Two days ago we came back from an inspiring weekend in Näsåker and Sollefteå (where we stayed overnight in Hotel Hallstaberget), Sweden. For me it was my very first trip to Sweden (besides visiting IKEA of course), like to most of us. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Urkult Festival in Näsåker among amazingly talented entrepreneurs from Finland, Ireland and Northern Ireland; Ciara Campbell from Ciara Campbell Ceramics, Urs Harttung from Bearfoot Enterprise, Annika Konttaniemi from Susivilla, Kevin Lynch from Airmid Natural Irish Skincare & Gifts, Sallyann Marron from Sallyann’s Handmade Bags, James Adair from The Journeyman Saddler, Patricia Millar from Patricia Millar Ceramics and Elina Söderström & Esa Rautiainen from E-City Landscape & Art.
As a student this gave me an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse of what it would be like to work as an entrepreneur. Up until now, I wasn’t sure whether I had what it takes to become an entrepreneur – but now I think I might highly likely to become one in the future after graduating. From very young age I learned how to knit (big thanks to my grandma) and since then I’ve also studied lifestyle design in Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences – during that year I also learned the basics of how to design and make clothes. Combining that to my business studies now, I think that it makes a great base to start my own business.
Attending Urkult Festival
Urkult is eco-friendly, hippie-style world music festival organised every year in August in Näsåker since 1995. At the marketplace right before the actual festival area our entreneurs sold their products, which were all as eco-friendly as possible, varying from handmade natural ingredients to recycled materials. It was great to see how many people were interested to have a closer look at these high quality handmade products.
During that weekend some of us went to visit nearby art gallery and professional pottery studio called The Nordic Centre. Helen Blästa, the founder of the company told us about her business and its cooperation with the Urkult festival aswell. Later she also came to visit the market place.
I’m really grateful of all the support and encouragement I got from the entrepreneurs I’ve met during this trip. Specially I want to thank Creative Momentum Project for making this all possible. It is a project co-funded by Northern Periphery & Arctic Programme (NPA) of EU aiming to support entrepreneurs operating in creative sector in Northern Europe, and Lapin ammattikorkeakoulu is one of the organizations running this project.
We had such an amazing time in Sweden and we felt like this trip came to an end too soon. This is by far one of my best experiences during my studies, and the people I’ve met along the way. I’m sure we will stay in touch and hopefully we can meet again some day!
Author: Nina Niskala