Mifuko was founded in 2009 by two Finnish designers, Mari Martikainen and Minna Impiö.
Friends since studying Textile Art and Design at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Mari and Minna are guided by their core values: being unique, joyful and socially responsible. Here are their stories:
In 2008 I lived in Kenya with my family and Mari came to visit us. Together we were exploring the markets in Nairobi and inspired by the handcraft skills of the artisans. We had an idea to combine our design skills with traditional techniques found in Kenya to create sustainable design with a personal twist.
It has been great to have the possibility to build a long-term relationship with the artisan groups in rural areas and cities. For me it is important that through Mifuko we can create and design in a way that is sustainable and contributes positively to the world.
It’s been a great journey since 2009 when Minna and I started Mifuko. We met for the first time in 1996 and studied together in University of Art and Design Helsinki, now known as Aalto University.
I love continuously developing new designs with Minna and working closely with our talented artisans to test new materials and find new ideas.
It’s important to me that my work has a positive influence and through my work that the world can be a better place. Materials, techniques and collaboration with producers and designers are my source of inspiration.
Working with Mifuko is creative and fun! Our co-operation with different countries and cultures and of course, making a social impact are very important to me.
Our story: Work of hands and hearts
We are guided by our core values in everything we do: being unique, joyful and socially responsible.
Meeting with artisans is the most rewarding part of our work, seeing the work of hands and hearts. When we visit Kenya we meet with the artisans to openly discuss where we have succeeded and where we need to improve. We also give the artisans the feedback we get from our customers which is truly rewarding to them. We want to encourage them to tell us about their wishes and challenges they face related to their work in order to improve the way we work together.