DREAM CIRCUS OY RECEIVED THE ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Creative and responsible clothing company Dream Circus Oy received the Entrepreneur of the Year award
Finland's oldest active entrepreneur association, Kuopio Kästyö- ja medasseuruus ry, awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award to the clothing industry company Dream Circus Oy from Varka, which has become well-known in the women's practical and durable casual wear market with its ehta by Dream Circus brand. In addition to the domestic market, it has gained a foothold in European exports. The goals for the next few years are the US and Japanese markets.
According to Eero Helin, chairman of the business association, this year's awards were based on the company's domestic industrial production and internationalization.
- In times like this, it is emphasized that well-being is only created by doing work. It's great that we have companies that invest in domestic and ethical production. We wanted to encourage the company forward during the first steps of internationalization.
Dreams and the joy of work
Dream Circus is a company that lives up to its name. It was born from the dreams of Kati Kraemer and Laura Kemppainen, sisters from Varka, to work in a pleasant hobby where you can unleash your creativity. The company started as a hobby and without big background roots. Neither of the siblings had originally aimed for the clothing industry.
Kati Kraemer, who founded a clothing design company under her own business name in 2014, had previously worked in the restaurant industry. When he got his mother's sewing machine, known as a hardworking seamstress, and his sister Laura, who was a furniture seller, a sewing machine, they started making the clothes they designed at home, first for themselves and then for their friends and others. Laura Kemppainen
changed his studies to the clothing/seamstress line of Savo vocational college. The company's first employee came from there.
The operation grew rapidly so that the siblings were fully employed and more workforce and facilities had to be acquired. Both were easily found in Varkausi and there was no need to change the place of residence. Currently, the company employs ten people.
In 2018, the company changed its business name to Dream Circus Oy. The turnover had risen to several hundred thousand euros. This year, the target is 0.7 million. in euros and breaking the million mark next year, if the growth plans come true.
According to Kati Kraemer, the corona exception period has not significantly affected demand or the company's operations since the spring collapse, but you can't know anything for sure about the future in such turbulent times.
- We do not have our own so-called brick and mortar store. 80% of sales take place in the online store. It works well and is current. We also have resellers and we are trying to acquire more. Marketing mainly takes place through social media, especially Facebook. You can also interact and network with customers there. We also get ideas from our customers and partners.
- Our internationally registered brand ehta by Dream Circus has become well known. It is characterized by color, durability, practicality, humanity and ecology, even storytelling. In addition, our operations are characterized by transparency, fairness and responsibility. We openly talk about our production and products, including background information. We don't find cheap labor, bad working conditions, environmentally harmful materials or anything else negative in our manufacturing chain, assures Kati Kraemer.
Creativity and joy radiate outwards as well
Storytelling, cheerfulness and originality radiate from the company's attractive homepage, designed by Laura Kemppainen, for example in the animal names of the key personnel: hare, panda, cat, mole, zebra, lion and llama.
The lack of prejudice is that Kati Kraemer (panda) gave up the CEO position to focus on the work of the artistic director instead of crunching the numbers. At the end of 2019, Petra Ryymin (Janis), a well-known and reliable business expert entrepreneur, was found as CEO and partner. He already helped at the beginning of the company.
The chairman of the board is creative director Laura Kemppainen (cat) and the vice-chairman is Kati Kraemer's husband Jussi (lion), the only man in the company's operations. He is a forest school teacher with an entrepreneurial background. The company's shareholders are five people participating in its operations, which strengthens the spirit of unity and working together.
Domesticity and locality in honor
In addition to the Entrepreneur of the Year award, Dream Circus Oy and its founder Kati Kraemer have received the provincial Entrepreneur of the Year award 2015 and this year the Keski-Savo New Business of the Year award. In addition, the badges include Avainlippu, Design from Finland and DO Saimaa badges. They tell about the high domesticity of the company's operations and products
of the degree of locality.
The design of clothes and accessories and fabric patterns is mainly done by the company itself. A large part of the sewing work is done in our own premises in Varkaus and a smaller part is subcontracted in Kuopio and Kitee. The fabrics are mainly produced in Poland and partly in Finland and Lithuania - mostly from organic materials, such as cotton.
Women's clothing is the company's Pääartikkeli tunics and dresses as the top products, but the selection can also be found in men's and children's clothing. In addition to clothes, the product line includes accessories, interior design products, fabrics, sewing supplies and a small selection of tableware.
- We try to make even everyday things a little more fun. The entrepreneurs of Dream Circus emphasize positivity, especially at a time like this.
Text and photo: Ilpo Lommi
Eero Helin, tel. 0440 885 188 and Petra Ryymin, tel. 045 168 1030.