October 4, 2019

Five for Friday: Moomins mean business

A match made in Moominvalley – Finnish innovation teams up with Finland’s beloved trolls.
A match made in Moominvalley – Finnish innovation teams up with Finland’s beloved trolls.
Julia Bushueva

Adored by children and adults alike, the Moomins are part of the Finnish identity, a global phenomenon and one of Finland’s most popular and successful exports. They also help Finnish businesses to make an impact.

In spring 2019, the charming mythical creatures created decades ago by Tove Jansson were big news again thanks to the new animated TV series, Moominvalley.

If you haven’t read our feature on this big-budget Finnish-British co-production yet, now is the time. You’ll soon discover that it’s our most-read article of the past 12 months for a reason.

The Moomin love doesn’t stop at screens, mind you. These five Finnish brands have stepped into Moominvalley through collaboration with Moomin Characters and haven’t looked back.

Playvation

This Espoo-based education technology company believes foreign language skills can ensure that children grow into happy and creative global citizens. The Moomins are there to help with the mission. Playvation’s Moomin Language School is a playful and effective digital language learning method targeted specifically at children aged three to seven.

“The Moomins have a supporting role in the service: the characters promote learning and join children on their journeys,” explained CEO Anu Guttorm. “The Moomins’ values include courageousness, equality and appreciation of nature. These are the kinds of values that are needed today around the globe.”

Well received by teachers and kids in Finland, Moomin Language School has also found its way into kindergartens in other parts of the world, including Morocco, China, Poland and the Gulf countries.

“We’re committed to building this into a successful business in the long term,” Guttorm concluded.

Novita

The largest manufacturer of hand-knitting yarns in the Nordic countries launched their Moomin-themed yarn collection in January this year, much to the delight of international knitters and Moomin fans.

To inspire their customers and make knitting an even more addictive process, the three yarns – Moomins, Moominvalley and Moominhouse – were soon followed by two bookazines featuring patterns for pretty Moomin-themed knits for both children and grown-ups.

“Moomins have continued to captivate new generations and the world since Novita last had Moomin-yarns in the 1970s,” said CEO Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen. “Novita is rapidly becoming more international, and the Moomin yarns have attracted interest internationally. It is just the right time to bring them to market.”

Happy Hour Skateboards

This Helsinki-based skateboarding brand knows how to boost sales and spread the message they believe in through surprising collaborations. In spring 2017, they became the first ever skateboarding company to collaborate with Tom of Finland.

Working with Moomin Characters was their next dream-come-true project. Now, their second Moomin-themed collection of skateboard decks and accessories is available online and in retail shops. You don’t even need to skateboard to appreciate one of these stylish decks – some buy them just as art pieces.

The brand owners were overjoyed when the collaboration with Moomin Characters brought about a deal in Japan, where the Moomins seem to have found their second home.

“Right now, the most important thing is that the brand is appreciated, as very few skateboarding brands manage to stay relevant for over 15 years,” said Oki Kalaoja, founder of Four Down Distribution. “The collaborations have spread the word about us also to people outside skateboarding circles both in Finland and internationally.”

Coruu

If having a Moomin on your tablet, knitwear or skateboard deck isn’t enough, this female-run jewellery company can offer you a delightful Moomin collection. Made of silicone, these earrings, bracelets and necklaces are super light and suitable for people with allergies.

For Coruu, the licence agreement with Moomin Characters was a business milestone and a gateway to Asian markets with a special focus on Moomin-fond Japan.

“Although there are other countries abundant with Moomin fans, Japan is by far the most interesting one,” co-founder Maarit Fellman shared with us. “It’s so populous that there’s a chance for big success.”

Soften

Established in Turku in 2007, this expert in acoustic interior solutions has managed to make the idyllic Moomin world even softer with the acoustic panels for public spaces and open offices in their Moomin collection.

Available in different colours and easy to install, the Moomin-themed acoustic boards can turn a plain wall into a fairytale adventure, while still serving their primary purpose.

“Of course, our core focus is acoustics, but besides that the most important factor for us is how a product looks,” stressed CEO and founder Sami Helle. “We aim to make stylish and easily transformable products which you are not ashamed to put on display in any space.”

Text: Zhanna Koiviola

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