K.A.Weiste Oy is a Finnish family-business creating Christmas Spirit to homes across Europe since 1924. We are one of the leading and 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.
The history of the Christmas decoration factory Weiste– and at the same time the industrial manufacture of Christmas decorations in Finland – began in the 1920’s.
School teacher Kalle Aimo Weiste (1881-1963) decided to pursue a different career and founded a company of his own in Helsinki in 1924. His business idea was to produce decorations for Christmas trees from silver-plated copper thread.
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.
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.
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.
As competition was getting harder and harder during the times of globalization, Weiste found new growth in home decorations business. Today the company’s product range includes both Christmas- and home decoration, making it possible for the customers to find everything for home under the same roof.
We design and manufacture baubles, bells, tinsel, garlands, lametta, tree top stars, wreaths, candle rings and mini trees, which are marketed using the trademark Christmas Legend. In addition to Christmas decorations meant for home use, we offer a wide range of larger decorations suitable for public spaces.
Our net of retailers is versatile and ranges from department stores, garden centres and hypermarkets to picturesque gift shops. In the last few years, we have had 36 export countries on the average, our main market being the core regions of Europe.