Valona – Finnish design
At Valona, we make feather-light wooden jewelry, birch himmelis and seasonal decorations such as tree toppers. Valona was founded in 2006 by designer Elina Mäntylä. We have been a limited liability company since 2018 when Markus Vihottula joined the company and turned from a mentor to an owner. Our office is located in Marjaniemi, Helsinki, but the design work travels with us in the archipelagos and the mountains of Lapland. We employ 2-5 employees, depending on the season, directly or through subcontractors across Finland. In addition to aesthetics, we value ecology. Birch, therefore, is the right choice of material for us.
It is important to us that our products are produced ecologically. That is why we use Finnish birch as our material. We have minimized the use of plastic. We pack our products into cardboard packaging. Our packaging is flat and goes into a small space. This is important for the climate in saving in transport such as air freight. We recycle packaging material by utilizing it as our packing material.
We strive for optimum material utilization so that the amount of waste material generated during the birch plywood cutting process is minimized. This has already been taken into account at the design stage in chain jewelry series. The products are made of nested rings, leaving no waste material between the individual parts. Similarly, our stud earrings are made from the middle parts of our other products.
From a responsibility perspective, Valona wants to be involved in creating local jobs. This way we can be sure of the quality of the working conditions. That’s why we’ve kept manufacturing as close as possible.
Beauty has its place
For us, beauty itself has value. It is reflected in how we strive to finish everything we design, how we want to create aesthetic experiences with our products, and how we want the user of the products to experience beauty through our products. For us, nature means aesthetic experiences. This is what we want to convey with our products.
DESIGNER ELINA MÄNTYLÄ
I am a Finnish craftswoman and designer. My style is light and airy. It applies to almost everything I design. My attention is often drawn to light and its various manifestations. It has given the name not only to my company but also, for example, to the Birch Crystal series and the Halo chain jewelry.
I get inspiration from nature and what I experience, but which often cannot be described by words. I love hiking and skiing in the North and kayaking and sailing in the Archipelago Sea. There my predominant feeling is wonder. That’s where I see creativity coming from.