The story of Kaurilan sauna

Posted by Saara Heikkinen on

Kaurilan Sauna company was born in 2009, when Saara Heikkinen founded a public sauna in Helsinki's Old Meilahti.

Kaurilan yleinen Sauna

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.

Lauri Tähkä Kaurilan saunalla

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 son at the age of 17 and supported herself and her child as a young single parent by working in restaurants and making silver jewelry. By working long hours, she saved money to be able to travel with her son son in 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 poikansa kanssa Italiassa vuonna 2000

Saara with her son in Italy in 2000

Saara loved the old wooden sauna in her yard in Helsinki and wanted to give also others the possibility to enjoy this wonderful sauna. When founding her company, she had the idea that the traditional Finnish sauna experience 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.

Ihania naisia Kaurilan saunalla

Wonderful women in Kaurilan public sauna

How cosmetics and candles were born

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 soaps and candles herself.

Kynttilöiden valmistusta vuonna 2017

Manufacturing lace candles

Saara tested the cosmetics on her own sensitive skin and listened to the wishes of the sauna guests. 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.

Kaurilan sauna_Saara valmistaa koruja

Jewelry manufacturing

The first employee of Kaurilan Sauna was the wonderful Maili, who is Saara's right hand today. Later Jaakko stepped into the candle lit sauna and into Saara's life and rescued her from excel and other unwanted computer related tasks. Today, the company employs 5-10 wonderful sauna elves, depending on the season.

Kaurilan saunatonttuja

Kaurila's sauna elves, office dog Doris and her brother Hugo

Saara and Jaakko fell in love in a sauna, where else.

Kaurilan sauna_Jaakko ja Saara

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.

Kaurilan asema Kaurilassa

Kaurila's railway station in Kaurila

And in Helsinki

Kaurilan asema Helsingissä

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.

Työpöytien rakentamista uusissa tiloissa vuonna 2020

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.

Kaurilan sauna_kaurashampoon valmistamista

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!

Warm Regards,

Jaakko and other Kaurilan Sauna elves.

Kaurilan sauna Jaakko