History

1989 – Sareka is established

Sareka Oy began its operations in Lahti in 1989, when we started to import leather garments from India. We soon switched to manufacturing men’s and women’s shirts and importing them for wholesale. Meanwhile we had already begun cooperation with the artist Asta Pulkkinen. Asta designed motifs which were then hand-painted on decorative items in Kashmir, India.

1990’s – Retail and boutiques

In the 90’s we moved to retail for a while and opened several pop-up boutiques in different locations in Southern Finland. Our long-term store was located in the Trio mall in Lahti. Our shops sold a large variety of clothing, jewellery, gift items and other accessories.

Late 1990’s – Towards Asia

A shopping trip to Bali in 1998

A shopping trip to Bali in 1998

In the late 90’s we once again changed our strategy in terms of imports. This time our target country was Indonesia. For some years we imported large volumes of wooden cats and giraffes, mirrors and other items for the Finnish wholesale market. Occasionally we also found interesting pieces of furniture for import. Eventually we shifted our focus to furniture and interior decoration items which were mainly imported from India.

Start of the new millennium – Out into the world (and Korvatunturi, home of Santa Claus)

A fair booth in Forma in '00

A fair booth in Forma in ’00

In the first years of the 00’s we began redesigning our souvenir catalogue. We also came to contact with interesting manufacturers from, for example, Kenya, Turkey, Chile, Mexico, Peru and China.

We designed new products that used imagery from Lapland by artist Pekka Antikainen as well as motifs from the Alta rock paintings. Our Stone Age collection is based on these very rock paintings which we have modified to suit our products.

We decided to partner with the Santa Claus Foundation, and consequently their licensed image materials are also available for our use. After all, Sareka is Santa’s official gift shop!

2010’s – For artisanship and ethicality

Our product range is largely based on handicraft and artisanship. The sales volumes of furniture imported from India have constantly been on the rise, as the renovation of furniture and the use of recycled materials has become increasingly enticing to environmentally conscious customers. There is no need to cut down forests to make these products.

Our intention is to place even more emphasis on recycling and ethically sound manufacturing in the future.