The Story of Kalevala Koru


Kalevala Koru was founded as a tribute to a Finnish woman

In the 1930s, Elsa Heporauta and a group of socially active women wanted to bring the beauty of our ancestors' jewelry within the reach of today's women.

The sale of copies and imitations of ancient jewelry was intended to finance a statue for a Finnish woman. The jewelry that went on sale at the end of 1937 was enthusiastically received and immediately became very popular. Kalevala Jewelry was born.


Charity is in Kalevala Jewelry's DNA

In the fall of 1939, the Second World War broke out, and the statue had to wait. The Kalevala Women's memorial committee founded by Elsa Heporauta decided to use the funds collected for the statue to help those in need.

The committee founded mothers' homes as resting places for mothers of families with many children, and assisted, among other things, children's homes and temporary homes for refugees from Karelia. War invalids were also hired as employees for Kalevala Jewelry. Bridal crowns from the jewelry collection were rented, and the rental income was donated to support the war blind. Up to 80% of the company's profit was used to do good.

Kalevala Jewelry has beautified people's everyday life and celebrations since 1937. For just as long, our jewelry has also done tangible good.

1/3 of the profit to charity and staff

In 2020, Kalevala Jewelry set a goal to use 1/3 of its profit for charity projects and for well-being of the staff.

In the same spring, Kalevala Jewelry started cooperation with the Home Street Home association. With funding from Kalevala Jewelry, the Kalevala Training Center project was launched , which opens a path to a profession and independent livelihood for the most disadvantaged young women in the village of Makongen in Kenya.

The training center offers three training programs for girls and women aged 16-25. Over the course of three years, 398 young women have graduated from the Kalevala Training Center. 80% of them have got a job, started a company or continued their studies.

Kalevala x vammasettytö

Women and girls with disabilities are still a discriminated and invisible minority in our society. We started cooperation with Rusetti ry in 2022. Our goal is that girls and women with disabilities create opportunities for each other to become empowered, to have role models, to meet and become visible.

With funding from Kalevala Jewelry, vammaisettyttö was founded , which is Finland's first website for disabled women by disabled women. In addition to the website, we organized two empowering camps for disabled girls.

We want to encourage and strengthen disabled girls' belief in themselves, their own abilities and possibilities.

Charity jewelry

Since the 1990s, the Kalevala Jewelry collection has included charity jewelry .

We have been participating in the Cancer Foundation's Pink Ribbon collection since 2015. Together with our customers, we have collected a total of 314,000 euros for the Cancer Foundation with Pink Ribbon jewelry .

Questioning the norms and stereotypes related to being a woman and a girl

In 2017, Kalevala Jewelry launched the Spitting Girl jewelry in its 80th anniversary year.

In the jewelry by visual artist Kim Simonsson, spoiled little girls fulfill themselves by metaphorically spitting in the face of society's norms, regardless of what they are expected and assumed to do - or not do - as girls.

In some countries, gender still limits the study opportunities of many children and young people. That's why we established the Kalevala Training Center in Kenya.

Owned and managed by women

Even today, Kalevala Jewelry is owned by the Kalevala Women's Association, a continuation of the work of the Kalevala Women memorial committee founded in the 1930s. Kalevala Women's Association supports and promotes Finnish cultural work.

Kalevala Jewelry, in cooperation with the Kalevala Women's Association, distributes grants for the promotion of Finnish culture through its own cultural foundation. The Kalevala Jewelry Cultural Foundation grants grants to private individuals or communities for projects promoting cultural heritage.

Apart from a short period in the late 1980s, Kalevala Koru has always been led by a woman. Since 2019 , Kirsi Paakkari has been the CEO.

Highlighting important Finnish women

Through jewelry, Kalevala Jewelry has highlighted numerous women who have had a significant impact on the development of Finnish society and culture.

Minna Canth, the pioneer of equality, Aurora Karamzin, the founder of the Deaconess Institute, and Birgitta, the only female saint in the North, have received their own jewelry. Helene Schjerfbeck, one of our most internationally renowned painters, Aino Ackté, our first opera star to rise to international fame, and the pioneers of modern Finnish poetry, L. Onerva and Saima Harmaja, have also received their own jewelry.

The 100th anniversary jewelry of universal and equal suffrage The Dream has already established its position as a design classic. The jewelry is still part of our collection. As well as the Female Lion pendant, which is a replica of the official heraldic Lion of Finland. Fearlessly looking to the future, the female lioness of Finland can be carried by everyone, regardless of age and gender, for whom equality, equality and justice are matters of the heart.

First female chief designer 1963

Kalevala Jewelry had its first female head designer already in 1963, when the art industry and design were a man's world.

Without bias, Kalevala Jewelry hired fashion artist Paula Häiväoja (1929–2011) as its chief designer, who was given a free hand by the company's management to realize his bold, futuristic visions.

Later, master of arts Kirsti Doukas worked for a long time as the chief designer of Kalevala Jewelry and its recent subsidiary Kaunis Jewelry.

Expanding the image of women

We released the Untamed Beauty brand film in the spring of 2017. It became one of our most visible and beloved works.

The film is still perceived as an empowering statement that diversifies the traditional image of women. We want to encourage everyone to believe in themselves and their own limitless possibilities in the world.

Delightful design for every day

The authors of our insightful and timeless jewelry design are a group of top Finnish designers, as well as internationally recognized designers and artists.

Responsibly handmade in Finland: it is a value choice for us to make Kalevala jewelry in Finland, and to maintain Finnish goldsmithing skills and the tradition of jewelry making. This is how we have operated for 86 years and this is how we will continue to operate.