we put our mind where our heart is

Pure and peaceful Finnish forests are never far from mind at Hetkinen. Founded in 2018 by Mona Isotupa, the company has three main aims - to provide a solution to the global plastics problem by making their packaging from Finnish wood, to offer products suitable for everyone regardless of age, gender or skin type, and to help people learn to appreciate nature, its beauty and well-being.

Finland is well known for its modern Nordic design. Isotupa, who previously worked in occupational well-being and ergonomics, had always been interested in creating shapes and patterns. ‘As a child I drew widely and decided even then I would one day go and present my plans at Marimekko,’ She remembers, referring to the iconic fashion house that put Finland at the forefront of the industry.

Choosing instead to begin her own company, she decided to combine her commitment to design with her other passion – Finland’s majestic trees and vast, unspoilt forests. Hetkinen, or as the name means in English, ‘wait a moment’ – was born.

a commitment to nature

Isotupa’s love of nature is clearly visible at Hetkinen. Using a wide range of Finnish materials, the product’s packaging is made from local pine.

The cosmetics themselves include tree leaves, needles, bark, and essential oils. Other materials from Finland are also used, including heather, lichen, and moss. Isotupa believes there is a strong connection between Finnish society and the forest. ‘Finns are definitely forest people. We live close to the forest, in many cases the forest starts in your own backyard. We go walking there or forage for things such as berries and mushrooms. All Finns have free access to the forest,’ she states.

A major goal for the company is to connect people with nature and to help them recognise the health benefits and healing properties that the northern European environment brings to their everyday lives. Organic ingredients are used. Safety for both customers and nature is always paramount. Hetkinen doesn’t include any artificial fragrances or additives and are vegan, using only plant-based materials. They always strive to minimise waste, both during production as well as when designing new uses for anything left over from their products. All ingredients come from certified distributors who specialise in raw materials from the forest. The wood used comes from a sawmill in Central Finland.

design is at the heart

Design is central to Hetkinen’s philosophy. Both Nordic and Japanese styles are fundamental to the company. Products are simple, contemporary, and effortlessly cool in their construction and form. A perfect sphere of crowberry spruce soap sits elegantly in a carved dish. Birch and peppermint hand balm is encased in a smooth jar of pine. A favourite item for Isotupa is the pine lip balm, encircled in a rounded pot made of polished wood. ‘Using it always puts me in a happy mood.

It is comforting and incredibly effective.’ Isotupa says that the influence of both Finnish and Japanese design is clear in the way their products can be displayed almost as pieces of art and in their commitment to ‘wabi-sabi’, the concept of celebrating imperfect beauty. She also sites Japanese folk craft as an influence. ‘I especially like the architecture of Kengo Kuma, or any of the various Japanese craftsmen who make animal figures out of wood. I also admire their wonderfulteapots, their wonderful details.’

a roadmap for the future

A primary goal for Hetkinen is to help decrease the global consumption of and reliance on plastic. The company is also committed to the protection of Finnish forests and to animal rights. They actively support the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation, which uses donated funds to buy old growth forests and protect them
and Animalia, which upholds the rights of wild and domestic animals. Isotupa has a variety of ideas to consolidate and grow the success of her company.

‘My future plan is to continue working to exceed our customer’s expectations. And I want the Hetkinen team to enjoy and share their excitement for what we create. One of Hetkinen's biggest strengths is product development. We are inspired by people and life in general. We are currently researching new wonderful raw materials in Finland and their potential for cosmetics.’

A shop on the island of Ruissalo in Turku is open and thriving and several distributors successfully stock Hetkinen products around Finland. They also run an online store which is popular globally, especially in the United States, Germany, and Japan.

Ultimately, Hetkinen hopes to encourage people to look at the power and versatility of trees with new eyes. As they proclaim on their website and as many Finnish people would agree, the forests of Finland hold the key to our health.