Helen Leetsar, the co-founder of Kaissu.
Helen Leetsar, the co-founder of Kaissu, shared with us the brand's creation process and the philosophy of its products.
Interview by Ummuhan Kazanc
Dear Helen Leetsar, thank you for accepting our interview request. You have great explanation for Kaissu. It says “Kaissu was born in the land of long and dark nights, in the embrace of the virgin forests and freezing winds. Taken from the wilderness and inspired by its unique beauty.” Let's dive into some details of these sentences. How was the Kaissu brand born?
The beginning of Kaissu could be the moment when my husband and I sat by the campfire in a snowy forest near our home. We talked about our dreams and wishes, present and future. It was that evening when the idea of creating our own furniture brand first came up. Already a month later, a good coincidence brought together the right people with whom we started this venture five years ago.
Helen Leetsar, can we get to know you better? How did your interest with design begin?
I grew up in a fairly creative home. My grandmother was a clothing designer, my mother and brother are musicians. The ability to appreciate art, see the details behind the whole and create beauty was in great honor in our home. As a teenager, I knew that one day I would like to do interior design and furniture design. Somehow, however, my studies took me to the field of advertising and marketing. After that I graduated MBA. However, after years of working as a top level executive, I returned to my vocation. I felt that I needed the change and more creative environment.
Previously, as a hobby, I’ve managed to create some interior design projects, so it seemed logical step to transform it to a daily job. Desire to create a new brand, to lead it my own way, to design the products, as well the future of my own company – it seemed like a perfect challenge.
Kaissu means hug in Estonian. It is quite interesting and lovely. Based on Kaissu's name, what can you say about your design philosophy? What is Kaissu's line? Your brand is mostly focusing on bedrooms? Why bedrooms? In addition you have started to produce new furniture pieces.
There is no exact match for the word "kaissu" in English. It's not just a hug, it's about cuddling someone in bed. This name was supposed to describe the brand's focus, which is still the beds. For both - for the big and for the little ones. Why beds? Because I had experienced myself how difficult it is to find a minimalist bed with an eloquent design. It seemed to me that as a designer I had something to say in this niche. On the other hand, this particular focus allowed the brand to be well positioned in the highly competitive world of furniture.
Our design philosophy is very simple. We create the things we want for ourselves and in a way that is in line with our conscience. Our state of mind is minimalism. It's not just aesthetics. It is also a way of thinking about how to produce and consume resource-efficiently, generating less waste and proving that less is more. But we do not limit ourselves to that product range only. Beds are our signature product, but there are many other interesting items worth designing. Innovations allow the brand to develop and make our own life more colorful.
What can you say about Kaissu's production techniques and the materials it uses?
Kaissu started as a design company, where production was outsourced. Today, however, we have opened our own production unit for the core products. This change was necessary to achieve greater control over quality, to make product development more efficient, to move towards the 0-waste concept and to offer customers flexibility. Despite the high-tech production facilities, the role of a human expertise continues to play a very important part in our production. We mainly use natural wood. Every detail is different according to how nature has shaped it. All details are selected and matched piece by piece and then finished with oil manually.
You have so many types of beds. What are the differences between these products?
Each bed is designed to fulfill different preferences. Who likes it low, who likes it high; for whom soft textile upholstery, for whom a wooden appearance… However, all our beds are united by one philosophy and design language - minimalism. Slim shapes and fine lines, always in search of exquisite beauty.
What is your most preferred bed style? Why do you think it is more preferred?
Our best seller is bed EHE. Probably because there is something safely familiar and simple about it, but also very distinctive. Modest and yet so eloquent.
Can you tell our visitors to All-in-Line's website 5 reasons to choose Kaissu Beds?
Philosophically speaking, Kaissu should be chosen by someone who shares the same values with us - a love of beauty and a minimalist way of thinking, but on the practical side, one who wants to be different from his or her neighbor; appreciates impeccable customer support; appreciates longevity of the products, also a longer warranty than usual.
Finally, can we learn about Kaissu's future plans?
We plan to expand the product range for children. And the first products for home office furnishing are coming to market soon. Strategically, we are looking around the world to bring this small Nordic furniture brand to more distant markets.