|Industry||textile industry |
|Products||wool products and yarns |
|Revenue||21 million euros (2018)|
|572,000 euros (2018)|
|Owner||Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen, Patricia Gylfe and Ernst Gylfe|
Number of employees
Novita Oy is a Finnish family owned company that manufactures handicraft yarns from wool. In 2014 it was the largest yarn manufacturer in Nordic countries and among the biggest manufacturers in Europe. Its market share in Finland was about 90 per cent in 2014. Novita is known for their wool products, Nordic design and their knitting community Knittery. They have 20 different yarn brands that take inspiration from e.g. Nordic surroundings. The company is a rare exception in the handicraft yarn industry, because it manages the value chain from raw material to consumer while its biggest competitors are wholesalers who do not manufacture their products themselves.
Novita's head office is in Helsinki. The company has about 90 employees. Almost all of the staff members are interested in handicrafts and they are often knitting also during their meetings. The yarns are mainly spun in Kouvola, where the Koria factory employs about 60 persons.
Novita's board of directors includes Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen (CEO), Ernst Gylfe (chairman of the board) and Denis Gylfe, Patricia Gylfe, Matti Luukkainen and Ville Tolvanen.
Novita is owned by its CEO Yrjö-Koskinen with his sister and brother. All siblings are involved in the company's operations: Patricia Gylfe participates in digital content production while Swiss-based Ernst Gylfe takes part in production and raw materials development projects.
Novita was founded by Ernst Gylfe in 1928. He had previously led the largest spinning mill in Finland in Klingendahl and while working there he was dreaming of another kind of spinning mill which would produce smoother and softer yarn. In the age of 50 he moved to Bradford with his family to study a new spinning technology for worsted spun yarn. After two years he came back to Finland and started his own company called Helsingin Villakehräämö Oy.
Enrst's son Bosse Gylfe, a textile engineer, continued his father's work. His aim was to make the production as effective as possible. In 1974 the yarn factory moved from Helsinki to Koria, Kouvola. The marketing, procurement and product design stayed at Lauttasaari factory.
In the 1980s Bosse's son Ernst Gylfe started as a new CEO. He had previously worked at IBM. When his siblings wanted to sell the family business he took a big loan and bought the company for himself. In the 1980s mohair knitwear were seen in fashion magazines and catwalks which speeded up Novita's exports: it exported yarns to 15 countries at best. However, by the end of the decade, growth had stopped abruptly, as knitting and knitting became unfashionable in the 1990s.
Ernst's daughter Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen started as Novita's marketing director in 1998. She had studied international marketing and worked for Berner and Revlon's marketing. She utilised the lessons she had learnt in makeup marketing and Novita started publishing yarns in fashion colors and selling lifestyle instead of products.
The first CEO outside the family was Kalevi Luukkainen, who was hired in 2001. In 2007 the ownership of the company was moved from Ernst Gylfe to his kids Daniela Gylfe, Patricia Gylfe and Ernst Fredrik Gylfe. Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen started as the company's deputy CEO in 2008 and as a CEO in 2010.
In 2012 the company's net sales were 27 million euros and net income was 2.84 million.
In 2016 5 percent of the revenue came from export, the biggest market area outside Finland was Sweden. In ten years Novita's net sales grew 50 per cent and in 2017 it was 23 million euros. More than 90% of net sales came from Finland and about 5% of Sweden, Norway and the Baltic countries.
In the spring of 2018, Novita signed an exclusive dealership agreement with the British department store chain John Lewis. From the fall 2018 onwards the Novita yarns have been sold in 30 department stores and online stores in England, Scotland and Wales.
In the spring of 2019, Novita expanded its business in the UK by launching its products in major online stores selling crafts such as Deramores, Wool Warehouse and Love Crafts. It also signed a dealership with the Japanese handmade yarn chain Yuzawaya. The chain has 66 stores across Japan and five online stores. Especially Novita's Moomin yarns are popular in Japan.
Novita has over 20 products designs and 150 different colours. It uses dyes which are hypoallergenic and biodegradable, and their yarn meet the ISO quality standard. Their wool is from the Northern Hemisphere. The oldest products are Novita Nalle and Novita 7 Veljestä which got its name from Aleksis Kivi's book called Seitsemän veljestä.
In January 2019 Novita told about the co-operation with Finnish Moomin Characters: they started to sell Moomin yarn collection and Moomin inspired pattern bookazines. Novita had initially made Moomin yarns for babies already in the 1970s. Moomin yarns were used in entering the Asian markets, especially in Japan where Moomins are very popular.
Novita has their own magazine called Novita which was in 2012 and 2016 it the most valued hobby magazine in Finland in brand comparison made by Markkinointi & Mainonta magazine and Taloustutkimus. In addition to educational tutorials, Novita offers thousands of free knitting guides and a platform for users where they can share their ideas and sell their products.
By 2018 Novita's biggest customer group changed from ladies over 50 years to women between 25 and 35 years in just five years. This happened with help of social media About 10% of the customers are male.
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