Tag Archives: shopping

Konepajan Bruno

konepaja bruno, helsinki, flea market

Few weeks ago I heard about an indoor flea market in Helsinki, set up in an old machine workshop. It opened this summer, so it’s pretty new in the thrift shopping scene. I have never ever gone shopping there, but last Sunday I decided to have a go at selling.

This is my story. *du-duh*

konepaja bruno, tram stop, pysäkki

This is the tramstop Sturenkatu. The previous one (Kotkankatu) is the closest. You have to walk back a little bit. See that building site in the middle back? The access gate to Bruno is behind it.

konepaja bruno, opas, aleksis kiven katu, helsinki

Walk straight down (up?) the Aleksis Kiven katu until you see this sign. Turn right and you see this gate, and that’s your entrance:

konepaja bruno, helsinki, portti

Ta-dah. There’s a guard, who opens the gate for you. Well, for me he opened the door as I came by public transport. Then you walk a little bit and you should soon see this:

konepaja bruno, entrance, helsinki

See those guys in yellow, bright vests? That’s where you go in and you will see this:

konepaja bruno

Impressive space much? On the right is a café and you can meet the owner (who is not half bad to look at) there:

konepraja bruno omistaja, owner

Anyhoo…I have finally perfected my face-to-face selling and have managed to fit my  merchandise in ONE SUITCASE! No more hauling about a gazillion Ikea-bags in the public transport. Because of that, it didn’t take too long to set up my table and I had time to have a look around and see, what other people were selling.

konepaja brunon pöydät

There are two kinds of tables. Others have a frame and they have a built-in rack above the table, the others are like these (and I had one of them), where the rack hangs freely above the table. Also the latter ones are bigger. This system is slightly problematic because if you have a lot of hanger items, the customers can’t see you behind them. My advice is to take max.10 hanger items and put the rest on the table. But selling just hanger items can be done. You just have to be active yourself in making sure, that the customer knows, where you are. There was a table across me, that hadn’t been booked, so I sat on it and whenever a customer came over to browse, I went and introduced myself.

Now to the business part…Did I sell? My sales were terrible. However, had I been there also to buy, I’d have made some major scores. It really is a buyers market. I’m sure as more people will find it, the sales will improve too. But if you are on a hunt for good bargains, now is the time to go and find them. I did buy few things, one of them being this plastic wall thingy for displaying miniatures and when I came home and did some research, it turned out to be a Finnish design classic. And I was thinking about spray painting and decoupaging it. Talk about butchering classics. Committing crimes against design.

Anyways…My best sellers were in the 5 euro mark. The price for Sunday was 29 euros, so I recommend booking a table together with your friend. And DON’T stop selling until it’s closing time. I made most of my sales after 15 o’clock. It’s also very inconsiderate to leave a market really early. It creates a sad atmosphere, which is unfair to other sellers. Who YOU also depend on to bring in the crowds.

Personally I wish Bruno to succeed. The surroundings are lovely and as a seller, I appreciate that you can book the table and then pay it up after two hours of selling. There are much more impressive pics on Bruno’s website and you can also book the tables there. Here is yet another handy map by yours truly to help you find Bruno:

kartta konepaja Brunoon, map to Konepaja Bruno

I don’t mind, if you share this map. The more people the merrier.

Those little blue dots are tram stops for the tram line 9, which you can hop on at both Rautatieasema as well as Pasilan asema. If you are a seller, you can bring your stuff there by car BUT there is no parking there, so you have to find a parking spot somewhere close by.

So this how I spent my Sunday. Have you been thrifting/selling lately?

-Thrifty Finn-

Helsinki Craft Shopping Map

free printable helsinki craft shopping map

Update! After I published this map on a FB-group, I was told about another craft store, that’s within this area. I also decided to add Nappitalo, which is focused on sewing supplies but has tons of buttons and ribbons, which are definitely paper crafting supplies too.

The other day I was in Helsinki and decided to have a look around at all the arts & crafts stores within walking distance from where I was. Admittedly this didn’t happen by choice but because I was looking for basic black hobby cardstock and for Halloween reasons, I didn’t find it until the 5th store. I nearly burst into tears by the 4th store because I couldn’t believe I still had to walk to yet another shop.

But not all is lost. I had the forethought to snap some pictures of the stores I went to and now I can make a blog post about them! All these stores are in the Kamppi/city center area, and within walking distance from each other. Even with browsing around and stopping at other stores, you can visit all of them within couple of hours.

hobby point Helsinki

So my first stop was Hobby Point. The biggest selection of all the 7 places I visited. They also have model building supplies. The address is Fredrikinkatu 61. I bought some double sided sticky tape and glitter paper.

askarelli helsinki

Askarelli. They have mainly paper crafting supplies for weddings and events, if I make any sense. I bought some transparencies and a snowflake punch from there. The address: Annankatu 35. They have an online store as well in HERE.

And really close to Askarelli…Sinelli:

sinelli helsinki

Image via osuma.fi

The biggest craft store chain in Finland. They also have an online store at sinelli.fi. Just around the corner, on Yrjönkatu, is another Sinelli, which is focused on jewellery making but there are the fabrics and paints as well. I buy most of my basic supplies from here. Like gel pens, 3d foam stickers and glue tapes.

tuubi helsinki, art supplies, arts and crafts

Tuubi is an art supply store on Lönnrotinkatu 23. They have paper, canvases, acrylic and oil paints, and other things that an artist may need. So not directly a craft store but crafters need water colour paper too ;D As I visited, there was a sale table and I scored Letraset’s Flexmarker set for 10 euros.

Meder, askartelu, Helsinki, craft shop, DIY

Meder is located on Fredrikinkatu 30 and they offer various craft products mainly for porcelain painting and paper crafts. They also organize craft classes and they can be found HERE. I’d call the style of paper craft items available as Swedish vintage nostalgia. Think shabby chic version of Magnolia.

tempera, art supplies, Helsinki

Tempera advertises itself as an artist’s department store and it is much bigger than Tuubi. It’s here, where I found the basic hobby cardstock and they were 1,05 per sheet. I also found a transparency paper pad for little over 7 euros. It’s much more economical to get the artist pad, than buying them from a craft store per sheet. I have some last minute Halloween ideas for those and since there is 50 sheets per pad, I have room for experimenting as I don’t have to watch, how many I have left. They have all the known art supply brands in stock and they have an online shop as well. It can be found HERE.

On my way the next store, I stopped at Granit, which is like a Swedish Muji and I got some washi tape from there. I decided to exclude it from my list as it is not a craft store per se, however they have tons of stuff, which would be perfect for organizing said craft supplies. So I might write about it some other time.

nappitalo helsinki, sewing, buttons, ribbons

Nappitalo on Yrjönkatu 12 is the place to go for buttons and ribbons. It’s not the cheapest but there usually are some ribbons and bits and bobs in a discount bin. They also always have a well stocked zipper selection, which is important as everyone needs to change a zipper in their clothing every now and then, and it’s annoying if you have to hunt the right size all over the city. So not strictly a paper craft/art store but has tons of relevant supplies.

Number eight on my list is Akateeminen Kirjakauppa:

akateeminen kirjakauppa, bookstore, Helsinki

Image via tripadvisor.co.uk

AK is a bookstore, spread over several floors and it’s an actual architectural gem. The part I’m talking about is the basement level. There are some artist supplies and stationary items AND Stockmann’s (the department store) OUTLET shop. The artist supply section isn’t huge BUT according a Finnish papercrafting FB-group, the price for ProMarkers is very competitive. I had a quick look around the OUTLET and there were some home decor items, which I think would be perfect for altering projects. The discounts were very good. Up to 70% off and like Nanny Fine says, it’s not sale, if it is less than 40% off.

suomalainen kirjakauppa aleksanterinkatu helsinki

Image via osuma.fi

Suomalainen Kirjakauppa probably is the biggest chain of bookstores in Finland. They really have been able to keep their focus on books but they have some nice craft supplies as well. The prices are okay too and there are sometimes deals to be had. This particular store on Aleksanterinkatu (opposite of Stockmann) is one of the bigger ones I think and it’s the one, where authors go launch their books and have Q&A’s. The image over here is the back entrance as I didn’t have a picture of the front, and I couldn’t find a good one from the interwebs either. I bought some satin finish laser printer paper and a tiny snowflake punch. They don’t have Halloween stuff for sale at all BUT they already had their Christmas craft things on display. And the stuff looks good:

suomalainen kirjakauppa, christmas, jouluaskartelutarvikkeet

As soon as Halloween is over, I’m going to go and hoard some of those ribbons. This is, BTW, what a good craft store should look like all the time. Sinelli is bit lacking and I’m not the only one, who thinks that. They renovated their Simonkatu store earlier this year and when I visited them this week, they had some things they had for sale BEFORE the renovation, back on the shelves for full price. And I’m talking about years old Graphic 45’s. They also have a habit of selling ‘we don’t have it now’, followed by ‘check the online store’. They seem to be forgetting that crafters are tactile shoppers and we do not want to buy everything online and we most definitely don’t want to pay ridiculous postage for them.

helsinki craft shopping map

So here are the 9 craft stores in the Helsinki City Center. You can download and print the map yourself and the link is here:


-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Remember that hobby cardstock I was hunting for? I forgot them in the train. I am not amused.

Kauppa & Galleria Talli

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

Hello, hello, hello…Last Sunday I was selling my second hand clothing and crafts at a flea market here in Espoo, which was organized by a local gallery slash design store. Let me tell you…The surroundings were fantastic! I’m always putting down Espoo, as it’s a city that combines the worst of cities and countryside, plus all the buildings are designed by dimwitted engineers, which makes all the neighbourhoods generally seem void of all that it’s nice in humanity. But I digress…

Kauppa & Galleria Talli literally translates as Shop & Gallery Stables, and the name is quite apt. The whole shebang is a converted stable and the event room (where the flea market was) looks like it’s fit for all those gorgeous Pinterest barn weddings.

Let’s collectively ooh and aah at this point.

Anyhoo, I thought  you’d enjoy some pictures…

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery, Talli9 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I don’t know what’s up there but the entrance to the event hall is to the right and the entrance to the shop is somewhere on the left. The shop itself is very cute and they sell artisan type of design things. There is even a small café corner in there.

Talli5 Talli6 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

They don’t only sell ceramics, but they were the only things I had an okay picture off :D The master of photography hits again :DDD

But the best part was the event hall. I can’t get past how cute it is! It’s not that big and I love the intimacy of it.

Talli1 Talli3 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I made okay sales, although I did joke on Twitter, that my salary for the day would have been good in Cambodia. From the crafts I sold the boxes and the one card just peeking at the bottom of the picture. Customer flow was okayish but there was one lull, when there were only sellers present. Overall I am pleased with the location and the pricing for the table was good too. There are only couple of things, that I see needing improvement. The first is lighting. It was a bit too dark in there. The second is music. The owners played this jazzy lounge music from Spotify, and I can understand, that they thought it would work as a non-offensive background music, BUT we sellers are there to sell. And easy listening jazz is not for selling. I don’t mean the music has to be blaring the TOP 40 like in H&M BUT it has to be upbeat. Upbeat sells.

The next flea market will be there on 1st of November from 11 till 16 o’clock. You can get there by car or by the busses 156, 158 and 543. I hope to see you there then ;)

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Apparently I was the only idiot there, who carried their stuff to sell there by a bus. But for my credit, I’ve managed to build my second hand selling inventory into such as I don’t have to carry a lot but all of the items make somewhat cohesive collection. (Apart from the clothes I’ve actually worn myself. I sell them for couple of euros each).

Inspiration: Ottobre

The other day I was asking on Reddit for links to European online fabric stores. I’m a little bit of embarrassed, that I had completely forgotten the existence of Ottobre. Not the magazine, but the fact, that they sell fabrics too.

They host their shop in Etsy. It’s selection is not huge, but there are some serious amazeballs prints available. Feast your eyes…

Victoire, printed viscose elastane jersey, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Victoire, printed viscose elastane jersey

Is it a bookshelf or a paint sampler? Either way…Very beautiful.

Flaming Feathers, printed viscose elastane jersey, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Flaming Feathers, printed viscose elastane jersey

Dramatic feathers. This screams maxi dress to me. Ottobre used this one for a little girl’s shirt in their pattern magazine, but personally I think this is too grown up print for kids.

Scarlett, printed viscose elastane single jersey

Scarlett, printed viscose elastane single jersey

If you follow my Instagram, you know that I looooove botanical prints. But they seem to be really hard to find :(

Girona, lightweight woven  viscose, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Girona, lightweight woven viscose

I actually have some of this fabric. I found it in the bargain bin at my local fabric store. Now that I know what’s the real retail price of it, I’m going to think twice, what I’m making of it. Ottobre also has it in pink jersey.

Jujuy, viscose elastane single jersey

Jujuy, viscose elastane single jersey

Digitally printed jerseys are a HUGE thing in Finland right now. No wonder. There’s pretty much no limit of what kind of images you can turn into a print. So far I haven’t bought any though. I don’t have an overlocker and I have an issue with sewing stretchy materials on my sewing machine. Might have to bit the bullet though. I feel Iike I’m missing out on something utterly creative.

Fly Feather, cotton popline, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Fly Feather, cotton popline

Another thing that’s hard to find in Finland, is cool quilting cotton. Ottobre used the bottom two to make a really cute girl’s skirt. Looked very expensive and designey. At 10 euros a meter, not too shabby. The middle fabric would make an amazing pencil skirt too.

Secret Garden, printed cotton, Ottobre, fabrics, Etsy

Secret Garden, printed cotton

Last but not least…Some more florals! I have a quilt in the design process and I’ve already started collecting fabrics for it. These would bring in the much needed sophisticated pinky-ness in it. Only 9 euros per meter. Me likes.

Just in case you didn’t know…Ottobre is a Finnish company and it’s located in Rovaniemi, Lapland! YEAH! DEM MY HOMEGIRLS!!! They have an English language blog too, and you can check it out HERE. All the images here are linked to their respective Etsy-postings and they are not affiliate-links.

-Thrifty Finn-



Kaboom, A Thrift Store in Helsinki

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket

For the first time for a long time, I’m introducing a new second hand store to you. I was told about Kaboom by my friend, who has sold his stuff there and apparently has made good money each time. Hearing this, I had to go and check it out.

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket

Kaboom is located on Albertinkatu 46, only couple of hundred meters from the Kamppi shopping centre.

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarketMy first impression was, that it’s not too big but there’s a nice mix of things for sale. Quite a bit of retro goodies as well. The prices range from very cheap to the upper edge of what I consider reasonable prices for second-hand goodies, but most of the stuff I saw was between 2-10 euros. Retro things obviously being more expensive.kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarketIf you are selling, there are some vitrines available for your pricier things. I ended up booking a table as they have a deal going on. 2 weeks for 70 euros. I usually get my butt kicked with self service second-hand stores, but I’m hoping this location is better for the stuff I usually sell. I haven’t checked my saldo yet, so fingers crossed :)

Anyhoo, Kaboom has a website HERE and a Facebook-page. The staff is very friendly and speaks English. Definitely worth a visit, if you are into thrifting and second-hand things.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Naturally I’ve bought a quite a few things from there already. They have a charity booth, where the proceeds go half to children’s charity and half to an animal shelter. I found this gorgeous, gorgeous skirt in it. It’s way too small for me, but I just had to have it for the print. I mean look at it:

kaboom, helsinki, thrift store, fleamarket

It’s just heavenly, don’t you think?