"I couldn't find it in the market, so I made it myself." Helena Mattila, founder of Everyday Design
Nearly all of our products have been designed in the first place, because there hasn't been anything like them in the market or they have had significant practicality issues. So, we've had to make them better ourselves and trust that other people will also value and appreciate functionality in our products.
How our name came to be?
Everyday Design was founded in 1995, but it had a different name back then - Basic Furniture. The name just didn't quite fit well with Finns and it didn't really represent our products perfectly. Sure, our products are minimalistic and timeless, but boring or basic they are not. Their priority is to help people with their everyday life and that's how the came to be Everyday Design.
Who's the woman behind the company?
The idea for starting Everyday Design came to Helena Mattila, founder, when she wanted to create products that would be functional and helpful in the day-to-day life.
Her background is a little suprising as she hasn't studied industrial designing or any creative fields for that matter. She wanted to be a doctor, but after not getting in to medical school after two tries, she ended up studying law. Even though having a law degree, she hasn't actually worked as a lawyer ever.
She worked in banking industry as a venture capitalist for years and studied her MBA degree on the side. Soon after her banking career, she head out to Tekes (now Business Finland), but oh, how wrong fit that was for her.
She had founded Everyday Design already during her banking years, but now the time was right for her to go into entrepreneur world full time. Her ecnomist/lawyer background is definately an advantage as an entrepreneur, but for business, the most important thing is to have great product.
Our first products
Our first product was a house lamp. The prototype of it had a light bulb inside a milkcartoon. Eventually, the the house lamp got its final look, but one can still see dash of the milk carton design in it. It was selected by Richard Sapper to be part of International Design Year Book 1998. It was first sold in a Stockholm-based design boutique, not in Finland. We started off very international in the very beginning.
Next product was Paper rolls -sorting wastebin, which was in the market for two years and then it was sold to Martela, big Finnish office furniture manufacturing company. It was that product that lit up our passion towards sustainabability and recycling, which are still our core themes in the 2020's.
In the late 90's / beginning of 00's, we started concentrating on design recycling products and the Helsinki -paper bag holder saw the daylight.
We share in social media stories behind our products. We tell what's the inspiration behind them and what are all the different ways to use them. Most of our products are multifunctional and all one might not even know all the ways they can use them. But sometimes a product only has one purpose. For example, the house lamp is really just a lamp, but beautiful though.
Design awards and international channels
Over the years, our products have won multiple international design awards and the products have been on display in different places, such as International Design Year Book / 1998 (Richard Sapper) and 2000 (Ingo Maurer), Helsinki European Design Capital 2000 and German Design Council 2015-2016.
Our products have made it to several domestic and international design boutiques and museums, for example MOMA (New York), London Design Museum, Korea, Japan and Europe.