Balmuir Blog 14 November 2018

11/14/2018 1:03 PM

Balmuir taught me to value quality 

The store manager of Helsinki Balmuir Brand Store, Tommi Setälä, has been employed at Balmuir from year 2017. As someone who identifies with the values of Balmuir as his own, Setälä now tells us about his style, job, and Balmuir favourites.

 

How did you end up working at Balmuir?

I spent a long while working at the home department of the Finnish department store Stockmann. I was in charge of the most valuable home textiles, which included Balmuir as well. When Balmuir products entered Stockmann it was like love at first sight. In the spring of 2017 the time was ripe, and I was employed by Balmuir. In the beginning of the summer of 2017, I was working at Balmuir’s own department within Stockmann. Near autumn I moved to the new Balmuir Brand Store of Helsinki.

Tommi SetäläTommi Setälä

 

What would you consider the best aspect of your work?

The best aspect of my work is being able to sell products which I believe in and to represent a brand which shares the same values as I. We also have an excellent team at work. Everyone is motivated towards their work and they always aim to give their best. It is inspiring to work with colleagues who are talented and idea-rich.

 

Do fashion and interior design belong to your interests also outside from work?

I am a visual person and have always been equally interested in interior design and fashion. I like beautiful things and collect them around me without noticing. I love to combine different materials, but I prefer my colour palette subtle for an overall calm look.

My favourite season is here soon, and I get to decorate my home for Christmas. Just before the Christmas Eve I change the bedding into silk bedsheets, which I combine with linen cushion covers in shades of gold, burgundy, and linen. The theme of the table decor for the Christmas holidays changes each year and the family always get to be surprised of which theme and colour scheme I choose.

 

How would you describe your style?

When in hurry, it is typical for me to wear the first clothes that I grab onto from my closet. However, sometimes it’s wonderful to think of the perfect look for a particular occasion. I would describe my style as smart casual, but at a party I favour a classier style. On the other hand, sometimes I prefer a more relaxed style. For each outfit I can always find a suitable scarf from our selection. The same scarf can often be worn in almost all situations.

 

Has working at Balmuir affected your style?

I have become more quality conscious. I avoid buying things that I don’t need and focus on quality. My style has become a bit more grown up and I don’t take myself too seriously. I don’t always dress in accordance to the latest trends but prefer rather a more sustainable and timeless style.

 

Kid Mohair shawl with feathers

 

What are your favourites of the Balmuir accessories?

Highland scarf

 

I like everything unique. Of the women’s accessories, my absolute favourite is the Aurora Kid Mohair scarf with ostrich feathers, which is only available at our Brand Store at the moment. I would pair the scarf with the Milan clutch, which is made from stingray leather, the Vicenza tunic and a pair of tight trousers. The clutch is also available exclusively at our Brand Store.

For men I recommend the Highland scarf. Its cashmere wool is silky soft and stands the test of time well also with men, even if worn with a stubble or beard. I always keep the Helsinki cashmere scarf with me while travelling. It is easy to slip into a bag and to use as a blanket on the airplane. Our customers always return to purchase the same scarf in the new colours of the season.

Lausanne cashmere robe has also always been a favourite of mine. I finally decided to get the robe for myself. I’ve thought of using it in the city during springtime and combining it with a casual style: Slightly worn-off jeans, boots, a light shirt and the grey cashmere robe. I would also add a pair of sunglasses and tie the robe belt in the back for a relaxed effect. If you are having a bad hair day, you could also add the loose Clarens cashmere beanie to the look.

 

 

What are your favourites of the Balmuir interior decor products?

In interior decor I am attracted to everything that’s beautiful and I am always sensitive to the overall atmosphere. The strongest memories are always those which I get to share with good friends. Usually those memories include opening a bottle of bubbly, which always tastes better from the Balmuir Piemonte crystal champagne glasses.

The Verona candle stands are a true eye catcher. I recommend combining them with the velvet ball candles, which alternate in their colour selection in regard to the seasons of the year. For some balance, you can also add some linen napkins to bring softness to the table decor. Now that Christmas is coming, it is time to enjoy some Finnish mulled wine again. The Winston crystal tumblers from our selection are so thick that the glass won’t burn your fingers. I often use these glasses for anything from dessert dishes to smoothies.

 

Verona candle standsWinston tumbler

 

What greetings would you like to give to the customers of Balmuir?

We are happy to help customers and we always offer complimentary coffee in between shopping. We collect all customer feedback and have in fact developed our collection often in accordance to the feedback we have received from our customers.

I always tell my customers that with us you can and must touch the products because the materials are what we sell and are proud of. Don’t hesitate to come to our Brand Store to sense and experience the Balmuir that we all share together. See you in the store at Park Esplanad!

Posted By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 4 October 2018

10/4/2018 1:25 PM

Soft elegance to any outfit – BMuir collection

 

The new BMuir collection under Balmuir brand offers a premium line of 100% cashmere clothing. The autumn collection consists of for instance cardigans, sweaters and cozy cashmere sweatpants. The designer of Balmuir Niina Ylitalo tells more about the birth of the collection.

BMuir cashmere clothing

 

How was the idea of a cashmere clothing collection born?

The cashmere clothing collection is a natural continuation of the amazing natural materials used at Balmuir. The cashmere clothing complements beautifully our selection of goods made for a quality conscious customer. Moreover, over the past years the Lausanne cashmere robe has become a classic in our selection, and our customers have always inquired for more cashmere clothing from us.

BMuir Vicenza sleeveBMuir Venize

 

What inspired the BMuir-collection?

One of the world’s finest natural materials, 100% Inner Mongolian cashmere, and the passion to create knitwear that would stand time, inspired us while designing the collection. We wanted to create an ensemble of cashmere clothing that could be combined in several ways for versatile outfits in various occasions.

BMuir Valeria BMuir Vicenza

 

To what kind of customer did you aim the collection?

The BMuir cashmere products are timeless classics, which are aimed to a style conscious consumer who appreciates premium natural materials. The cashmere clothes have been sized to fit different body types. Depending on the product, the size chart is from XS to XL.

 

What brings cashmere its high quality?

The finer and the longer the cashmere fibre is, the higher the cashmere is in quality. The fineness of the fibre is measured in microns. The cashmere fibre used in Balmuir products is extremely fine: 15,5–16 microns and 34–36 millimetres in length. A quality cashmere product pills less, and the pilling decreases even more after the first wash.

Cashmere wool

The cashmere used in BMuir collection comes from Inner Mongolia. The shearing of cashmere goats takes place once a year during spring. One goat produces approximately 100g of quality cashmere wool in one shearing. Hence, one cashmere product usually carries the wool produced by 2–4 goats. Nowadays, the shearing is done mechanically but the separation of the cashmere wool is still done by hand. The shearing does not harm the goat. 

 

How should the cashmere clothing be cared for?

In order to keep the product beautiful and durable, it is important to maintain it regularly. It is important to let the cashmere clothing rest and it is also good to air it periodically. The best way to keep the clothing from distorting is to store it folded. The eventual pilling can be removed with the Balmuir cashmere comb, which comes complimentary with every BMuir product.

Balmuir cashmere comb

It is possible to wash BMuir products by hand by following the instructions carefully, but we recommend dry cleaning. You can find the wool detergent recommended for washing in most organic stores. After washing, the clothing should be reshaped and dried on a flat surface. With regular maintenance you ensure that the cashmere clothing brings you joy for years.

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 14 September 2018

9/14/2018 8:31 AM

An example of fine craftsmanship – A Balmuir bag

 

The idea behind Balmuir’s bag collection was to create an elegant and timeless collection that includes versatile and high-quality products. A personalised bag with monogrammed initials makes the product feel even more special and makes for an excellent gift as well. The Balmuir Head of Buying, Hanna Seppälä, explains how Balmuir Bags are produced and maintained. She also gives some great tips on how to choose the right bag for you.

 

How are Balmuir bags produced?

Balmuir bag manufacturing

Balmuir bags are produced in a reputable family business, which specialises in the production of luxury bags. The business maintains a decades-long tradition in bag production and has extensive expertise in the field. A good producer uses high quality materials. Our designer takes the intended use into account in the measurements of the bags. They also pay attention to versatility. For instance, a bag can have several straps. This way the bag can be carried in different ways. For us at Balmuir the origin of the materials as well as the transparency of the whole chain of production is very important.

 

What makes a quality bag?

A quality bag is durable and the natural leather ages beautifully during use. The new products in the Balmuir bag collection are made of natural grain calf leather. This is a very durable material that has a beautiful, lively texture. The bags of Balmuir are mostly handmade and subsequently the production process of each bag can include tens of different production stages. In a quality bag, even the small details are attended to with precision and care. For example, up to seven layers of paint is applied on the leather edges for finishing touches. The seams are finished and secured with handsewn stitching. Every bag goes through a careful inspection procedure.

Balmuir bag manufacturing

Balmuir bag manufacturing 

 

 

What new arrivals can we find in this autumn’s collection?

The beautiful new arrival bags of this autumn include Evelyn hobo and Evan tote. Evelyn hobo is a stylish attention grabber, which fits perfectly for everyday use. Evan tote, on the other hand, is definitely a work bag and is also suitable for men. The tote conveniently fits a laptop inside and has a removable shoulder strap, which allows it to be carried over the shoulder. In addition, other autumn arrivals include the passport cover and the luggage tag. Later in the autumn the collection will be also joined by the new Camille wallet as well as the Chante card holder.

Balmuir Evan tote

Balmuir Evelyn Hobo

 

 

What is your advice to finding a perfect bag?

The starting point in picking the right bag is usually the intended use of the bag. In addition, you should think about what life expectancy and quality you expect from your bag, and how much you are willing to invest in those aspects. In choosing the right colour, it usually helps to think about your wardrobe. What kind of clothes would you typically pair with the bag? You can’t go wrong with black or beautiful shades of brown, but a colourful bag is excellent for adding a little “catch” to an otherwise simplified look.

 

How to take care of your bag?

When not in use, your bag should always be stored away from light, preferably in the dust bag that comes with it. During regular use, any stains should be wiped off as soon as possible. To do so, you can use a damp cloth. If the leather gets wet, it should be dried carefully. The bag can also be protected with a leather protection spray. A delicate leather cream can also be applied to condition the leather surface and add some shine to it.

Balmuir Elise bag

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 30 August 2018

8/30/2018 8:57 AM

Material: Baby alpaca 

 

 

Alpakka

 

Alpaca wool fiber that is 19-21 micron is called baby alpaca. Balmuir baby alpaca products are made of this durable and skin friendly wool. Baby alpaca fibers are hollow, so the wool is extremely light and has a great thermal insulation. Because of this, baby alpaca is five times warmer than regular wool. For example Balmuir's wonderfully soft Lucca scarves and throws are made out of this lovely material.

 

Balmuir Lucca-peitto

 

 

 

In addition to being light and extremely warm, baby alpaca is very easy to take care of. Apart from airing out the product, it doesn't need regular maintenance. Baby alpaca is very elastic and will not crease. The material is self-cleaning, but it can be dry cleaned if necessary.

 

Browse Balmuir's baby alpaca products:

Scarves
Capes
Throws
Cushion covers

Posted By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 14 August 2018

8/14/2018 1:26 PM

Quality textiles for cruising | Grandezza x Balmuir

 

This summer, two Finnish family run businesses, premium boat brand Grandezza and Balmuir created a collection of textiles suitable for boating, available for people who purchased a Grandezza boat. According to Henna Forsström, marketing and product manager of Grandezza's manufacturer Finnmaster Boats Oy, quality products and supplies in boating are always an elegant choice and an essential part of the experience.

What kind of trends can be seen in boat decor?

For the past few years the colour palette used in boats has been very down to earth with different light beige and grey shades, and the trend doesn’t show signs of fading. Many people want to use more and more natural materials. Scandinavian style and a certain minimalism are also obvious trends. Typically, a lot of wood is used on boats.  Large, panorama style windows have become a permanent thing. Through these windows the feeling of space, nature and light becomes a part of a boat’s decor.

Grandezza boat

How was the collaboration collection Grandezza x Balmuir born?

We constantly aim to offer people new experiences on water. People lead busy lives, but at the same time they value unique, high quality products. We have long admired Balmuir’s story and great products and thought it would be great to have the chance to offer them to our customers. We have been styling our boats with Balmuir products for fairs and photoshoots for a while. In the early spring of 2018 we suggested creating a collection suitable for boating. We believe that our customers will love this beautiful collection that includes for example bed linen and kitchen textiles.

What kind of things should you remember when planning a boats decor and other supplies?

Boats have certain limitations. Things used on boats shouldn’t be fragile nor take too much space. Our clients have a high sense of aesthetichs and they value beautiful and atmospheric spaces. The collaboration collection includes for example throws and shawls which are very useful during the Nordic summer, when nights and mornings can be cool. Sailors value high quality, durable products ­– the qualities Balmuir products are known for.

Grandezza boat interior

What are the best destinations for cruising and sailing in Finland and other parts of the world?

In Finland the archipelago of Turku is one of a kind. It is full of beautiful natural harbours, great restaurants and cafes. The western coast of Sweden is known for its unique landscapes and sea food like oysters, lobsters and shrimp. The archipelago of Stockholm is also full of wonderful islands and summer destinations such as Vaxholm and Sandhamn. There are a lot of interesting destinations all around Europe too; the lakes of Switzerland, boat harbours of Nice and the beautiful fjords of Norway.

What is the story of your company? How did you end up making premium boats?

Our company was founded in 1990 when two experienced and skilled boat builders, Osmo Roukala and Jarmo Kinnunen started building Finnmaster boats. The men were brought together by a strong passion to boating, vast experience and a common, determined vision of building a perfect boat. As the selection grew to larger boats it was time to bring something elegant and unique to the market. In 2000 the first Grandezza boat was delivered to its proud owner. Since then, our professional boat builders have built and delivered high quality, 23–40 foot Grandezza boats to exacting customers around Europe. In addition to Grandezza, our product portfolio includes Finnmaster fiberglass boats and Finnmaster Husky aluminum boats.

Balmuir Portofino Grandezza

What kind of values does your company have?

We’re very proud of the fact that all Grandezza boats are of Finnish handicraft. Currently we have four factories in Finland, out of which the one in Kalajoki is completely focused on making Grandezza boats. Each boat is made with finest craftmanship. We have passionate boat builders who are committed to building first class boats. Grandezza boats are tailored to the customer’s needs. Each boat goes through a detailed testing program before being delivered to a customer. The customer is the key to our business. We put a lot of thought into how the owners experience the boat, what the driving response and maneuverability are like in different circumstances. Our goal is to make life on a boat as enjoyable as possible and waking up in a cabin a unique moment that takes you out of your everyday life.

Grandezza boat

Posted By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 2 August 2018

8/2/2018 10:29 AM

Material: Cashmere

 


Balmuir kashmir angoravuohi

Balmuir 100% cashmere products are made from the finest Mongolian cashmere in Inner Mongolia. Cashmere wool is combed from the goats, the animal is not harmed in the process. The higher the animal lives, the finer the cashmere. Goats living high on the Mongolian mountains have a thick undercoat that provides a very fine quality cashmere. Cashmere is a warm and lightweight material. It can be used in items like throws, accessories or clothes. For example, Balmuir's iconic Helsinki scarves are made out of this lovely fabric.

 

 

Balmuir kashmir  

 

Cashmere is fairly easy to take care of. Balmuir recommends airing out cashmere products regularly. Tightly knitted or woven cashmere products can also be maintained using the Balmuir cashmere comb. Dry clean is recommended, but cashmere can also be hand washed gently in hand warm water, using a mild detergent for wool.

 

 

Browse Balmuir's cashmere products

Scarves
Beanies
Ponchos
Headbands
Robes

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 13 July 2018

7/13/2018 8:51 AM

A Happy Breakfast - In Bed with Vanelja & Balmuir

 

What could be better than slow mornings in bed, enjoying healthy treats? Balmuir is featured in the new e-book In Bed with Vanelja, written by the author of Vanelja blog, Virpi Mikkonen. The book includes 15 delicious, plant-based, gluten free and naturally sweetened recipes. Mikkonen told Balmuir the story behind her blog and book.

 Virpi Mikkonen

 

When and how did you become interested in cooking and baking? Tell us how it all began.

I only got interested in cooking and baking almost ten years ago as I made a so called lifestyle change. At that time, I left gluten, dairy, white sugar and heavily processed foods out of my diet for health reasons and moved to a versatile diet consisting mostly of plants. At the time, gluten and sugar free diets weren't as popular and the supply in stores and restaurants was weak, so I had to cook all my food myself. As my health improved rapidly, I got so inspired by the healthy treats that I started my old Finnish blog, Kiitos hyvää, where I shared recipes and other information on health and well-being. People quickly found my blog and felt the message was interesting. The time was right for this kind of content.

In 2014 I decided to quit my Finnish blog and write a book as a tribute to it. I started my own business and an English website and an Instagram page, both called Vanelja. They both quickly gained international attention. During my first three years as an entrepreneur I published four books in Finland, two of which were published in America, one in six different countries. It has been amazing to see natural food, gluten and dairy free, vegetable rich diets and natural sweetening become major food trends both in Finland and around the world.

Have you always been in the industry or has creating delicious and beautiful things been a passionate hobby for you?

My background is in journalism and before my current career I worked as a journalist and a producer in a fashion magazine. I have always been a visualist, but only through Vanelja did I start working with it more by styling and photographing food. When planning recipes, early on I often think about what the dish will look like and what colours will be in it. A visual approach is a natural way for me to create new things. Different colour combinations and textures strongly inspire me. 

In Bed with VaneljaVirpi Mikkonen

 

 

 

Were healthy ingredients the foundation of your recipes from the beginning or did they come along gradually?

Healthy ingredients have always been the foundation in my work. It is inspiring for me to develop foods that combine health and taste and ethics and ease. In my experience and according to the thousands of feedback I've recieved, these kind of recipes are something that the world needs. At the moment the the recipes I share do not contain animal products. I'm not trying to convert anyone into being 100% vegan though, I'm not a vegan myself either. I eat ethically produced animal products a couple of times a week. There is no single diet that suits everyone, everywhere, all times. The most important thing is to listen to yourself and stick to a diet that is as good as possible for you and the world.

The content you produce is incredibly beautiful, how important is it to you that the food looks as a good as it tastes?

Beautiful photos are my way of inviting people to try food that makes you feel good. I don't believe in preaching, imposing or converting people into anything, I believe in inspiring and subtle temptation. Visual things are a great way to do that. Taste is just as important of a factor in food of course, aswell as truly nourishing and supporting our well-being.

Do you also enjoy interior design and investing in your own, personal style?

I have always surrounded myself with things I find beautiful, whether it was clothes, home or the things I do. I'm also an indulger through and through, so the feeling of things and objects is really important. Soft and comforting materials in clothes and home textiles are definitely me. That is why collaborating with Balmuir in my new e-book, In Bed with Vanelja was so great. It is purely about indulging and treating yourself at home.

 

In Bed with Vanelja

 

What is your special skill and what makes you so good at creating recipes and content?

I get excited easily and I love creating new things, conceptualising and outlining bigger eensembles. I don't like walking in other people's footsteps, since improving myself, trying new things and positive make me glow. A sharp visual eye and a good nose for people's needs is also a benefit. In the end, the most important thing is to do things straight from the heart. That way you can touch other people aswell.

What will Vanelja grow to be? Will we someday be dining in your own restaurant or cooking with Design by Vanelja equipments?

I often get asked about my own restaurant, but so far I have mainly helped other restaurants by menu planning and other things. For example, this summer I designed an "Instagram friendly" breakfast menu. My own product line is one of my dreams. This summer I launced my own raw cake Blueberry Dream Cake by Vanelja, and through the process I found out how inspiring and rewarding it is to create your own products from start to finish.

Download your copy of In Bed with Vanelja free of charge here.

Posted By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 21 June 2018

6/21/2018 9:26 AM

Watermelon smoothie by Kokit ja Potit

 

Happy summer!

Here’s a quick and easy vegan recipe for a summer breakfast or enjoy it as a refreshing snack.

 

WATERMELON SMOOTHIE

By: Kokit ja Potit

 

200 ml coconut cream or thick coconut milk

500 g watermelon

circa. 1 tbsp lemon juice

circa. 2 tsp agave syrup (or honey)

a few ice cubes

 

Remove the watermelon rind. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

 

Enjoy!

Watermelon smoothie

Posted in Fashion By Mikko Vuoti

Balmuir Blog 6 June 2018

6/6/2018 10:34 AM

Balmuir at MLL UP charity fashion show

 

In May, Balmuir took part in the annual charity fashion show MLL UP, organized by the Finnish Mannerheim League for Child Welfare’s Uusimaa regional organization. The fashion show in Helsinki raises funds for Uusimaa region’s support person activities for families with children. Johanna Pirinen, Uusimaa region’s coordinator for support persons told us about her personal insights about the event and Mannerheim League.

 

Where did the idea for MLL UP charity fashion show come from?

The idea originated from a conversation between the then Chairman of Mannerheim League Uusimaa reagional organization Saija Toropainen and fashion influencer Klara Kivilahti. Saija told Klara about her concerns about families’ welfare and her desire to support families in time and to bring attention to Mannerheim League’s Uusimaa regional organization’s support person activities. They came up with the idea to raise funds for preventive child protective work with a charity fashion show. This year the event was organized for the sixth time and it has been sold out almost every year.

 

How did you end up working for the Mannerheim League and how long have you been involved with the organization?

I ended up working for Mannerheim League’s Uusimaa regional organization through voluntary work. Mannerheim League has been a part of my professional and personal life for years. I was an active volunteer in the board of the regional organization, in the family cafe and as a support person for families. My studies in social services in 2011-2014 increased my desire to help families with children. As a student it was already clear to me that I wanted to work for Mannerheim League. Mannerheim League’s values are similar to my own and I want to do my part in helping families with children, especially in the preventive work.

 

In what ways is Mannerheim League a part of the everyday life of children and families?

Mannerheim League’s Uusimaa regional organization has offered support to hundreds of families through things like support persons and temporary child care services. Support persons work with individual families and support their everyday lives in several ways. Local organizations offer peer support and affordable hobbies for children. 

Family cafes run by volunteers are places where parents can meet each other and gain strength to their parenthood while their children can meet other children their age to play with. Volunteering in Mannerheim League gives a chance to work in the board of a local organization or at a family cafe. You can also become a support person for families, a friend for an immigrant parent or a teen or a leader of a peer group and so on.

In my opinion, Mannerheim League’s Uusimaa regional organization’s performance is very up-to-date and we continuously develope our activities based on the needs and hopes of families with children. We want to support the families in their everyday lives. For me, Mannerheim League’s Uusimaa regional organization is an active operator in children family services, as a part of a lively network of citizens’ organizations.

 

For how long has Mannerheim League’s Uusimaa regional organization organized support person activities for families? What is the work actually like?

We have been organizing support person activities since 2010. I have been the coordinator of family activities for three years now, and I wouldn’t change a day. It is a pleasure to be involved in significant work for families and hear the feedback of how the support from our volunteers has helped them to cope. The support persons are ordinary, responsible adults with the desire to help and be a part of the everyday lives of children with families. Our regional organization recruites, educates and coordinates the activities. Once a person becomes a volunteer for the support person system, they commit to being by the family’s side for one year, giving them their time, presence, listening ears and an extra pair of arms for the children to be held in. At best, this gives joy and energy for the volunteer too.  

Photos by: Leena Aro

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

Balmuir Blog 1 June 2018

6/1/2018 1:58 PM

The new "My City" story series introduces Balmuir's favourite cities through the eyes of locals. The first story takes us to Stockholm, Sweden, the home of the newest Balmuir Brand Store that opened its doors this May. A Swedish blogger, Vendela Svensson, is the first one to share her favourite Stockholm spots with us.

B E R N S

"Perfect for a lunch with good friends, also a great place for a coffee in the sunshine at their outside terrace. I really adore the environment and its super central!"

 Näckströmsgatan 8

 https://www.berns.se/

R O S E N D A L

"One of my favorite places when you want a break from the city pulse and get out in the nature. A really cosy place to have a Swedish fika, walk around and just relax."

 Rosendalsvägen 38

 http://www.rosendalstradgard.se/

L Y D M A R  H O T E L

"My absolute favorite place for an After Work! Loving the location, the interior and the atmosphere."

Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2

 https://lydmar.com/

Posted in Fashion By Teija Stenius