Where do you live?
In Kamppi, Helsinki.
Where would you live if you didn’t live in Helsinki?
In London or in Turku. I like to live in cities that are close to the sea.
What’s best about your neighbourhood?
Everything is close, the services, the shops, the parks, the sea. You can find quiet moments to enjoy yourself in nature or you can go shopping and enjoy yourself in the restaurants.
Which is your favourite Helsinki neighbourhood?
It’s very comfortable to live in Kamppi. I also love Ullanlinna and Eira; the architecture and the houses are so different and beautiful there. They’re joyful-looking neighbourhoods.
Which is Helsinki’s best attraction?
Streets like Fredrikinkatu, Punavuorenkatu or Tehtaankatu with their boutiques and small shops. I like the Aleksanterin theatre rather than the big Helsinki Music Centre or the Finnish Parliament because I love to see small proportions and things in the quieter streets.
Which are you favourite Helsinki stores?
I enjoy Stockmann, where you can see a lot of quality things all in one place.
Which are the best places in Helskinki for a special meal?Sushi Bar is the number one place with my friends. When my husband and I want something special Ravintola Loiste on Sokos’s top floor is the place to go, the food is really good there, and Ilmatar is very nice for brunches. Toscanini is also a very good place.
Can you recommend any Finnish foods or dishes?
Bread cheese with cloudberry jam is delicious! And salmon, of course.
Do you have a favourite local café?
Gran Delicato Café on the corner of Kalevankatu and Albertinkatu; they have really good coffee and bruschetta.
Do you have a favourite walk in Helsinki?
In Kaivopuisto, next to the sea.
How do you like to travel around the city?
I usually walk or I take trams, especially the number 6 tram, which is very nice because it goes along Bulevardi, a very nice street.
Which is Helsinki’s best landmark or building?
Tuomiokirkko, the white cathedral. For me, this church is quite interesting and magnificent.
Which do you think is the best museum in Helsinki?
Ateneum and Kiasma are my favourites, although I prefer Ateneum a little bit more. Kiasma is for contemporary art and contemporary art is something you see every day, it’s more part of the reality that you are looking at all the time. At the Ateneum you can see paintings that you don’t see any more these days because they take more time to be created.
Which person from Helsinki do you most admire?
Pirkko Nystén, the owner of Piccola Donna boutique on Fredrikinkatu. She has had the boutique for 25 years. As an entrepreneur and as a CEO, she was almost like a mentor to me. Seeing how much she has achieved for herself, seeing how hard-working she is, was inspiring. I was working at Piccola Donna when I was studying and I was seeing her arriving on her bicycle in her high heels. Now she also sells my designs. I got a lot of good advice from her. I value her a lot.
Any advice for visitors?
If you want to see Helsinki and don't have a lot of time, take a tram and go to Fredrikinkatu in Punavuori, or to Aleksanterinkatu and see the Tuomiokirkko; trams 6 and 3 have nice routes. And even we look a bit shy, ask questions, people in Helsinki are really happy to help and answer questions; also ask questions in design stores and you could get really nice stories.
Is there anywhere you would recommend visitors avoid? Nightclubs late in the night or streets late at night, not because it's not safe – Helsinki is very safe – but because it’s not beautiful to see people when they are too drunk.
Can you recommend any good hotels in Helsinki?
If you want to experience Helsinki design and something down to earth, Hotel Klaus K is beautiful; if you want something very luxurious Hotel Kämp is the place to go.
What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without people who are very important to me because no matter how much you succeed, if you don't have anyone to share it with then it doesn’t matter. And in the city I cannot survive without trees. It’s something simple but very important.
What would you miss if you moved away from Helsinki?That everything works like a clock and is very well organised.
What makes Helsinki special?
I moved to Helsinki when I was accepted by the University of Art and Design to do my master’s degree, that was really special to me. On top of that, I met my husband. He was the last piece that made Helsinki my home. Helsinki is the city where I found true love, the most important love of my life, and my dream work, my profession. This is why Helsinki is so important to me.
Tell us a secret.
I am really shy when receiving compliments about my collections.