Novita (company)

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Novita Oy
TypeFamily company
IndustryTextile industry[1]
Founded1928[2]
FounderErnst Gylfe
Headquarters
Helsinki[3]
Key people
Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen[1]
Productswool products and yarns[1]
Revenue€21 million (2018)[4]
€572,000 (2018)[4]
OwnerDaniela Yrjö-Koskinen, Patricia Gylfe and Ernst Gylfe[3]
Number of employees
90 (2018)[4]
Websitewww.novitaknits.com/en/ Edit this at Wikidata

Novita Oy is a Finnish family-owned company that manufactures handicraft yarns from wool which is bought from around the world depending on supply.[5][6] In 2014 it was the largest yarn manufacturer in the Nordic countries[5] and among the biggest manufacturers in Europe. Other woollen mills in Finland closed decades ago so there is no domestic competition left. Their main product, sock yarn, is available in numerous colourings as well as non-consistent qualities and can be found in practically every supermarket. Novita's market share in Finland was about 90 per cent in 2014.[6] Novita is known for their wool products, Nordic design and their knitting community Knittery.[3] They have 20 different yarn brands that take inspiration from e.g. Nordic surroundings.[5]

History[edit]

Novita's first premises in 1928 situated in Merikortteli

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.[6] At the age of 50 he moved to Bradford with his family to study a new spinning technology for worsted spun yarn.[7] After two years he came back to Finland and started his own company called Helsingin Villakehräämö Oy.[2][8]

Enrst's son Bosse Gylfe, a textile engineer, continued his father's work. His aim was to make the production as effective as possible.[6] In 1974 the yarn factory moved from Helsinki to Koria, Kouvola. The marketing, procurement and product design stayed at the Lauttasaari factory.[9][2]

In the 1980s Bosse's son Ernst Gylfe started as the 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.[6] 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 became unfashionable in the 1990s.[4]

Ernst's daughter Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen (née Gylfe) 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.[10][6]

The first CEO outside the family was Kalevi Luukkainen, who was hired in 2001.[9] Marketing became more aggressive and the retailer basis was hugely multiplied. In 2007 ownership of the company was transferred from Ernst Gylfe to his kids Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen, Patricia Gylfe and Ernst Fredrik Gylfe.[6] Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen started as the company's deputy CEO in 2008 and as a CEO in 2010.[6]

In 2012 the company's net sales were 27 million euros and net income was 2.84 million.[6]

In 2016 five percent of the revenue came from export. The biggest market area outside Finland was Sweden.[11] In ten years Novita's net sales grew 50 percent 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.[5] From the fall of 2018 onwards Novita yarns have been sold in 30 department stores and online stores in England, Scotland and Wales.[3]

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. Novita's Moomin yarns especially are popular in Japan.[10]

Organization[edit]

Novita's head office is in Helsinki. The company has about 90 employees.[4] Almost all of the staff members are interested in handicrafts and they are often knitting also during their meetings.[6] The yarns are mainly spun in Kouvola, where the Koria factory employs about 60 persons.[11]

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.[12]

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[8] Ernst Gylfe takes part in production and raw materials development projects.[4]

Products[edit]

Novita yarn

Novita is an exception in the handicraft yarn industry, managing the value chain from raw material to the consumer while its biggest competitors are wholesalers who do not manufacture their products themselves.[4]

Novita has over 20 product designs and 150 different colours. It uses dyes which are hypoallergenic and biodegradable and their yarns meet the relevant ISO quality standard. Their wool is from the Northern Hemisphere.[5] The oldest products are Novita Nalle and Novita 7 Veljestä which got its name from Aleksis Kivi's novel entitled Seitsemän veljestä.[13]

Cooperation[edit]

Novita and Rovio have together made three crocheting books about Angry Birds character patterns.[6][14]

In 2012 Novita created the biggest blanket in the world together with Tekstiiliopettajaliitto and the Martha organisation.[6]

In January 2019 Novita told about co-operation with Finnish Moomin characters: they started to sell Moomin yarn collection and Moomin-inspired pattern bookazines.[4] Novita had initially made Moomin yarns for babies already in the 1970s.[15] Moomin yarns were used in entering the Asian markets, especially in Japan where Moomins are very popular.[16]

Marketing[edit]

Novita has their own magazine called Novita which was in 2012 and 2016 the most valued hobby magazine in Finland according to a brand comparison made by the Markkinointi & Mainonta magazine and Taloustutkimus.[17][18] 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.[10]

In Finland Novita is seen as a pioneer in social media use – they set up their own knitting community Knittery[3] in 2004.[6] In 2018 it had over 100 000 members worldwide.[19]

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 the help of social media. About 10% of customers are male.[20]

Recognition[edit]

  • In 2013 CEO Yrjö-Koskinen was a finalist in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year competition.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Novita Oy Yritys- ja taloustiedot". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Novita: Knits". www.novitaknits.com. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Pesonen, Eeva-Stiina (22 March 2018). "Novitalle iso päänavaus Britanniassa - britit ovat aivan hulluina Suomeen - yritykset eivät ole tätä pystyneet täysin hyödyntämään". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Alkula, Maarit (4 January 2019). "Suomalaisen Novitan uusi vientinyrkki: Muumi-langat". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e Spiers, Matt (28 October 2019). "Novita yarns launch in UK". Simply Crochet. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Hammarsten, Heidi (2 March 2014). "Yhtaikaa perinteinen ja trendikäs". Talouselämä (in Finnish). Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Introducing Novita". The Yarn Loop. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  8. ^ a b Kantola, Anne (23 October 2019). "Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen vetää legendaarista helsinkiläisyritystä jo neljännessä polvessa: 'Tämä on kuin neljäs sisarus'". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b Kallionpää, Katri (16 November 2008). "Puikoissa joka päivä". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b c Kempas, Karla (24 October 2019). "Perustaja kuoli ennen kuin näki unelmansa toteutuvan – nyt lankafirmaa johtaa lapsenlapsenlapsi Daniela Yrjö-Koskinen, ja yhtiö puskee ulkomaille". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b Ojanperä, Sini (14 April 2016). "Suomalaisista villasukista tehdään kansainvälistä hittiä: 'Nordic design on nyt todella kova sana maailmalla'". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Novita Oy - Y-tunnus: 0112428-3 - Yritystiedot, taloustiedot, päättäjät & hallituksen jäsenet". www.finder.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  13. ^ Salonen, Heljä (22 December 2016). "Suomen suosituimman sukkalangan takana on mies nimeltä Gunnar". Ilona (in Finnish). Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Näin virkkaat oman Angry Birdin". Tamperelainen (in Finnish). 18 December 2012. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  15. ^ Alkula, Maarit (4 January 2019). "Novita tuo Muumi-langat vauhdittamaan kansainvälistä kasvua – tavoitteena myös Aasia". Markkinointi & Mainonta (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 25 August 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Perheyritys Novita tähtää nyt Aasiaan uusilla langoilla – kohderyhmä nuorentunut huimasti". Uusi Suomi (in Finnish). 4 January 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  17. ^ Muukkonen, Henrik (3 January 2013). "Novita niistää Tekniikan Maailman: Neulelehti Novita on Suomen arvostetuin harrastelehtibrändi". Markkinointi & Mainonta (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Novita on arvostetuin harrastelehti". Markkinointi & Mainonta (in Finnish). 28 October 2016. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  19. ^ Pesonen, Eeva-Stiina (9 September 2018). "Villasukat nousivat massiiviseksi ilmiöksi: Sukkakirjat ja some-yhteisöt herättävät nyt kovaa kiinnostusta". Kauppalehti (in Finnish). Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  20. ^ Kokko, Outi (13 September 2018). "Suomalainen Novita löysi markkinaraon yllättävästä paikasta – 'Monelta perustaidot puuttuvat'". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 6 February 2019.

External links[edit]