As many of you must still remember from all the picture bombing on IG stories, we were on a PR work trip to Latvia to get to know some of what the capital of the Baltics has to offer and meet some of the creative entrepreneurs working sustainably. Quite frankly, I was not sure what to expect which made it all the more exiting.
My journey with Latvian design and culture has began about 3 years ago when I styled an Interior pop up for a retail store in the Design district of Helsinki and within my brand selection there was MUNIO CANDELA and later on in one of my interior design projects as part of an interior/fashion collective concept store, we had in the curated selection, BAIBA RIPA (a handmade organic yarn collection to this day very close to my heart). I also attended the “Latvian senses” a gastronomic event at the Embassy of Latvia in Helsinki where we celebrated Riga as the awarded capital of European region of gastronomy in 2017 by the IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, culture, arts & tourism) where we were taken on a trip through Latvian flavours and aesthetics. Needles to say, I was exited and very very curious.
Our trip was so intense and we saw so many interesting things that I felt the need to divide this story in parts.
LATVIA CALLING #I
After a delicious lunch at restaurant OSTA, with our bellies full and the first glass of bubbly taken care of, we were on the schedule to our first visit. The PINUMU PASAULE baskets store and production house. I am born in the tropics (quite literally 20min drive to stick your foot in the sand) and the love for all things rattan and wicker seems to be inbuilt.
My soul went all fuzzy when we walked in the front room filled with wicker baskets, trays, bags, bicycle baskets, furniture, lamp shades and what not. All Pinumu Pasaule products are handmade in Latvia by the most skilful and well trained craftsmen. It all started as a small family business devoted to their passion for wicker. Now they continue to manufacture all in the same traditional way but selling their products worldwide always respecting sustainability and craftsmanship. You can also make individual and customised orders from anywhere in the world.
Wicker in its raw form ready for the wheels
images from Pinterest.
In latin, Munio Candela means “The most spiritually powerful candle”.
I love the choice of language. I am a complete sucker for latin. In law school we had a year of Latin language and I was so thrilled about it (only to find out I actually suck in Latin). Nevertheless, I also love candles so here is the perfect candle with the perfect name.
Munio Candela candles are made of 100% soy wax and fragrances and with aesthetics inspired in nordic nature. The process of making the candles is also 100% organic by Latvian skilful craftsmen masters. All that is beautiful and with impeccable aesthetics but we can see and read all from Munio’s website. What impressed me was visiting their factory and getting to meet the dreamers that idealised such concept and understanding their true love for their products. It was clear to me the authenticity of their candles had it’s roots in the kindness of its creator.
I love using the little rounds of soy wax inside my wardrobe. With time, I might change the scent accordingly to the season of the year. Their fragrance is soft, consistent and ads that extra special feeling when choosing my outfit to tackle the day.
Another detail that caught my eye instantly, was the factory and it’s craftsmen. For some reason, I had imagined something closer to a construction sight and maybe a bit messy. Isn’t that normal in factories?! Clearly not at Munio. Impeccably clean and organised, you must imagine what a satisfying sight for this visual peeps. I was sold. A concistent brand. From the very first steps of manufacture until the very storage box made of 100% recycled cardboard.
After our tour around the factory, we were offered a lovely and very much needed cup of coffee and got to choose our favourite product to take it home with us. Me and Susanna fell in love with this ceramic votive. Each ceramic votive is hand made from the clay obtained in Latvia using only natural soy wax, apple blossoms fragrance, and the finest cotton wick.
Haven’t dared to take it out of the box yet as I am waiting for the perfect occasion. What could that occasion be I don’t know yet.