Kaurilan Sauna company was born in 2009, when Saara Heikkinen founded a public sauna in Helsinki's OldMeilahti.
Kaurilan public sauna
Today, Kaurilan Sauna is a certified manufacturer of natural cosmetics and candles. The company also has an online store offering sauna products and a physical store in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki. The sauna operations were suspended in 2020, when Saara had to give up her ownership of the former premises, but the search for new premises is underway and the sauna operations will be resumed as soon as suitable premises are found. Saara still owns the business and runs it together with her husband Jaakko and the lovely sauna elves.
Public figures also visited the sauna. In the picture is a famous artist Lauri Tähkä
Saara as a young single parent
Saara has always been determined and hardworking. She had a child at the age of 17 and supported herself and her son as a young single parent by working in restaurants and making silver jewelry. By working long hours, he saved money to being able to do several months of backpacking trips with his son to Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Saara is a small woman and the boy was large for his age, so they were regularly asked if they had lost their parents. The same curiosity, courage and open-mindedness are still involved in all of Kaurilan Sauna's operations.
Saara with her son in Italy in 2000
Saara loved the old wooden sauna in her Meilahti home and wanted also to give others the possibility to enjoy the wonderful sauna. When founding her company, she had the idea that the traditional Finnish sauna pleasure would be completed by gentle Natural Cosmetics and lovely linen towels. The first thing she did was to sew 80 towels for her sauna guests to use.
Wonderful women in Kaurilan public sauna
The birth of cosmetics and candles
Saara was looking for beautifully burning candles and unscented soaps for her sensitive skin in, but could not find suitable ones for the atmosphere of Kaurilan Sauna, so she learned how to make soap and candles herself.
Manufacturing lace candles
Saara tested the cosmetics on her own sensitive skin and listened to the wishes of the sauna guests about the properties for the products. At the beginning, Saara sold cosmetics mainly at the sauna and at Christmas markets, but gradually cosmetic products were wanted for resale. Kaurilan Sauna's online store was founded in 2017 and its own wonderful physical store in 2019. Today, there is a wide selection of cosmetics in various retails chains and webstores, e.g. Ruohonjuuri and Ecco Verde.
Saara at a Christmas market in 2016
The gradual growth of the company
Saara worked alone from 2009 to 2017. She cleaned and heated the sauna, carried firewood and hosted her customers at the sauna. After the working day, the development, manufacture and packaging of jewelry, and later cosmetics, began, first in her own kitchen, and then in a small study in Meilahti.
The first employee of Kaurilan Sauna was the wonderful Maili, who is like Saara's right hand today. Later, Jaakko came to the rescue, who is responsible not only for sales and marketing, but also for computer tasks that do not seem to fit well with Saara. Today, the company employs 5-10 wonderful sauna elves, depending on the season.
Kaurila's sauna elves, office dog Doris and her brother Hugo
Saara and Jaakko fell in love in a sauna, where else.
Saara and Jaakko
Origin of the name
Although Kaurilan Sauna has been a Helsinki-based company since the beginning, the origin of the name leads to North Karelia and the village of Kaurila. The name literally means sauna of Kaurila.
Kaurila's railway station, built in 1894, was unused in the early 1990s and Saara's family bought it and moved it to its current location in Meilahti.
Kaurila's railway station in Kaurila
And in Helsinki
The old log sauna on the premises was moved from Tuusula at the same time as the main building and the public sauna established in it was named Kaurilan Sauna. Today, these buildings are in private use and Kaurilan Sauna's production facilities are located in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki.
Construction of work tables in new premises in 2020
The purpose of Kaurilan Sauna is to offer its customers ecologically and ethically sustainable quality products that bring joy to its users. The products are still handcrafted with the same love as ever.
Oat shampoos nearing completion
Sauna is a dear hobby for Saara and Jaakko and a new public sauna will be opened as soon as a suitable place is found. The dream is to have a sauna by the sea that is open all year round.
Wonderful summer and enjoyable sauna moments!
Jaakko and other Kaurilan Sauna elves.