"Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool?" - SUCCESS STORY #39

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Do you know the old English song about the black sheep and three bags full of wool? Do you remember to whom the cute sheep presented one of the bags? To the little boy who lives down the lane. In this version of the song, the small boy lives far north, in Lemi, a small Finnish town…

Once upon a time during the summer, 13 year-old Akseli had been thinking about what to do with himself and how to make the most productive use of his free time. Suddenly, a good idea occurred to him. Since his early childhood he had been interested in history, sports, geography, and in particular, crafting. Akseli says, “The candles just came to my mind”. And this is where the story begins. With his mom’s advice and support, it did not take a lot of time for him to turn the idea into practice. Since then, Akseli has been manufacturing the candles, soaps and other decorative items in his home kitchen almost every day after his classes end. The products he crafts are made from pure plant wax and cotton yarn. All candles are hand-made and eco-friendly. Akseli highlights, “I take account of social responsibility and sell only ecological products”.

Lemin Lammas was established in June 2016. Because the young social entrepreneur cares a lot about the environment, not only the product, but also the packaging is made from the most environmentally friendly materials. The soap is non-perfumed and colourless and thus has no allergic effects. Starting this year, Akseli also produces the eco-friendly small toys: lambs and other farm animals. Boy advises other child-entrepreneurs saying, “If you have a good idea, be brave, but do not take any unnecessary risks”. In the letter he received from the Finnish President, the head of the country admires Akseli’s work and wishes all the best to the young social entrepreneur.

The sheep farming tradition has a very long history in Finland Lemi, the town where Akseli lives, is famous for their farming and hand-made products. Lemin Lammas aims to revive the traditional craftsmanship, the intangible cultural heritage of the region. The Finnish Independence celebration has many traditions. One of them is putting two blue and white candles (same color as national flag) in the window at night. Last year Finland turned 100 years old. For the motherland’s birthday celebration Akseli made a special blue-white sheep-candle. This candle crafted using herbal components and packed in a designed gift box, gained official Finland 100 status, which means that it became one of the Finland’s 100th-anniversary products that tells the national story of the Finland.

by Iryna Maliatsina, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT)