Wonderful Morning Recipes

Try out something new for breakfast. Emilia Vartiainen, author of up-coming recipe book Wonderful Morning, created delicious bread and cream cheese recipes for Balmuir. You can pre-order Emilia's book here.

 

 

Spelt Skillet Bread

Bread is my passion. I keep a sourdough starter in the fridge for my weekly baking. This skillet bread was the first proper bread I made, kickstarting my enthusiasm that later got totally out of hand! Skillet bread is easy-peasy. There’s no kneading involved and you can leave the dough on the kitchen worktop for the night – just turn into a hot skillet the next morning and throw in the oven and you end up with a freshly-baked loaf for breakfast. Could there be a better way to start the weekend?

1 loaf

Active: 15 min
Passive: 13 h 15 min

31⁄2 dl water
1 tsp dry yeast
5 dl roll flour mix 2 dl spelt flour
1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt

Heat the water until a little warmer than room temperature and add the dry yeast, both types
of flour and salt. Mix together, there’s no need to knead. Cover and leave in room temperature overnight, for 12–18 hours. The dough should bubble a little the next morning and it may have a slightly vinegary odor.

Place a cast iron skillet with a lid into a cold oven and set it to 225 °C. Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Once the oven is hot, smear the bottom of the skillet with oil or line it with parchment paper. Carefully place the ball of dough into the skillet. Place the lid on top and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and leave in the oven for another 15 minutes. Leave to cool down for half an hour before slicing the bread for a fluffier texture.

 

 

 

Herb & Cashew Cream Cheese

Cashew-based cream cheeses are my faves in the whole book! Many of my friends share my sentiments judging from the number of requests I get for sharing the recipes after my Sunday brunches. For this version, choose herbs according to your personal taste – I tend to go for chives, plenty of basil and a little dill.

About 3 dl

Active: 10 min
Passive: 30 min

3 dl cashew nuts
1⁄2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
generous sprinkle of sea salt flakes 1(–2) tbsp water
medium bunch of chives
large bunch of basil
small bunch of dill

Soften the cashew nuts in warm water for half an hour. Add the cashew nuts, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and 1 tbsp of water to a mixer and blend until smooth, adding more water if needed. Chop the fresh herbs and mix into the cashew paste in a bowl. Store in a clean glass container in the fridge and use within a few days.

 

Posted By Tiina Simola

Nanna Susi x Balmuir – Art in Silk Scarves

Nanna Susi x Balmuir

 

Balmuir launches two art silk scarves in collaboration with the Finnish artist Nanna Susi during International Women’s Day week, March 5th 2020.

 

– We wanted to create an art collaboration celebrating wonderful, strong women. Balmuir’s products are inspired by Lapland, so Nanna Susi’s Moments Include Eternity exhibition’s artwork perfectly complements this ideology, says Balmuir’s CEO, Tiina Luhtanen.

 

Nanna Susi / Photo by Maarit Kytöharju

Nanna Susi is a Finnish artist whose expressive paintings convey strong colours and emotions. Her two Lapland themed paintings, Gold Panning and Hidings and Findings come to life in Italian silk through Nanna Susi x Balmuir collaboration.

 

The proposition for the collaboration surprised the artist, but she was happy to get involved. Luhtanen also felt the collaboration was a positive and interesting experience.

– The strong colours and emotional charge in Nanna Susi’s paintings are compelling. The scarves are not just a beautiful accessory, they have a deeper meaning and a story behind them.

 

In February, the finished scarves were photographed in oak frames as a part of the scenery that inspired them in Lapland.

– We wanted to bring the artwork to the source of their inspiration and convey the atmosphere in Lapland also outside the edges of the paintings. Gold Panning was photographed in breathtakingly beautiful scenery of Äkäsmylly rapids in Äkäslompolo, where the river continues to flow through the painting, explains Balmuir’s Head of Brand Marketing, Maija Pettersson.

 

– Hidings and Findings’ beautiful fell scenery continues on the top of Levi fell. During the photoshoot we were lucky to get the perfect winter weather in Lapland, creating the ideal circumstance. The only challenge was the strong wind, that didn’t make it easy to let the scarf become a part of the scenery. This is why we had to look for the perfect location and time for the photoshoot for longer, Pettersson describes.

 

 

Nanna Susi was photographed by Maarit Kytöharju.

 Nanna Susi x Balmuir

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

New BMuir Alexa Dagmar Collection to Be Launched on February 6th, 2020

 

BMuir by Alexa Dagmar

 

In the fall 2019 Balmuir launched it’s first collaboration collection BMuir Alexa Dagmar with the Finnish blogger and fashion influencer Alexa Dagmar. After the success of the cashmere collection, the second BMuir Alexa Dagmar cashmere collection will be launched on February 6th, 2020 in Balmuir’s web shop, and Helsinki and Oulu Brand Stores.

BMuir by Alexa Dagmar

BMuir by Alexa Dagmar

 

The collection was designed in Helsinki, Finland by both Alexa and Balmuir’s designers. ”My first collection with Balmuir was a dream come true and one of the greatest monets of my career so far. I couldn’t believe it, when I heard last fall that Balmuir wanted to continue working with me for another collection. I had quietly dreamed about another collection and what it would look like”, Alexa says.

The main inspiration for the collection was Nordic minimalistic style. The products can easily be styled for everyday wear and more formal occasions and look current year after year. The colour palette is classic and harmonious; ivory, light sand and black.

 

BMuir by Alexa Dagmar

BMuir by Alexa Dagmar

 

The basis for the second collection was the popular Alexa turtleneck knit from the first collection. The elegant, short sleeved cashmere knit is beautifully complemented with Alexa pencil skirt made out of 100% cashemere. Slits at both sides of the skirt add comfort and movement to the hem. The third item in the collection is the versatile Alexa cashmere knit dress with a turtle neck. The relaxed dress’ look is easy to change by tying a cashmere belt around the waist. The belt is delivered with the dress.

”I wanted to create clothes that my wardrobe has always needed; luxurious and timeless items that are both versatile and comfortable to wear – the perfect combination, right?” Alexa explains.

 

BMuir by Alexa Dagmar

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

First Signs of Spring in BMuir Collection

 

As the days start to get longer, you need a little something extra to brighten up the mood. BMuir’s first spring novelties are already available in web shop and at balmuir Brand Stores. Fresh pastel colours light blue, pink, coral and aqua bring a breath of fresh air into your style.

 BMuir Gail

 

Our alpaca collection is added by classic, ribbed Gail cardigan, that is available in light blue melange, light grey melange and light sand melange. The short cardigan is easy to combine with jeans, dresses or skirts, and it is perfect for both office wear and free time. Also Giselle cardigan is available in new colours, light blue melange and sand melange.

 

BMuir Adriana

Balmuir Adalyn

Balmuir Adalyn

BMuir Arian

 

Made out of light weight mohair blend, Arian cardigan and Adriana knit are the latest addition to BMuir’s materials.Versatile, airy knitwear is perfectly complemented by Adalyn accessories made out of the same material. Chunky, ribbed beanie and scarf keep you warm during the bright days of late winter. Our mohair blend products come in a variety of delicious pastel colours as well as classic black and grey.

 

 

BMuir Valencia

Balmuir Venla

 

Our beautiful Valencia cashmere knit is now available in lovely coral and light blue. The ribbed, modern knit is a guaranteed wardrobe favourite for several occasions. Our cashmere collection is also added by the beautiful Venla cardigan. The feminine details, pockets and relaxed straight fit make this cardigan especially versatile.

 

 

BMuir Adriana

 

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

Easy Christmas Treats

This Christmas Balmuir teamed up with a young catering entrepreneur Erika Poussa from the catering company Bakerika to share three delicious and easy Christmas recipes with you. How about a cheese platter for Christmas Eve snacks, pistachio chocolate fudge as gifts for friends or chocolate chip cookies for Santa?

Balmuir Christmas

Balmuir Christmas


 

Pistachio chocolate fudge

Makes: 64 pieces

Ingredients:

350 g of solid dark chocolate (minimum 70%)
397 g of condensed milk
30 g of butter
pinch of salt
150 g of pistachios, no shell
A small baking tray

1. Chop the chocolate and pistachios into small pieces. The pistachios can also be put inside a ziplock bag and crushed with a rolling pin for more chunky, asymmetrical texture.
2. Put the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, butter and salt into a pan and stir to melt on low heat.
3. Add the pistachio pieces into the pan and stir well to mix.
4. Prepare a tray for the fudge by lining it with parchment paper. (This way the fudge is easy to pull out once it has set.
5. Pour the mixture into the baking tray and smooth out the top. We recommend using a spatula.
6. Let the fudge cool and refrigerate until set, for at least two hours. If you have time, we recommend leaving the batch in the fridge overnight.
7. Once the fudge has set, pull the fudge out and unwrap from the parchment paper.
8. Start by cutting the uneven sides so that the fudge looks like a large rectangle.
9. Cut into pieces of your preferance. We recommend approx. 3 x 2.25cm. A tip: With the edge of the knife you can lightly draw the grid you want into the fudge before cutting through fully.
10. Once cut, the fudge pieces can be stored in the freezer.
11. Tip: Wrap the pieces in cellophane and finish off with a beautiful ribbon for a perfect gift idea!

 

Explore kitchen linen >>

 

Balmuir Christmas

Balmuir Christmas

 

Cheese Platter

For 4–6 people

Ingredients:


3-4 blocks of cheese based on your preferance. Balmuir and Bakerika used blocks of Manchego, Blue Cheese and Brie
A base of different crackers. The more types you have, the fuller the plate looks. Balmuir and Bakerika used:
o Dried archipelago bread
o Two different types of rye crackers
o Ginger bread
A jar of olives and a jar of cherry jam
o Tip: Choose visually pleasing glass jars for more aesthetic effect
Grapes
Roasted almonds and other nuts of your choice
Dark chocolate with a touch of seasalt
Figs cut in half
Rosemary branches
 
Assemble as you like! Start with the cheeses and the cracker base and start building from there. 

Decorate the table with candles >>

 

Balmuir Christmas

Balmuir Christmas

 

Salty and Sweet Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 10 large cookies

Ingredients:

100g of sugar
165 g of brown sugar
1 tsp of salt
120 g of coconut oil or any other plant-based alternative
60g oat milk
185g flour
½ tsp of baking soda
125 g of milk or baking chocolate
125 g of white chocolate
A tsp of vanilla extract
Sea salt for the finishing touch


1. Whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and coconut oil together in a large bowl.
2. Whisk in oat milk and vanilla, until all sugar has dissolved and the batter is smooth.
3. Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula, being careful not to overmix.
4. Fold in the chocolate chunks evenly.
5. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 180°C.
7. Scoop the dough into small balls with a special cookie scoop or by using an ice cream scoop. You can also scoop by using two spoons.
8. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough balls on it. Make sure to leave enough space between the cookies and the edges of the pan so cookies can spread evenly.
9. Press down on the dough balls gently and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top of each ball.
10. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies just begin to brown.
11. Let the cookies cool down completely.

 

Inspiration for table setting >>

 

Balmuir Christmas 

Posted By Tiina Simola

Inspiration for Christmas Decor

Balmuir Christmas 

Winter is here and Christmas is getting closer. Create the warm atmosphere of Christmas into your home or cottage by adding a touch of red into your neutral coloured decor. Red is a perfect accent colour for neutral shades like grey, sand and off white.

Balmuir Christmas

Balmuir Christmas

 

Bring some colour and softness into your bedroom with red Lucca throws and Venice cushion covers made out of baby alpaca, linen pillow cases and Aurora kid mohair throws. Soft and breathable natural materials in your bedding keep you warm at night and feel comfortable against the skin.

 

Explore home textiles >>

 

Balmuir Christmas

Balmuir Christmas

 

Create a festive Christmas atmosphere into your livingroom with Balmuir’s beautiful ball candles and Verona candle stands. A soft Lausanne cashmere poncho is an elegant and comfortable addition to your homewear. From Balmuir you can also get Christmas presents delivered in beautiful Balmuir gift packages, finished with satin ribbons.

 

Shop Christmas gits >>

 

Balmuir Christmas

Balmuir Christmas

 

Christmas feast feels even more special with beautiful red kitchen linen. The table gets the finishing touches from candle light and elegant Piemonte wine glasses. Linen napkins and kitchen towels are also a practical, high-quality gift to bring to a Christmas party.

 

Inspiration for table setting >>

 

Balmuir Christmas 

Posted By Tiina Simola

In Collaboration with Billebeino

BxBB | Balmuir x Billebeino

 

Balmuir’s collaboration collection BxBB was created together with the Finnish street fashion brand Billebeino. Inspired by the bold attitude of street fashion and high-quality natural materials, the goal was to create products that anyone, regardless of age or gender, could wear. Beanies made out of wool and cashmere mix and scarves made of 100% virgin wool suit both men and women. Classic neutral colours black and dark grey are easy to combine with different styles. The beanie is also available in Billebeino's signature colour red. The accessories are perfect for both city wear and outdoors. We asked Ville Leino, the founder of Billebeino to tell us more about his brand and his thoughts about the collaboration.

 

BxBB | Balmuir x Billebeino

What started Billebeino? 

Billebeino was created in Buffalo when I still played for NHL. I was recovering from and injury and spent a lot of my time painting. The signature I used became our logo. Billebeino’s co-founder, Juhani Putkonen and I wanted to use the signature for something and ended up making beanies and caps. When they sold well and people were still interested, we decided to make other products too and we’re still on that journey.

What inspires you with Billebeino?

I’m mostly inspired by the creative side, growth and developing our brand. Designing clothes and new, out of the box stuff is also inspiring, as well as collaborations.

How was the process of creating a collection together with Balmuir?

Balmuir and Billebeino have both been doing things bravely in their own style. There’s also a lot of similarities in the growth stories of both brands. The collaboration process was clear, as we had similar opinions on what the collection should be like. Naturally, getting the collection from the first ideas to launch takes time well over six months, but the process was relatively easy to finish.

What kind of a customer is the collection aimed at?

The collection is designed for both men and women, young and older stylish people. I’m very pleased with the products in the collection. The end result looks like both brands involved. The products are simple and stylish and I think they will be very popular.

 

Shop BxBB collection >>

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

BMuir's Elegant Silk Collection

 BMuir Maya Light Taupe

BMuir’s new silk collection is comprised of elegant silk shirts and a top that are easy to combine with several styles for different occasions. Silk is a beautiful material that easily adds that special something to a look. It’s also very pleasant to wear as it feels cool against the skin during summer and warm during winter. For extra comfort, a little bit of elastane has been added to the material.

BMuir Malene Black

BMuir Malene Light Taupe

 

The collection includes a classic button up silk shirt Malene, a high cuffed silk shirt Marcia and the elegant silk top Maya. Beautiful, timeless colours black, ivory, khaki and light taupe, and a comfortable fit make these blouses true corner stones for any wardrobe, suitable for both the office and more formal occasions.

 

Five Tips - Update Your Look from Day to Night

As the end of the year with the holiday season approaches, it’s time to party. Even though you’d usually want to get ready for the celebrations with plenty of time, sometimes it’s just not possible. If the party’s starting right after work, we’ve got five tips for updating your look from day to night in just a few minutes.

BMuir Maya Black

 

1. Plan ahead. BMuir silk collection’s silk shirts and top are great for the office paired with a blazer or a cardigan and beautiful trousers or a skirt. As you get ready for the party, just leave out the blazer and change into a pair of high heels.

2. Touch up your make up and add some beautiful lipstick. If you’d rather bring the attention to your eyes, you can add some darker cream eye shadow on your lids.

3. Wash your hair the day before and tie it up in a bun for the day. As you let your hair down, you’ll have beautiful loose curls. Brush through gently and add some hair spray. If you want to, you can also add a trendy hair clip or a head band or tie a silk scarf into your hair.

4. Instead of your large work bag, bring a smaller purse to carry the essentials. Balmuir’s Edith crossbody or Emelie pouch are perfect for this, and the fit nicely into large bags too.

5. The most beautiful accessories you can have are a beautiful smile and a festive spirit! Cheers!

 

Discover BMuir's silk collection >

Shop BMuir clothes >

 

 

 BMuir Marcia Black

Posted By Tiina Simola
My Paris

Explore Paris with Balmuir

The new AW19/20 collection by Balmuir was shot in Paris. The collection got its inspiration particularly from the parisian style, which is effortless yet elegant at the same time. The style focuses on less, allowing the colours and textures of the high-quality materials bask in the spotlight.

Our model Estefania gave us a tour of her old hometown. Discover Estefania’s favourite spots and let your thoughts soar to the mysteriously narrow streets of Paris.

 

 My Paris

 

 

 

LE JARDIN SECRET

"My favourite restaurant for lunch is Le Jardin Secret (The Secret Garden). The restaurant is in the Marais area and it has a boho but Parisian chic feeling."

10 Rue des Rosiers

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Paris

 

 

L'ORANGERIE

"L'Orangerie in Tuileries is my favourite museum which houses a great collection of Monet's Nympheas paintings. Definitely a more niche but a well-known museum for the lovers of impressionism!"

Jardin Tuileries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Paris

 

 

My Paris
 

 

 

RUE DE BRETAGNE

"My favourite area in Paris is Rue Bretagne. Especially when there's the flea market, which is a perfect occasion to buy antique pieces."

Rue de Bretagne

My Paris

 

 

DISCOVER AW19/20 COLLECTION BY BALMUIR AND UPDATE YOUR LOOK >

Posted in Fashion By Katri Kaarre

A Glass of Bubbly And Soft Knitwear – BMuir Alpaca Collection Leads Us to Autumn

 

BMuir Alpaca Collection

BMuir Alpaca Collection

 

BMuir clothing collection expanded last week with soft knitwear made out of alpaca and merino wool mix. The launch was celebrated at Balmuir Brand Stores in Helsinki and Oulu. As the customers got familiar with the collection and matching Grace accessories, they were treated to a glass of bubbly, some sweet treats and a give away. Balmuir Brand Store Helsinki also had the designer of the collection at the event to tell more about the garments.

 

BMuir Alpaca Collection

BMuir Alpaca Collection

 

– We had a lot of our good regular customers visiting. It was nice to catch up after summer, many customer told us about their summer holidays and trips, says the store manager, Tommi Setälä from Balmuir Brand Store Helsinki.

A lot of the customers stopped by at the store befor continuing on to Helsinki Night of the Arts. They were particularly intrigued by the golden yellow and camel melange shades of the knitwear.

The collection was eagerly welcomed by customers in Balmuir Brand Store Oulu aswell.

– The customers really liked Giselle cardigan, and it was sold especially in black and grey on the launch day. Many were planning to come back later for some more shopping, explains Marja Tahvanainen from Balmuir Brand Store Oulu.

 

BMuir alpakkamallistoBMuir alpakkamallisto

 

Knitwear made out of alpaca and merino wool mix are an excellent choice for autumn. The versatile sweaters, tunics and cardigans are perfect for both office and leisure wear. The clothes are available in six lovely colours and, depending on the model, in size XS-XL.

Choose your favourites from our alpaca and merino wool mix knitwear >>

 

Match with Grace accessories >>

 

Read more about the care for alpaca and merino wool mix >>

 

Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola
My Malaga

Explore Malaga with Balmuir

BMuir linen collection was shot in Malaga, the hometown of our model Mira. She fell in love with the new BMuir linen collection and her favourite garment was the versatile Livia linen tunic that can easily be transformed into various looks with accessories.

Mira takes us on a tour of her favourite spots in her home town. Sit back, relax and get inspired by the Spanish atmosphere:

 

My Malaga

 

 

 

Los Baños del Carmen 

"This beach restaurant is a well known spot for people living in Malaga. History of this place goes all the way back to 1918. Relaxed restaurant situated directly at the beach with easy going vibes.  Soak in the Spanish atmosphere during the weekends – people laughing, families having lunch and enjoying the live music. For me this is definitely the place to watch the sunset at the terrace of the restaurant or from the beach."

Calle Bolivia, 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Malaga

 

 

 

El Pimpi Restaurant

"This restaurant is definitely a must see when you come to Malaga. El Pimpi offers traditional dishes and variety of Spanish wines. I love the interior decor and vibrant patio of this place, decorated in Andalusian style. For those who don’t know, this is also favourite place of Antonio Banderas who is originally from Malaga!"

Calle Bolivia, 26​​​​​​​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Malaga

 

 

 

 

Alcazaba de Malaga

"A historical fortress located in the center of Malaga, right next to El Pimpi. If you want to have a great view over the roofs of Malaga and experience the feeling of travelling back in time, this is the place to visit. Take a stroll through history and enjoy the exotic architecture..."

Calle Alcazabilla, 2

 

 

 

 

 

BMuir's linen collection is perfect for warm days in the sun. Balmuir's panamahats, beautiful silk scarves and small bags compliment the outfit. 

 

Discover our tips for accessories to match with BMuir linen clothes >>

 

My Malaga

 

 

Posted By Tiina Simola

A Work Result of the Highest Standard – Interviewing Our Finnish Manufacturer

Eija Kanniala | Balmuir

Over 50 % of the Balmuir products are made in Europe. Our largest source of production is Italy, but some production takes place in Finland as well. In Kiiminki, Eija Kanniala of Tunnelma Koti Oy has been sewing Balmuir for three years already. The work space of Kanniala is conveniently located only a few steps from her home door in the immediate vicinity of her home.

 

What kind of sewing projects do you undertake for Balmuir?

I mainly sew Venice cushion covers with piping, Helsinki beanies and ponchos, as well as Lucca capes. I have also been in charge of smaller projects, such as the sewing of linen drapes for the stores, or small repair jobs. For my other clients I primarily sew home textiles so it’s nice to change things up every once in a while, and work with accessories as well.

Browse products sewn by Eija:

Venice cushion covers >>

Helsinki beanies >>

Helsinki ponchos >>

Lucca capes >>

 

What is important to you with regard to your job?

I have always been a hard worker and my principle has always been to never say no to work. Especially with regard to sewing high-quality products like Balmuir’s, it goes without saying that you’ve got to give the work your 101 %. In fact, I have even made some improvements to the sample products, such as a finer finish to the edges of cushion covers in order to ensure the durability of the product. The materials of Balmuir are always of high quality, but they also require precision. Therefore, I want to make sure that the products are made to the highest standard.

 

What is your typical day at work?

I begin the work day at home around seven to eight in the morning. A few times a week, I go to the centre of Oulu to undertake some sewing work there, in which cases I begin my work only at ten. In addition to sewing, the job also requires lots of cutting, measuring and ironing. For the projects requiring serial production I have my own tools, which speed up the work. For example, the rate of sewing Venice cushion covers is approximately three to one hour. I also regularly take the finished goods back to clients and go get materials for new projects. I only live half an hour away from the headquarters of Balmuir, so the transport works very flexibly.

Venice cushion covers | BalmuirLucca cape | Balmuir

 

How do you balance out work and leisure time while working from home?

I crave different projects in my life and would not know how to simply sit still. However, it is important to me that along with client jobs I get to spice up my days with my own sewing projects or go for a brief swim on my beach during hot summer days. On my free time, I read books and search for metals from the nearby grounds. Nowadays I don’t sew clothes on my free time anymore, but when I was younger, I used to sew clothes for my now adult daughters.

Posted By Tiina Simola

High-quality Linen Clothing Is Suitable For Both Holiday And Office – The New BMuir Collection

The most recent BMuir collection comprises classy and versatile apparel made of the finest 100 % linen in Europe. The premium level natural material, the timeless designs and subtle tones ensure a linen clothing line that is easily adaptable for different occasions. The designer Niina tells us more about the birth of the collection and the properties inherent to linen apparel.

 BMuir linen clothes

 

What inspired the BMuir Linen Collection?

The summer of 2018 reached a record-breaking hot spell in Finland as well – Both our customers and staff were constantly inquiring after a clothing collection incorporating high-quality linen. Linen has been a familiar working material used in the Balmuir home décor collection ever since the beginning, and it has always been one of our customer favourites. This as well strengthened our inspiration for creating a BMuir linen clothing collection.

 

What are the advantages of linen as a clothing material?

The timelessness and effortlessness, as well as the breathability and flow of the material – these are qualities of linen that give it countless opportunities for design. It’s also a common conception to think that linen is solely a summer material. However, combined with other materials it’s also perfectly suitable for the early spring and fall. Linen is also easy to take care of and won’t always require ironing, for example.

Discover the linen clothing collection >>

Latizia wrap dressLivia linen tunic

 

For what kind of use are linen clothes suitable?

Linen is generally perceived as a relaxed material. However, the starting point of the BMuir collection has been timelessness and transformability. For instance, the Latizia wrap dress can be accessorised to fit a more formal event, or the dress can be paired with a turtle neck underneath to suit a colder weather. The more daring dressers could even wear the dress with slim fit trousers. The collared Livia tunic is an excellent choice for work attire and can also be worn open in a jacket-like fashion. The Louise trousers are relaxed and comfortable, yet neat enough to fit a city or an office setting. Of course, the linen is known best as the ideal material for hot summer days.

 

What type of materials should linen be paired with?

Linen is a versatile classic, which can effortlessly be paired with different materials, textures, and prints. For instance, silk, cashmere and linen scarves of the Balmuir accessory collection would beautifully complement the linen clothing collection.

Linnea linen blouseLinnea linen blouse

  

How should linen be cared for?

Linen should be washed in accordance with the washing instructions and shaped while damp. If needed, linen can also be efficiently ironed inside out while it’s still damp. Drying the material in direct sunlight should be avoided in order to maintain the brightness of the colours.

Find the linen care instructions here >>

 
 
Posted in Fashion By Tiina Simola

The Winston Sundae (for two people)

 

Treat yourself and a friend to a lovely ice cream dessert that will certainly satisfy even the biggest of cravings for something sweet. We created a lovely sundae recipe that looks as good as it tastes! 

 

Balmuir Winston sundae

 What you need:

  • 2 Crystal Winston Tumblers
  • 100 g of Digestive Biscuits
  • 40 g of melted butter
  • Approx. ½–1 dl of caramel sauce
  • Dark chocolate and blueberries (or other decorations according to your taste)
  • 260 ml container of Häagen-Dazs Cookies & Cream Ice Cream (or any ice cream of your preference)

The method: 

The Winston Ice Cream Sundae is prepared in layers. Start by preparing the biscuit base. Put the biscuits in a zip lock plastic bag and crush by using a rolling pin. Put a pinch of crumbs aside for the later decorating stage. Mix the remaining biscuit crumbs together with the melted butter in a bowl. Next, use a teaspoon to press the biscuit batter to the bottom of the Winston Tumbler, thereby forming a firm layer of approximately 1 cm. For the second layer, pour the caramel sauce on top of the biscuit layer to once again form a layer of 1 cm (or according to taste). Note that the caramel will rise up around the edges when you add the ice cream. Put the glass inside the fridge for one hour to condense the digestive base. Once the layers are cooled down, add the ice cream on top. Decorate the sundae with blueberries and biscuit crumbs. Add an asymmetrical piece of dark chocolate for a beautiful finish.

Find other inspiring items for table settings from our dining collection >>

Posted By Tiina Simola

Quality and Flexibility – Millan Putiikki, Our Retailer in Lahti 

An effective collaboration with both retailers and producers is of utmost importance to Balmuir, and thus we would like to introduce some of our long-time business partners here in our blog.

This time, we get more acquainted with Millan Putiikki – a store which sells high-quality apparel, accessories and interior décor items. The customers are able to enjoy the store’s selection online at the webstore as well as at a physical location, in a boutique located in Lahti, Finland.  In business since 2012, the owner and CEO of the boutique, Milla Tähkänen, tells us more.

 

What is important to you in regard to the daily operation of your Boutique?

We consider our customers the most important of all, of course, as without them there wouldn’t be us. Another important thing is to have good and reliable affiliates. Together we make sure that our store selection stays interesting and constantly changing. In this way, the work stays personally enjoyable and the customers are motivated to keep coming back yet again to see what’s on offer.

 

Millan Putiikki BalmuirMillan Putiikki Balmuir

 

How would you describe your company values?

We want to offer our customers flexible and good customer service. We are even able to order singular items for our customers, if needed. This is the strength of a small business – flexibility comes easy.

Another value for us is bravery. You can’t always be sure on whether or not something will work, but we still often try new things. Sometimes things go wrong, but fortunately most of the time we make things work. As an entrepreneur, I also think it is important that our employees are content and want to do their own part in running a small business and in ensuring that everything runs smoothly.

 

How do you pick and choose the products that you want to sell in the boutique?

We choose products and brands which we would use ourselves, as well. As the boutique has been in business for quite a while already, the brands in our store have become quite constant. However, sometimes we find new exciting things, we just can’t resist.

 

How did you discover Balmuir?

I encountered Balmuir and its creation story through media at the end of year 2012. In 2013, I re-encountered Balmuir in Stockholm at the Formex fair. There were so many lovely items that it was hard to decide which products we would start with. At first, we got Helsinki and Dawn scarves, linen kitchen textiles and kid mohair throws. Now the selection has grown quite a bit. It was wonderful to get our first shop-in-shop for Balmuir products at the end of last year.

Millan Putiikki BalmuirMillan Putiikki Balmuir

 

What attracts you to the products of Balmuir?

I think that the durable natural materials and the timeless design are what’s best in Balmuir. I also like that you can bring luxury to your everyday life with the products of a Finnish brand. You don’t always have to rely on the Italian or French.

Being Finnish is a great value, and we in fact continuously try to find our customers beautiful and high-quality brands that are domestic. Balmuir fits this value brilliantly.

 

What are your favourite products of Balmuir?

The Helsinki scarf is always my go-to accessory. I wear mine inside as well as outdoors. The new Aurora beanie has also grown on me as a favourite, but the upcoming autumn collection has so many lovely things, that there will definitely be new items to add to my favourites list.

Browse Balmuir's spring novelties >>

 

What kind of visions do you have for the future?

I believe that a small business, such as us, will never be truly ready. I want to learn to be even better in many aspects relating to my work, so development is one of my visions. Of course, creating a memorable and cosy store experience from season to season requires inspiration and the performance of the task multiple times a year. In this aspect also, the best partners will help us push these visions forward.

 

More information on Balmuir wholesale: Phone +358-40-705-6353 / E-mail: sales@balmuir.com

Visit Millan Putiikki online >>

Posted By Tiina Simola

Set The Table for Spring

 

 

This spring the dining table is set in a casual, yet elegant. Invest in timeless and high quality table top accessories that will last you for years. The classic ensemble is brightened with napkins and candles in beautiful colours of the season. One of this spring's most popular colours is pink, balanced with classic white.

Linen is a much loved, durable natural material. Our European made napkins are an essential part of a spring table setting. These napkins are also a more eco-friendly choice for paper napkins. A leather napking ring finishes the look. If you wish for a table cloth, we recommend our linen table cloth to bring a laid back, vintage vibe to your home. 

Browse our kitchen linen >

 

As the early spring nights get dark, create a romantic atmosphere with handmade candles and precious crystal candle stands. Combine different size candle stands and different colour candles to make a center piece for dinner table or in the living room. 

Candle standsCandle stands

Fall for candles > 

Add a finishing touch to the table with a beautiful bouquet with your favourite flowers. Gather the bouquet into our Kensington lantern, which can also be used as an elegant vase. If you want, we can also make the lantern personal with a monogram. 

Buy lanterns >


Have you been invited to a dinner party? Surprise the hosts with a linen kitchen towel that only gets better with time. Our wonderful colour collection includes both classic and seasonal options. Our aprons are also a valued gift for those who enjoy cooking.

Posted By Tiina Simola

The New Life of Balmuir Gift Boxes

Christmas is the time of beautiful presents. With us, every purchase is worthy of a beautiful gift packaging around the year. Balmuir products are always packaged into beautiful gift boxes that are finished with an elegant satin ribbon. The elegantly packaged items are ready to be put directly under a Christmas tree.

Balmuir Gift Boxes

The quality gift boxes can be reused. For instance, the boxes can be used for extra storage space. A designer and blogger Marja Nevalainen from the Finnish blog Marjamailla discovered a new way to utilize the gift boxes, giving them a new life as a part of her interior decor:

– I find it great that products have a story and that the story gets a continuation through a ’new’ life. With recycling and crafting you are able to build a unique and personal interior decor, Marja told us.

Marja gave a new life to our Balmuir gift boxes by painting them with lime paint. The painted, pastel coloured boxes gave a unique addition to Marja’s home. We asked Marja for a few tips on painting Balmuir gift boxes.

What inspired you to paint the gift boxes?

I have tried various lime paints and I fell in love with the consistency of the Domus Natura paints. I thought, finally I’ve discovered a product to use in repurposing the gift boxes. I was surprised on how nice of a result I was able to get with such minimal effort.

Marjamailla painted gift boxes

How did you go about the project?

Before painting I cleaned the surfaces of the box with a damp cloth. After painting you should note that the lime-painted surface is lively, matte and natural. Therefore, in case you wish to protect the surface from dirt, I recommend a protecting wax made specifically to give a finish to a lime-painted surface.

 

How would you give a new life to a Balmuir gift box?

Posted By Tiina Simola

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

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 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.

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

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. 

 

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

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

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

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

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