On the first day of May 2020, it became 25 years since I first opened the door of my shop Bisarri for the first time, at Uudenmaankatu 14 in Helsinki. Until then, I had worked in a consulting company in Espoo as a project secretary. The new store was located next to Otavan Kivilinna, right at the bus stop for bus 14.
In the early years, I attended many fairs, although there were not as many antique events and fair organizers as there are today. I participated in fairs as far as Oulu and Vaasa multiple times a year, in spring and autumn. This is how my clientele expanded throughout the country.
Some customers have been with me since the early years. Some visit more often and others less often, but everyone has stayed in my mind in their own way. A year ago, I met a couple who made a wedding registry at my boutique nearly 20 years ago. Although I had not met them in between, the meeting evoked fond memories.
During these years, I have also had the honor of getting to know many Finnish designers personally; Juurikkala, Olin-Grönqvist, Sarpaneva, Still, Von Fieandt, Vennola, Orvola, Kokko, Ishimoto, Koskinen and Toikka.
I have moved the location of my retail a few times during the 25-year time, always staying within the same Helsinki district of Punavuori-Hietalahti-Eira. The area is vibrant and unique, which has given me the reason to stay and fully enjoy being there.
Japanese customers began to take an interest in Finnish design in the early 2000. This interest also revolutionized my world. In 2005, MEK Japan made a large publication on Finnish old items. I was involved in organizing the project and selecting the material to be reviewed. This material became the Tori publication, that was ultimately published into in several magazines. The material presented Finnish designers, vintage objects and shops. Since then; there have been more publications and magazines.
Internet has changed the sale of old items and it has required me to change as well. My first homepage was established in the early 2000 and the online store later in 2014. Further, 2020 is a year of changes. The coming years will show a new direction for trading.
Even though retirement age is knocking on the door, I hope I can continue this trade for many more years to come.