19 February 2016

15 years as a Store Manager of Moomin Shop!

Today it’s exactly 15 years since Sanna started as a Store Manager at Moomin Shop. In 2009 the Moomin Shop Forum opened it’s doors and there Sanna helps Moomin fans from all over the world with her sunny and helpful attitude and extreme Moomin experience.

Sanna Moomin Shop Forum 2_2016

When Sanna saw the job ad for Moomin Shop store manager, she was working as a photographer, salesperson and waitress in several places and was not looking for a new job. Sanna wasn’t a big fan of the Moomins at that time but the job seemed like something she would love. Sanna applied for the job three months later when she saw the same ad in the newspaper again. The most memorable question in the job interview was “Do you drink whiskey like Moominpappa?”.

“Only when I started working at Moomin Shop I got to know the Moomins and after reading the books I fell in love with them. Some of the characters are so easy to identify with and some of them are easy to love because of their way of life” Sanna says. “Every time while reading the Moomin books you come up with a new insight Tove has written. Although the first book was written over 70 years ago, the story and meanings of the book are topical even today.”

Muumi kuvakirja_featured

The first Moomin Shop at Kämp Galleria was only 11 square meters and outside the store was a giant inflatable Moomintroll welcoming customers into the store. Like today even then the majority of customers came from Asia, mainly from Japan. In 2003 Moomin Shop moved to a larger premises in the Kämp Galleria and Sanna started looking for suitable premises also at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. After a couple of years, a small glass booth was built for Moomin Shop and in 2007 the new airport shop was opened to delight both Finnish and foreign travellers.

The first Moomin Shop Kämp Galleria
The first Moomin Shop at Kämp Galleria, Helsinki

The second Moomin Shop Kämp Galleria
The second Moomin Shop at Kämp Galleria, Helsinki

Sanna and Moomins

After her maternity leave Sanna corresponded Moomin events, for example the book and children fairs. In May 2009 the new Moomin Shop Forum opened and ever since Sanna has worked there.

Muumit kirjamessuilla
Sanna at the Book Fair in 2008

The funniest memories over the years

Sanna remembers many funny situations, many of them are related to foreign customers. One time a Japanese man wanted to buy 15 Moomintrolls and after packing them into the bags Sanna felt like the Moomins stared at her with the look “don’t send us away” causing Sanna to tear up. Later Sanna received a postcard from the customer telling her that the journey to Japan went well and the Moomins have received good homes.

Once the Discovery Channel was filming a program about Helsinki and Sanna had agreed to dance in a Moomin suit in the Moomin Shop. Too bad that you see so poorly from the suit and the first take ended up with Sanna running towards the window. The film crew laughed with tears in their eyes but luckily Sanna made them promise not to use the shot in the program. (Now many years later it is time to announce a public request for the Discovery Channel: Moomin running into windows would definitely reach a huge popularity in social media!)

Moomins at home?

Sanna admits that “work” has also taken over her home, especially when the children were small. Even after 15 years of working with the Moomins Sanna gets excited about new upcoming Moomin products. The number of licensees has grown considerably over the years, but Sanna is delighted with the increasing focus on the quality of the products. In the beginning a lot of products had just a Moomin sticker on the product making them “Moomin products”.

Favourite character?

Of course we all want to hear it!

“I have several favourites. The loneliness of the Groke is touching as well as the freedom of Snufkin. Also the Ancestor and Shadow are close to my heart not forgetting the displaced hedgehog or Teety-woo.”

Maybe the Hemulen should be included in Sanna’s favourites..?

Hemulen by Sanna 3

Hemulen by Sanna 2

Oh, and what about the whiskey?

“Yes!” Sanna says.

Hemulen by Sanna