It all began with woolly nappy pants
Ruskovilla is a family business with its headquarters, production and warehouse located in Artjärvi, famous for its lakes attracting migratory birds, just 1,5 hours away from Helsinki, the capital of Finland.
The Ruskovilla story began in the late 1970’s when Anneli Wahlsten and Mauno Mattsson, working at an electronics company in Helsinki at the time, needed a life change and decided to move to the quiet countryside of Artjärvi. In the summer the family made its living from organic farming and a berry farm, but additional income was needed for the winters. At the time only cloth nappies with plastic pants were available in Finland, so a lot of parents were interested in the woolen nappy pants and as well as woolen baby clothing manufactured in Sweden. The problem was that by the time the mail order items finally arrived in Finland they were already too small for the babies.
So Anneli and Mauno headed over to Sweden to learn the art of wool clothes making. Anneli became familiar with sewing and Mauno learned about weaving, sewing machines, machine maintenance and cutting. Their van was heavily loaded with seaming machines, hemming machines and a rim cutter when they arrived back in Finland. In the fall of 1981 Ruskovilla was founded.
Our first products were woolen baby clothes such as nappy pants, rompers and a shirt still available today with renewed versions. The demand grew and already in the next year it was time to hire the first seamstress and expand the selection into children and adult clothing. To meet the customer needs other natural fibers, such as silk, silkwool and organic cotton, were added to the material selection. Soon the first international customers found Ruskovilla. Today the products are sold to for example Australia, Japan, China, South Africa, Israel and North America.
The growing company had many different addresses until 1991 when the old Artjärvi dairy became its permanent home with several new additions built over the years. Ruskovilla also turned into a genuine family business when Anneli’s daughter Leena and son-in-law Ossi started working at the company first as a temporary help. Today Leena is in charge of the products and Ossi has been the CEO since 1999. While the official generational change took place in the early 2000’s Anneli, today over 80 years old, is still active with the company’s ongoing activities sharing her vast knowledge with the younger generation.
Ruskovilla has always danced to the beat of its own drum. The first web shop was introduced next to mail order already in 1999. In order to ensure high quality, the production has never been outsourced and has always remained in Finland with the Finnish Key Flag Symbol granted in 1996. In 2018 Ruskovilla was the first to introduce organic silk to the Nordic markets and a year later the long transition to only organic materials was finalized. The core of the operations has always been listening and understanding customer needs and today there are many families with 4th and 5th generation Ruskovilla users. Today organic materials, high quality and transparent local production are more on trend than ever.