October 21, 2015
There’s a lot to love when it comes to Pikku Potin. These makers are heading to our London Fair in just a couple weeks to show off their nordic inspired homewares and accessories. And boy, we cannot wait!
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
‘Pikku Potin’ is an adaptation of the Finnish words for ‘little pot’ – Anna is half Finnish, and we were looking for a name that referenced the nordic influence of our designs. We also wanted our name to be unique to make it easy for people to find us online! The copper plant hangers are based on a traditional Finnish decoration, called himmeli, which was a starting point for other homewares of a similar nordic simplicity.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
We met whilst working as architects, and we were both looking for a more direct creative outlet for our design ideas. We found architecture a very long and slow-moving process. By designing and making our own products (on a much smaller scale) we are able to be completely involved in all stages of the design process, and have the satisfaction of creating a real, tangible product in the space of a few hours rather than a few years! We are both keen on interior design and homewares in general and Anna had just bought a flat and was doing it up, so homewares seemed like a natural area for us to explore. Initially we were just trying to make things we wanted for our own homes but couldn’t find anywhere else, and that’s since become the way we approach the design of all of our products.
What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
We design and hand make all of our products which allows us freedom to work with clients and collaborators on an individual basis, and respond to individual requests. Our architectural background provides an influence in the geometry of our designs, attention to detail and interest in materiality, as well as our market stall set-up.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
We had no prior knowledge of business so we’ve definitely had to learn from our mistakes, particularly in terms of valuing our own time and getting the price point of our products right. We want to keep our products as accessible and affordable as possible, without compromising the quality, so it’s a careful balance.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Probably when one of our favourite shops approached us to stock our products rather then us contacting them first. We were only starting out and wouldn’t have had the confidence to approach them so it made us begin to feel that anything is possible!We’ve also felt really proud when other designers have contacted us to use our products when styling shoots and events.
How does the city you live in influence your work?
London has a fantastic creative community, and there are a lot of opportunities for selling at markets, which has been invaluable to us in terms of getting direct feedback from shoppers, and for meeting other designer-makers. We have to credit where we are today to a very receptive London audience who value handmade products and small businesses! We have learnt so much from other stall-holders we’ve met, and there is a great supportive network out there, which is handy when you are starting up. Getting to know other creatives has also led to rewarding collaborations, stretching us as designers and also giving us opportunities outside of our normal area.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
Architecture gave us attention to detail and the confidence to design. Everything else we are learning along the way!
What are some inspirations for your work?
Our main design inspiration is Nordic simplicity; we also draw a lot of inspiration from the plants themselves and from the raw materials we use. We really like to mix natural materials and forms with clean geometric lines.
Another great source of inspiration for us is collaboration. We are also currently working with a fellow small business, Blue Guy Pottery, on a limited edition collection to be launched at Renegade! We also recently collaborated with start-up gallery Scene to create a planted installation as part of their exhibition, and we also came up with a new product for them. We really enjoyed inputting to the exhibition design as it enabled us to draw on our past in spatial design, linking it directly with our products. We are always on the lookout for future collaborations!
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
Speak to people! We’ve all dealt with the same problems and pitfalls, so talk to your neighbours at markets, and support each other through social media, you’ll learn a lot and get loads of inspiration!
It’s also important to remember that while it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the increasing amount of competition in the small creative business realm, there’s room for everyone as no-one has the exact same approach and values as you. So keep going as your product will be someone’s idea of perfect!
photo by Garry Maclennan
Can’t wait for our London Fair? You can find Pikku Potin online here: