1930s: The story of Kalevala Jewelry (Koru) begins.
Writer Elsa Heporauta had a dream: she wanted to establish a statue to honor the Finnish woman. Other influential women became inspired by the idea also, and to fund the project women decided to manufacture and sell copies of old viking era jewelry. They selected 40 models from the historical collections of the National Museum of Finland and the promotion started the best possible way: the first collection of jewelry was introduced in December 1937 at the tea party of the First Lady of Finland, Kaisa Kallio. The jewelry had become alive - the story of Kalevala Jewelry had begun.
The new jewelry collection became highly popular, but other plans were affected by the start of the Winter War. The statue funds were decided to be used for helping people in need during the war, making charity a permanent value at the company. The women who planned the idea for the statue established Kalevala Women's Association, a cultural organization that still owns Kalevala Jewelry.
After the war
Germund Paaer, a distinguished artist, became the head of design at Kalevala Jewelry. He designed jewelry in his own style but the motifs had a strong connection with history. Simultaneously a vision for a modern, comtemporary collection sprung up within the company. In 1947 Kalevala Jewelry held a design competition that got the attention of the 1940s rising artists. The prize winning designs set the foundation for the Kalevala Jewelry contemporary collection. New designers Eero Rislakki, Börje Rajalin and Paula Häiväoja were committed to simple and bold jewelry. The open-minded approach to design made Kalevala Jewelry one of the top design companies in Finland in the 50s and 60s.
During the following decades the collections successfully reflected the tastes and designs of the era. Bronze jewelry became an everlasting trend. In 1989 Kalevala Jewelry bought a jewelry manufacturer Kaunis Koru, known for their passion for modern designs.
Today Kalevala Jewelry is still the forerunner of jewelry making. New technologies are constantly combined with precise goldsmiths' handcraft. And it is remarkable that all the jewelry is still handmade in Finland.
Homage to Finnish women
The dream of Elsa Heporauta eventually came true. The statue for Finnish women resides in the premises of the Kalevala Jewelry factory in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki. In fact, the whole history of Kalevala Jewelry is an homage to Finnish women. The company was founded by women and it is owned by the Kalevala Women's Association. The company has always been managed by skillful women and many famous jewelry pieces have been designed by women - designers such as Kirsti Doukas and Marja Suna.
Through the decades one thing has stayed the same: at Kalevala Jewelry modern and historical jewelry collections live side by side. Jewelry has always been essential - jewelry with a story to tell.