K.A.Weiste Oy is a Finnish family-business creating Christmas Spirit to homes across Europe since 1924. We are one of the oldest manufacturers of Christmas decorations in Europe – today the only one in the Nordic countries. The Weiste brand stands for tradition, quality, craftmanship and reliability combined with innovation and design.
In the early 1920’s, a Finnish primary school teacher by profession, Kalle Aimo Weiste (1881-1963) had a paper shop in Helsinki. For Christmas time he once imported Christmas tree top stars made of silver yarn. When he closed the shop door the night before Christmas, only one of the stars was left. He got an idea to start to make this beautiful decoration on his own.
After first having made decorations at his own home and thereafter for a year in a small workshop in Kluuvikatu, a street in the city centre, Kalle Weiste moved with his son Aarre (1920-2001) to Pukinmäki in 1926. Later in the same year, the construction of a modest factory building was finished, followed by an additional building in 1931.
In the mid-1930’s, a weaving mill was established at the factory. According to the price list from 1938, approximately 40 different types of ribbons and yarns were made with a number of weaving and spinning machines.
During the war years (1939 – 44), 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 for some time after the war, but one could, however, buy raw materials that made export business possible. For the export trade with decorations made of silver thread, a subsidiary was founded in the spring of 1946: Koristevienti Oy in Hanko, the southernmost town in Finland. The first export products were shipped to Sweden.
The 1960’s marked the introduction of plastic that was to become the prominent raw material for decades. By cutting PVC foils, one was able to produce decorations that were more durable and more colourful than ever before, while the material could even imitate tinsels and stars made of precious metal threads – just like the decorations until then.
The first generation of plastic baubles did not last long, however, as these rather soft baubles were replaced by harder ones in 1967 when a new blow moulding method was introduced.
Under the management of Aarre Weiste, 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.
Weiste celebrated the new millennium with success (photo Helsinki City Museum, Sakari Kiuru). Weiste decorations were found in almost all main retailer chains across Europe, covering close to 40 export countries.
After the financial crisis in 2008 and as competition was getting harder and harder in Christmas decorations during these times of globalization, Weiste found new growth in a home decorations business.
Today the company’s product range includes both premium Christmas decorations made in Weiste’s own factories and a wide variety of imported home decorations, making it possible for customers to find a more complete collection under the same roof.
We design and manufacture premium Christmas decorations made in Weiste’s own factories including tinsel, garlands, baubles, bells, lametta, tree top stars, wreaths and mini trees. In addition to Christmas decorations meant for home use, we offer a wide range of larger decorations suitable for public spaces.
The Christmas collection is complemented by the imported VillaWeiste brand. VillaWeiste for your Christmas covers a wide range of glass ornaments, figurines, textiles, lanterns and Christmas Trees.
VillaWeiste for your home covers a full interior range for a beautiful home all year round.
Our net of retailers is versatile and ranges from department stores, garden centres and hypermarkets to picturesque gift shops. We have 30 export countries on the average, our main market being the core regions of Europe.