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THE HISTORY OF LAURI
Goldsmith Johannes Lauri came from Southern Ostrobothnia to Rovaniemi in the 1920s. In 1924 he started up a knife factory on Pohjolankatu.
Along with knives, Lauri's workshop manufactured traditional Lappish handicrafts. The main raw materials were reindeer antler and goat willow's root. Those were also the materials for the knife handles. About twenty people worked in the Lauri factory during the busiest years.
The factory was destroyed during the Lapland war in 1945.
Immediately after the war, the manufacturing of the knives and other reindeer antler products was continued in a small house that was meant to be temporary. Johannes Lauri had planned to bring an Ostrobothnian log house to Pohjolankatu. The plan was finally realized in 1968 when Johannes Lauri's successors relocated the house of Rapakko from the village of Alanampa to Pohjolankatu. The log house became a workshop.
After Johannes Lauri's death the business was continued in the 1970s with different names until in 1978 Lauri tuotteet Oy was established. Lauri tuotteet Oy bought the property, renewed the log house and brought a new warehouse building from the village of Kuivaniemi.
In addition to continuing to manufacture the old designs, new products were designed and made of curly birch. Also new knife and jewelry designs were introduced.
The building complex grew with a provincial style log house that was relocated from Pudasjärvi. In the beginning the new house acted as a workshop and cafeteria. From the beginning of the 1990s it has been a place for private functions such as commemorations, weddings, christenings and birthdays as well as other meetings.
In 2017 the Lauri property was bought by tourism entrepreneurs Julia Allemann and Lukas Allemann (company Hilla House Oy), which continues the old traditions of Lauri for local handicrafts and jewelry made on the spot. In addition, formerly unused parts of the property have been transformed into a cozy guest house.
The journey that Johannes Lauri started in Rovaniemi almost a century ago continues. Lauri's business history is unique and the longest of its kind in Lapland.
Born in Rovaniemi in 1962, Jouko has been a creative personality since his childhood. At the age of seventeen he was one of the founders of the rock band Jalla Jalla that keeps performing to this day. He is a bright songwriter and guitarist. Jouko studied arts and crafts in Southern Finland, learning how to work with eight different materials, like glass, textiles, wood, leather, silver, and others.
In 1999 he started his apprenticeship at the Lauri workshop under the supervision of handicraft’ expert Saara Uusipulkamo and learned how to work with antler. “My teacher was an old woman, she used to smoke cigarettes all the time and enjoyed telling dirty jokes”, Jouko fondly remembers.
“I have a beautiful family with my beloved wife and two daughters. I am actively dedicated to my passions for music and for artistic handicrafts”. With a bit of luck, we can sometimes see his amazing, vintage guitars at the workshop. Jouko likes a lot running as a sport, and sometimes he comes to work driving his gorgeous vintage Volkswagen Beetle.