Marimekko–the pattern-happy Finnish design house–was established “for women and by women” in 1951. Last year, 94% of its employees were women. Here’s a bit about why it’s such a supportive place to work for creative individuals.
By Madeleine Morley at AIGA:
Emmakaisa Soisalo has similarly climbed the company ladder over time, as many staffers do. Perhaps this accounts for why Marimekko feels less like a traditional business and more like a family, albeit a very creative and enterprising one. Soisala started as assistant designer in 2011, and has now become design and product development manager and a designer of ready-to-wear collections. The fact that you can grow at Marimekko, explore different areas and develop a variety of skills is why Soisalo believes it’s “one of the most appealing employers amongst design students, at least in Finland.”
Both Kemel-Kutvonen and Sisal are an easy fit at the company because their ideals, philosophies, and confidence align with the Marimekko way of thinking. “Functionality is an important for all of us,” says Soisalo. “We create designs that make people’s everyday life joyful and beautiful.”
Kemel-Kutvonen agrees. “The company was founded to bring joy to people’s everyday lives and that’s still our mission today. We’re very future-orientated and we always seek the positive side of things. Even when things look dark and grey, we have a tendency to look for a little ray of light and reach for it.”
This story was originally published on May 10th, 2016.