Meet Susanna and Laura and hear how the Tuutu concept got started here in Australia.
How did you and Laura end up in Australia?
I was always fascinated with foreign countries and cultures. My mother tells me that the globe my grandparents gave me as a present was my favourite thing to play when I was growing up. I had a passion for travel it was no surprise when I left Finland for London in the late 1990s. Eight years later I jumped at the chance to relocate again - this time to Australia with my partner - and I have never looked back. I love the Australian lifestyle as it is similar to a Finnish one – laid back and easy going. Both countries enjoy outdoor living, although I must say I like the beach life now more than the winter fun.
After living seven years in Switzerland, in 2010 Laura relocated to Australia with her husband and they both fell in love with the lifestyle Australia has to offer. Laura feels that the relaxed attitudes and friendliness of people have made living here easy and is one of the happiest times of our lives, not least because we had two beautiful children while in Australia.
Why did you start up Tuutu and what does it stand for?
Having done our own journey to parenthood in Australia, we realized that there was nothing like the Finnish maternity package concept with a ready set of baby essentials available in Australia. Susanna read an article about the Finnish maternity package end of last year and the idea of Tuutu Baby Box was born. We named the business after a Finnish word Tuutu that literally means bassinet or crib. Although Tuutu's origin is the Finnish Baby Box concept, it is made for Australian parents with Australian flavours. The climate and culture have some different needs in Australia and that was taken into consideration when the content of the box was created.
What is the history of Finnish Baby Box concept ?
The contents of the Tuutu Baby Box is based on the Finnish Government maternity package, that every expectant mother is entitled in Finland. Expectant mothers can choose between maternity package and money (220 AUD) and majority of mothers choose the package since you cannot buy all the items in maternity package, with the money government gives to you. Finland has given out maternity packages since 1938 somewhat over 3 milj boxes to support families and today the Finnish government distributes over 40 000 maternity packages annually.
Why sustainable and organic approach towards creating Tuutu?
It was natural way for us to think about creating a sustainable product. Sustainability for us is using natural and safe materials eco-friendly, product and products that can serve multipurpose. The Tuutu Baby Box is made from cardboard and is 100% recyclable material. Sustainability is important to us and we have designed the baby box to be used in many ways - baby can sleep in it, the box lid doubles as a changing table, you can use it as a storage box later on for those pesky toys that you keep tripping over (yes we have been there!) and you can make it a toy for your toddler with some car wheels painted on it, or maybe a train! Many parents use it as a memory box including pictures, and first clothes the baby wore to keep sake to share later on.
We have selected high quality organic, natural baby products to the box and most of them can serve multipurpose like cloth nappy works as swimming nappy. We spent much time and care selecting the products and partners to be part of Tuutu Baby Box.
What is happening next with Tuutu brand?
As most of the Finns, we both started our lives sleeping in the baby box and our mothers used the products of the box to care for us as babies. There are probably no Finns that wouldn’t have some kind of memory related to their baby box. We hope that Australia will embrace Tuutu Baby Box and that there are many memories to be created by the Australian parents using the Tuutu Baby Box. We are looking into different products and other variations of Tuutu Baby Box to be added to our selections near future.