The holiday season is here, and the search for the perfect presents is on. Great presents are not only personal or functional but they give a sense of meaning and perspective. At Kasperi we think the best presents keep on giving throughout the years. However, it can be difficult finding presents that tick the right boxes. That's why we'd like to share this short guide to help you scout for the perfect presents.
Five tips on how to give gifts that keep on giving:
1) When possible, try, loan or rent before buying
At Kasperi we believe that 'things' should connect us back to the activities we enjoy, feed our curiosity and help us enjoy what life has to offer. Therefore a good way to test that is to try things out before buying. That is why we have developed a rental model for our bags so that you can try a Kasperi out and see if it's the right match. We want to succeed in creating products for life, and for that to work, Kasperi users need to feel the same.
2) Thinking of ownership as stewardship
Both for renting and ownership, it is essential that products are sturdy and repairable enough. Only this way they can endure over decades and many owners. We like to think that a Kasperi is like a wooden boat - an item that you enjoy, take care of, repair and when it is time, pass it on for someone else to watch over. You are the steward of the things you "own", and the things you own will either end up in landfills or in the hands of another steward. The right choices can make sure it is the latter.
The beauty of taking care of something that has a history of its own gives a particular meaning to those items. We think that items need to become more meaningful for us to start appreciating quality over quantity.
Suomen Käsityöteollisuuden Oy not only produces our designs but we collaborate on various fronts developing leathercrafts in Finland. For prototyping and developing production it helps that we can get to Forssa quickly to work with true professionals.
3) Find brands that have a holistic view on product lifecycle
Designs should be classic enough so that they don't lose their appeal over time. Materials should not only endure the next five years but have the longevity for repairs and staying power to get better with time. Structural choices should cut weak links, and make repairs a breeze for the local shoemaker. The brand should facilitate passing on their products.
Of course, this is just our model of thinking of the product lifecycle and there are many other models as well. We're always interested in hearing about how others do it. We think Tauko Design from Helsinki exemplifies how transparency and a holistic view on the product lifecycle should be done.
4) Support brands that support their local
Local manufacturing provides new opportunities in rural areas and that is already a great reason to buy local. However, local manufacturing also preserves the know-how for new great things to emerge from other local creators. And we think that is super important.
For us, it has been invaluable to get to the factory and back in a matter of hours. Proximity has been priceless for developing novel and better solutions to design problems. Many of the solutions we've developed would've been impossible had we traveled abroad for prototyping. Local is certainly not cheaper but local leads to better products.
Brands that manufacture locally, support ecosystems of makers. Local manufacturing is an infrastructure that enables the emergence of new things. Lately, we've been glad to hear about Tarvas Footwear, who manufacture their shoes right here in Finland. Tarvas has been noticed internationally from its collaboration with Engineered Garments. In our beloved neighbor Sweden, there is a small Sami brand Sarva, making Denim and Wool shirts still in Sweden, you should definitely check them out.
A new and a well used Kasperi Fold-top side by side, which one do you prefer?
5) Enjoy sharing the goodness
When you buy something that you will have for a long time, you become attached to it. At some point, however, you might feel the need to pass on the joy. Kasperis are made to go on for decades with the right care. When you get an item from a friend or relative that's been used for decades, there is an incomparable appreciation for it.
We think sharing with strangers is just as great, as it creates an opportunity to connect. Just be sure to tell a few stories about the items to go on with the new owners. It's both fun and creates mutual appreciation for the item.
To make sharing easier we have launched the demo-shop this year for our Finnish customers. The thought behind it is to get our demo stock going and to create a market for refurbished Kasperis. It's also a way for Kasperi owners who wish to update to make sure their old bag gets passed on with the care it deserves.
With these tips, we wish you a very happy holiday season!
The Kasperi team