In the idyllic old stone house in Töölö, Helsinki, the little Unelma Puoti serves it’s customers – and so does the happy couple of two women who appreciate craftsmanship and small business entrepreneurs.

Located at Mannerheimintie 37, this sympathetic small ”Dream Shop” is just a stone’s throw away from the historical Olympic Stadium and in the heart of the thriving area of Töölö. With tram or bus visitors can easily get practically right in front of the shop.

The popular hairdresser-cafe Niitty Töölö opened its doors in the next corner a while ago. There are also other fascinating little stores nearby, such as the Nukketohtori, a doctor’s reception for dolls, teddy bears and all the toys needing repairing. Korjaamo Culture Factory is just a few minutes walk away.

Quality for all budgets

The owners of the Unelma Puoti, Piia Virtala and Laura Koskinen, found each other by chance via the Women Entrepreneurs’ Facebook Group. At first, there were four female entrepreneurs running the shop, but now everything is in the hands of these two skillful women.

Laura (on the left) and Piia have been running the new kind of handicraft shop for one and a half year.

Piia and Laura want to honor the expertise of Finnish artisans by giving everybody the opportunity to buy Finnish products.

“We think that everyone from students to pensioners should be able to buy locally handmade products. That’s why we keep the store’s product range and prices on the level that suits all kinds of purses and wallets.”

Recycled treasures and eco-friendly products

Customers have already found this attractive place and noticed it’s pocket-friendly prices and the visit to the store is for sure a pleasure since you can make many great discoveries with a small amount of money.

There is all kind of things and discoveries in the shop! At the first look you notice only a small part of what the shop has to offer and new products are coming in all the time.

Visitors love the artful recycling products, such as earrings made of old chess pieces, hairpins with nostalgic candy papers and wall clocks customed from vinyl records. Here you can also find ecological Venka & Vinka jewelry and accessories which are made in Northern Finland for example from bicycle inner tub and old coins.

Families already know the store, which offers colorful children’s clothes, as well as pretty storage boxes and bags that bring joy and order to children’s rooms and everyday life. Also the most cute baby socks are waiting on the shelf for their new little owners.

Regular customers pop in the store to pick up trendy laundry vinegars and other ecological cleaning products. Natural cosmetics, for example products from Kaurilan Sauna and Saaren Taika, also are very popular items in the store.

“Demand for natural products is constantly increasing, so we strive to fulfill the customers wishes by bringing them in. We want to offer products which you can’t find in every store”, says Piia.

Hopes and dreams

The shop has already fulfilled many dreams. Customers have found the garment they’ve been looking for, or the perfect house warming gift or the unique piece of jewelry for someone special’s birthday.

“Feedback from the customers has been really encouraging. It feels great that we can offer people pleasant surprises”, the two ladies of the shop say.

For artisans the shop gives the opportunity to bring the products into a store without a burden of their own retail space.

Unelma Puoti is also an excellent channel for special orders.

“Customers can make requests of material and color or ask for a different version of certain product. We don’t have enough space for all possible products, but by ordering you can get yourself a truly unique product. It is always worth asking!” encourages Laura, who also makes custom-made giant knitted gilts and wool socks herself.

The shop is also a dream come true for its owners.

“This is what we love to do. At the moment we work here part-time but hopefully the shop will soon become a permanent and vibrant part of the everyday life in Töölö – and then we both can serve customers here full-time.”

Laura and Piia are welcoming old and new customers to the shop. “Tervetuloa” means WELCOME in Finnish.

Pop in the shop:

Photos: Mari Toivonen

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