SERA HELSINKI was born from love for handcrafting and design. We provide handmade woolen carpets and cotton towels made from pure ecological raw materials. All the products are made in Ethiopia – Sera is an Amharic word and means ’work’. Our products combine both Finnish design and traditional Ethiopian hand craftsmanship.
Our products are ethical. Our aim is to improve the living standards of the artisans. We empower the most vulnerable groups in Ethiopia - the people with disabilities and single mothers. We want to create as many jobs as possible, so all the parts of the production are handmade. Especially the situation of the people with disabilities is desperate in Ethiopia - most of them end up as beggars on the street. We train and employ blind artisans in Addis Ababa. All the stages of the production are handmade, so that we can create as many new jobs as possible. We cooperate with Ethiopian NGO:s as well as with Finnish Abilis and Kynnys ry. At the moment our carpets are produced by 20 seeing and 30 blind artisans.
Our products are ecological. The wool comes from peasant farmers in the northern highlands of Ethiopia. The mothers of these families produce the woolen thread by hand. The wool is not dyed or bleached - it’s ecological and natural. We have a project going on in Kombolcha (in the northern Ethiopia), which trains 50 single mothers for thread making.
Our story begins in 2001 when we began to study in Aalto-University. We, Anna and Hanna, graduated as Masters of Science and during our six years of study we turned out to be an effective team. In addition to our study we shared a passion for interior decoration and design. 2010 Anna moved to Africa with her family but the friendship stayed strong despite two continents. The situation of the people with disabilities and single mothers was heartbreaking for us - we wanted to empower these groups and SERA HELSINKI was born in 2016.