Christmas tree top star
Like a fairy tale, but true.
The story of Weiste begins in Christmas 1924 and has all the elements of a fairy tale – the spirit of Christmas, bringing joy to people, an entrepreneurial father and a chain of generations.
Kalle Weiste ran a paper shop in Helsinki in the 1920s. He once bought Christmas tree top stars for sale from abroad. Decorations were scarce at the time, but people had a desire to decorate their homes for Christmas. By Christmas Eve, all stars but one had been sold. Kalle got an idea and started manufacturing decorations in Finland.
Since then, we have brought joy to people who enjoy beautifying their homes. We continue Kalle’s tradition and today, in addition to Christmas decorations, we offer interior products for a cosy atmosphere all year round.
It all started with Christmas, but this fabulously warm atmosphere can be true at home whenever you want.
The Christmas factory rises in Pukinmäki
The history of the Weiste Christmas decoration factory and, the industrial production of Finnish Christmas decorations began in the 1920s. Elementary school teacher Kalle Aimo Weiste (1881 - 1963) founded a company in Helsinki in 1924 with the business idea of manufacturing Finnish Christmas tree decorations made of silver yarn.
After making the decorations first at home and then for a year in his workshop on Kluuvikatu, Kalle Weiste moved with his son Aarre to Pukinmäki in 1926. Later that year the first modest factory building was built, and additional building was completed in 1931. The majority of the current factory building was completed in 1946.
A weaving mill was established at the factory in the mid-1930s. According to the 1938 catalogue, about forty different types of ribbons and yarns were manufactured on strip weaving machines and later on spinning and braiding machines.
The beginning of the export trade
During the war years 1939-1944, the weaving mill supplied the Finnish Defence Forces with galloons and ribbons for military medals. The manufacture of Christmas Decorations had to be suspended due to rationing.
Rationing continued even after the end of the war, but it was possible to purchase raw materials for export trade. A subsidiary of Hanko, Koristevienti Oy, was established for the export trade of silver thread decorations in the spring of 1946. Our first export country was Sweden.
Uudet materiaalit mullistavat tuotannon
Export trade is booming
Under the management of Aarre Weiste (1920-2001), the son of the founder, the company directed its efforts strongly to international markets.
When K. A. Weiste Oy was presented with the President’s Export Award in 1992, it was at the same time a recognition of Aarre Weiste’s life’s work. Back then, export already made up approximately 80% of the company’s production.
The turn of the millennium was a successful time for the company. Exports flourished and our products were found in almost every major department store and garden centre in Europe. The number of exporting countries rose to almost forty.
New decorative designs were created at an accelerating pace. However, the aftermath of the financial crisis made export trade difficult from 2008 onwards.
Weiste found new growth in small, imported home decor products. Focus for Christmas decorations was in more demanding special items and in the development of our own innovative designs.