Walking on the street of Lahti in the gorgeous autumn air, sneaking around those construction sites, may one day our feet take us to the Sinne store. Our today blog will cover the Sinne store, another spotlight on Vesijärvenkatu street. The store is small, yet also be home for a bigger dream.
Got hooked with Paulus Ähtävä, the shop owner in a local entrepreneurship event, the very next day I took the chance to visit him at his own storefront to hear more and see more. As memory serves me well, that days when Lahti was packed with renovation sites, it was frustrated to just navigate through your daily path. Eventually, I still found the narrow split between the construction barriers that shows the Sinne sign.
The central idea of Sinne store is not just any ordinary storefront that focuses on clothing. What Paulus is trying to convey is a brand new idea, where an implemented in-shop café will enhance the shoping experience. Greeting me that day, Paulus showed a bright, warm smile, and invited me to just get around and dig through all the best that Sinne can offer. However, what attracted me more that day was not those pieces of clothing, or those eye-catchy decorations. The story of the business idea shone throughout the day.
Started in 2009, while Paulus was pursuing his degree in Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, the firm behind Sinne store first concentrated on events organization. After settle down the financial security, the storefront popped up. Admitted by Paulus himself, the whole experience was consisted of trials and errors. Being a hardcore snowboarding himself, Paulus thrived to conveyed the spirit of the game through his brand, Sinne, and also afraid of the fact that his ideas would be likely killed off in large enterprises, where the bosses dictate, that then shop owner guy started his company with so little support. Finding his inspiration via loving what he does, Paulus did give the firm he founded the essence of street culture. Hardly you find a workplace out of Sinne store, it is Paulus’s second home.
On sharing some achievements of his fruits of hard works, Paulus told me that since the grand opening in 2014, the revenue of the shop itself marked 315,000 euros last year. And this was somewhat contributed to by the operation of the coffee shop. As explanation for the striking decision of such hard to find combination in private shops, Paulus stated: “It rounds up the shopping experience. I want my customers to relaxed, to have much more room in their mind for the shopping process!”. And somehow, it worked, having such a corner as a meeting place, it is quite frequently that Sinne store become the rendezvous for local artists and athletes. This phenomenon even promoted the store further, as now Sinne plays an active role in supporting the locals. And from that, the events featuring Sinne store popped up like mushrooms after rain.
As time passed by, before coming back to those waiting customers, Paulus shared some of his visions. Along with the bricks and mortar store, Sinne web shop is the gateway to the world of Paulus’ firm. In the future, more refinements are to come to enhance the customers’ awareness from targeted markets, and all can be done via the web shop. While gaining some footprints in the local market, and setting the goal for future expansion, the most bugging issue toward Paulus is to balance the work-life balance, acknowledging himself as an active sport fan, the kind that does not watch, and a works lover. All and all, what I learned from this simple-looking man is enormous.
On departing Sinne store, something has been troubling my mind, as a youngster, I have not done much for my dreams and passions, or developing myself. The very big lesson that Paulus conveyed throughout his long way so far was to start doing things you love to do, regardless of timing. To some degree, the visit to Sinne store served me far well than I expected.