Elsa Heporauta gathered a group of progressive Finnish women who shared the same desire to create something tangible to express respect to the women of the Kalevala. A committee was founded to raise funds for a monument in honor of the Finnish Woman. The initial attempt to raise money for the monument by public subscription yielded very limited results. In spring 1937, a proposal arose to make replicas of ancient jewelry and the sales of it would be donated to the monument fund.
Instead of the original plan for four, forty items were chosen and sketched from the collections in the National Museum of Finland. The jewelry was made and went on sale in autumn 1937. However, the plan for building a monument gradually faded away. The Winter War broke out in 1939. The committee was aware of the need for using the fund on charity was greater than on a statue.
All ideas from the committee matured and grew as time went by. The Association of the Women of Kalevala was established and funds were distributed to places in need through the association. In 1941 a company named Kalevala Koru Oy was registered.
Kalevala Koru (Jewelry) Oy is the largest jewelry manufacturer in Finland. The company designs, produces and sells high quality gold, silver and bronze jewelry. Kalevala Koru Group employs 210 people and its annual turnover was 21 million euro in 2005. The factory and administration locates in an area 10km from downtown Helsinki. The President of the company is Ms. Laura Lares. The board of Directors consists of Vice President, Financial Director Mrs. Tiina Peltonen, IT-Manager Mrs. Tuula Aitta-aho, Production Manager Mr. Mika Elamo, Logistics Manager Mrs. Arja Heikkilä, Marketing and Sales Director Mrs. Riitta Huuhtanen and Purchase Manager Mr. Markku Tapiola.
In August 2005 Kalevala Koru Oy acquired all the shares of a well-known Finnish jewelry company Lapponia Jewelry Oy. Lapponia Jewelry will continue as an incorporated company (Inc.) operated by Kalevala Koru Oy.
All jewelry is manufactured in our own factory in Helsinki, Finland. Only high quality raw materials are used in our jewelry. Finnish materials are used, whenever possible. The factory is part of our newly renovated premises in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki. We pay close attention to the environmental regulations to ensure the air, water and the park nearby will not be polluted.
Kalevala Koru has a very strong brand name in Scandinavia, especially in Finland. In recent surveys, Kalevala Jewelry was the 11th most appreciated brand name in Finland (Markkinointi & Mainonta -magazine, 2005).