Welcome to the Paper Garden of and by Varalusikka!
This blog has been on the making for a long time, but now seemed to be just as good a moment as any to begin.
If you have found this blog, then you probably know us already (us meaning Varalusikka and the people behind it, Tero and Emilia), but if by some miracle you have found this blog without never ever having heard of Varalusikka, we’ll tell you a short story.
Varalusikka means an extra spoon in Finnish. You know the Spoon Theory? Chronically ill people use it to explain their restricted life to someone who has no disabilities. Chronically ill people need to think how they use their very limited amount of energy each day, and they use spoons as measurement.
However, for Varalusikka, spoons are more than a measurement of energy. For us, it’s a way of life. It’s a way to remind people of living in a moment, enjoying the little things, embracing and accepting life as it is - and yourself as you are. It’s also a way to think about your dreams, your goals, and your life. How are you going to use your precious spoons, time, energy - life? In short, we want to remind you to live just one spoon at a time - one spoonful of courage and hope at a time is all we need. It’s all we get, too.
But why spoons and why Varalusikka? Well, you know how life tends to have a habit of surprising you, making twists and turns you never thought would happen. That’s how it all started, too, quite by accident in one dark winter day, 2015. We know what it is to live with chronic illnesses, oh yes, we do. Emilia was in a very desperate need of spoons, and it just popped to her head to make a spoon that she could carry with her, but she couldn’t find one. So, she made one. And then another. And then her friends wanted one, too. But being chronically ill, she couldn’t even though she loved the idea. Guess what happened? Her husband Tero stepped in, founded a business, created a web shop, and started to make spoon jewellery his wife had designed. Just like that, he made it all real. Varalusikka had born.
Then, you remember what we just wrote about the unexpected nature of life? Varalusikka slowly turned into much more than just spoon jewellery, totally unexpectedly, after we fell in love with the Finnish vintage papers and thought if us, why not everyone else too would love them; those who has eye for soft colours, who are enchanted by the broken, fragile beauty of them, and ability to give them a new meaning, a new life. (How this all happened, is a story of its own.)
Varalusikka is a tiny business. So tiny, it fits in one room at our home, in the beautiful countryside of south-western Finland. So tiny, it’s just Tero who runs it, singlehandedly, while Emilia tries her very best to interrupt and disturbs as much as she could, with new ideas (often more or less silly, but somehow Tero makes them all possible). Varalusikka is dear to us both, it’s almost like our fourth child. However, as the paper side of Varalusikka keeps growing and growing with head spinning speed, we have been thinking a lot if we should change the name. But we couldn’t, as said, it’s like betraying a member of our family. So, from now on, we have two brands. Varalusikka offers encouragement in a form of spoon jewellery, and Paper Garden offers simple, little things for creating your kind of beauty in the ordinary.
Because of Emilia’s very limited health, our small children needing lots of TLC, Tero working full time in his job as a project manager, nothing is ordinary in this business. Everything takes time more than usually for a business, posting new photos on Instagram, writing a new blog post, listing new items for the shops… So, for us developing this website has been a major task, taking endless amount of late nights, lots of coffee, and extra pinch of pixie dust, and as you can see, there’s still so much to do. It’s a start anyway, and slowly we are updating and developing it.
For us, Varalusikka is all about delighting people, wanting to spread happiness, love, and beauty in one form or another. Reminding people how precious, fragile, and beautiful life is, and most of all, how beautiful, precious, and brave are You. We know that we all have hidden sorrows, worries, but we want you to remember to take it just one spoon at a time. We hope that through this blog we can do that too. So welcome, it’s so nice you have popped to greet us!