Holvi Blog for Makers and Doers

Kaira Clothing - world's northernmost design

Entrepreneurship · 01/04/16 14:02 · Elena Zozulya

Kaira Clothing started in 2014 when three childhood friends Antti, Jussi and Sakari from the Arctic Circle wanted “to create honest and unique street fashion with a twist”. Their passion for the wild nature of Lapland and their unique clothing designs are just a few of the reasons why we love following the journey of these rough Finnish entrepreneurs.

How was the idea to create your own street fashion brand born?

We are three childhood friends from Kittilä, a small place from the Arctic Circle, and at some point we figured that we liked street fashion but we couldn’t find anything that would be genuine and unique. Even when you find something you really like, you walk out of the store and there are three other guys wearing the same thing. Antti is really talented in arts and graphic design, I am good at marketing and Jussi knows the financial side — so we thought why wouldn't we combine our expertise to create our own company. This is how Kaira Clothing was born.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

The wild nature of the north and its people is the main source of inspiration for our designs. We want to reflect our northern roots, even the name of our brand “Kaira" represents our Arctic nature, which in Finnish means uninhabited wilderness of the north. We design clothing that we want to wear ourselves.

 

 

How is Kaira Clothing different from other brands?

To stand out from other brands out there, we decided to have a limited edition of all our items. We have a hundred pieces of each T-shirt and once they run out from our stock, we won’t sell the same item again. Quality and unique style — this is what makes Kaira Clothing special.

How do you use Holvi for running your business?

When starting our business, we needed a web store to distribute our products, and we needed to do bookkeeping and accounting. Even though this is a part-time business for all of us, it takes a lot of time to run it. Jussi, who’s responsible for finances, found out about Holvi and we figured it was perfect for our purpose. We use Holvi to sell our products online. We also use Holvi to send invoices to the retailers we work with, and, of course, for our banking needs. Holvi has become the platform for all our financial activities and it saves an incredible amount of time!

Who are your customers?

Our customers are people who want to wear something genuine and original, something that has a unique story behind it, people who look for small brands to whose values they can relate to. One of our values is preserving nature, we want to create sustainable and ethical apparel. When people find a clothing brand created by three entrepreneur friends who care about how and where their clothes are manufactured and who have a unique voice, they can easily relate to us. It’s been very rewarding to see that there are a lot of people like us who are looking for a different kind of clothing.

How do you do marketing for your business?

We pay a lot of attention to our social media channels and we have a strong social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. We also take part in design events, which helps us raise awareness. We always look for new retailers to distribute our products. We've also experimented with sending out press releases to journalists to tell our story, which has proven to work really well and helped us get a lot of visibility. Last Christmas one of our big initiatives was the advent calendar, a series of photographs we did with a professional photographer. This experience has taught us how powerful a visual form of storytelling is, because it allows us to honestly tell what Kaira Clothing is all about. We heavily rely on our story in building our brand and we need to explore different ways of telling it.

I would recommend any small business try out different things in marketing — that’s the only way to learn what works and what doesn’t. Give a face to your brand and make sure that the visual identity of your company looks like you — that’s the golden rule of marketing for us.

 

 

What are your plans for the future?

Right now we have a positive problem of not being able to deliver as much clothes as our customers want to buy. We would naturally love to meet the growing demand and that requires scaling our operations. We also want to expand our line of products. Currently we sell T-shirts and tote bags. But we are now reaching out to different manufacturers to help us produce long sleeve shirts, hats and possibly other clothing.

You run a business with your friends. How has it been?

It’s great. Sometimes we argue, but we always find common ground. We are from Lapland where people are very straightforward. So we are not afraid to openly share our opinions and discuss our concerns. We work really well as a team, although we live in different places and do business online. It helps that each of us has a defined role and we complement each other. 

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