People of Nikari: Juho Kinnunen
Juho Kinnunen joined Nikari’s team about 12 years ago. While he initially knew very little about the company when applying for the job, he was impressed by Nikari’s reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality, handmade solid wood furniture. “It is rare in Finland for a company to focus on making solid wood furniture. Woodworking today is more focused on custom-made work and carpentry, such as making doors, windows, and kitchens,” Juho notes. In fact, Juho previously worked with doors and windows, for a company in Liminka, a town near Oulu. When his former employer had to move premises and pause production for a year, Juho decided to take a chance and apply for a job in southern Finland, based on a friend’s tip. “Knowing Nikari’s reputation I was sure I had no chance, but figured I had nothing to lose.”
Juho’s modest assumptions turned out to be wrong. He moved from Northern Ostrobothnia to the south and started working at Nikari as a carpenter in 2010. Then, in 2013, Juho became Nikari’s production manager. “I am responsible for running the production, so I am kind of like a conductor who directs the orchestra,” Juho explains. The job mainly involves scheduling, ensuring the adequacy of workers and resources, overseeing recruitment, training, and directing work. Juho provides essential support to Nikari employees, guiding them to better solutions and streamlining their work in all aspects, thereby helping everyone to feel validated and working at their best level.
“I am responsible for running the production, so I am kind of like a conductor who directs the orchestra.”
Nikari’s uncompromising commitment to quality, durability, and production transparency is of paramount importance to Juho. “Here, things are done as well as possible from start to finish, taking into account all aspects of the chain from both the ecological and social perspective,” Juho says. “We make products that are both structurally and visually durable, and that’s something we can stand behind and be proud of.”
The large windows of Nikari’s red-brick workshop offer views in all directions. Juho says that he never gets tired of working in such a unique environment. However, the most important environmental factor is found inside the four walls of the workshop, namely the camaraderie of his fellow carpenters. “I like that we can be professional and have fun at work at the same time. We have incredibly skilled and professional carpenters, yet our high standards do not make the atmosphere tense. We have a lot of fun at work — we laugh a lot and sometimes even play small pranks,” Juho reveals.