoikkala, Linda Sipilä
Hannamari Hoikkala, Linda Sipilä 2