A forest of our own, deliveries to 102 countries, wild food delicacies, brand new interior design service – Finnish Design Shop’s year 2022 featured various highlights. Now at the beginning of the year, it’s a good time to peek into the past and celebrate the successes. Read what 2022 had in store for us!
We bought a forest
In 2022, Finnish Design Shop started several new projects, and the most exceptional one was probably buying and protecting a forest of our own. Yes – we took part in a public tender for a 9.56-hectare forest estate located in Pälkäne, 150 km north of Helsinki, and won narrowly. This means that the old lakeside grove forest and its numerous trees, crawlers and chirpers will continue their lives under the METSO program protection.
By protecting the forest estate we were able to offset our 2021 emissions in the most transparent way possible while promoting and nurturing biodiversity. Also, our future emissions will be offset by conserving forests in Finland, so we will be in search of a new forest estate again this year.
Carbon offsetting is only one part of Finnish Design Shop’s sustainability strategy. We strive to become a forerunner in sustainable design by looking for low-emission shipping alternatives, developing our responsibility criteria and utilizing more ecological packaging solutions. We also created a Buyer’s Guide to encourage our customers to make even more sustainable choices.
We settled into our new premises
Moving to a new logistics center in the fall of 2021 has been one of Finnish Design Shop’s greatest endeavors in recent years. The final touches to the premises in Aviatie, Turku, were completed last year, and now we are all set: Finnish Design Shop’s own warehouse, Turku office, showroom, and restaurant all operate under the same roof.
Sometimes our customers are surprised that our products are actually stored in our own warehouse – and that our hard-working logistics team packs and sends the items all over the world, be it Finland, Spain, the United States or Nepal, which was one of our new destinations last year. Finnish Design Shop grew by double digits in 2022 despite the challenging market situation. In total, 2,358,028 kilos of Nordic design were delivered from our warehouse to no less than 102 different countries!
Many of our local customers have already visited the new premises, either picking up an order, enjoying lunch or getting inspired by the products and exhibitions in the showroom. Come by if you are in the area!
We served new culinary delights
Our restaurant opened in early 2022 when the pandemic was finally waning. Located in the new logistics center, the restaurant serves not only as a canteen for Finnish Design Shop employees but also as a lunch restaurant open to everyone.
The new office premises as well as the restaurant have attracted interest in Finland and abroad, and have been featured in media such as Wallpaper and Dezeen.
To our delight, our customers and many culinary enthusiasts interested in wild food have already found the restaurant. On summer Saturdays, the restaurant served popular brunches and in December, the holiday season was celebrated with festive lunches (and mulled wine spritz!). The feasting continues this year!
We launched the Studio
One of our new launches of 2022 was the interior design service Finnish Design Shop Studio, which assists private customers in Finland in smaller and larger interior design projects. The studio’s experienced interior designers are experts in choosing and recommending products from the curated selection of our online store, avoiding the risk of hit-and-miss purchases.
The Studio operates at the Finnish Design Shop showroom, which housed four new exhibitions last year. On display are fascinating contemporary designs and well-known classics in an inspiring environment, and you can also shop a selection of carefully curated small items.
One of the Studio’s interior design projects is the 70s-inspired Villa Ekkulla on the Kemiönsaari island – our article covering the project was one of the most popular ones last year.
A record number of new arrivals
Finnish Design Shop’s product team, consisting of over 20 people, was busy throughout the year, as a whopping number of 7147 new products were added to our online store. New items were introduced almost every weekday!
All products were curated with great care, and several new brands joined our selection, including Anglepoise, Interface and Northern. One of the big themes of 2022, also in terms of our selection, was responsibility – both private and contract customers have shown an increasing interest in manufacturing methods, environmental friendliness and maintainability of the products.
“Sustainability was also reflected in the interest in everyday items: we sold a lot of soaps and detergents as well as textile maintenance tools during last year. Many beautiful and durable everyday items joined our collection, such as one of the surprise hits of 2022 – the Happy Sinks dish towel holder,” says Purchasing and Product Manager Hanna Mäkelä.
Our work for sustainable design will continue this year as well.
Working with circular economy
The popularity of vintage furniture, lighting and home decor items keeps on growing. Our smaller sibling, Franckly, an online marketplace for pre-owned design, has been serving vintage design lovers in Finland and selected EU countries since 2019.
“Last year, the circular economy kept becoming more popular in different fields. Many brands launched their own services for pre-owned products, and even though the competition has been growing, so has the market. Vintage furniture and restoration have gained space in interior design magazines and popular social media accounts, which means that layers and patina are now something to cherish in home decor,” says Franckly Business Owner Lotta Kuuteri.
Franckly’s most coveted and followed product at the moment is Alvar Aalto’s Beehive lamp – if you own one that is gathering dust in storage or are considering selling your lamp, now is the right time to do it!
We solved tricky questions
Surveys show that Finnish Design Shop’s customer satisfaction is top-class, and every one of our approximately 160 employees is working to make it even better – in one way or another, whether packaging products or writing product descriptions for the online store. The most direct contact with our customers is, of course, our 17-member customer service team.
Our design experts in Turku and Helsinki help customers around the world with all possible questions, which sometimes might even require some detective skills. You can find answers to the most common questions either on our FAQ page or on Design Stories’ Ask the Customer Service series.
We inspired with more than 300 stories
Finnish Design Shop’s online magazine Design Stories, which you are reading at this very moment, published more than 300 new articles in two languages last year. Most of the content is produced by Design Stories’ own editorial team consisting of Finnish Design Shop writers and content producers.
Among last year’s most popular stories were several Franckly Friends home visits and a peek into the Sinituote headquarters. The Sinituote headquarters was one of the many Contract Sales projects that were featured in Design Stories last year.
We fulfilled wishes of interior design professionals
Finnish Design Shop’s Contract Sales supplied furniture and lighting to offices, restaurants, hotels and other projects all over the world. Despite the challenging global situation, many businesses wanted to invest in interior design.
According to Contract Sales Manager Annika Kairento, public spaces are now being designed with a stronger focus on sustainability, user orientation and bold choices.
“A clear trend in our contract projects was the post-pandemic change between remote work and time in the office, and the demands it placed on premises. In all our projects, we strive to make more sustainable and responsible choices. Happier, more colorful and bolder elements have found their way to private as well as public spaces,” says Kairento.
We explored new channels
Last year, our holiday sales were boosted by advertisements on TV and radio in Finland – for the first time ever! And what will this year bring? When you subscribe to our newsletter and follow Finnish Design Shop and Franckly on Instagram, you will be among the first to hear about news, interesting campaigns and Design Stories articles.
Text: Mikko Vaija and Nora Uotila Front page illustration: Eija Vehviläinen