Our Garments’ Makers, part 5

Black Moda Oy’s personnel consists of experts in the textile and clothing industry, finance, e-commerce, marketing, warehousing and logistics. The team is complemented by the staff of the Pukimo store in Lempäälä’s Ideapak. In other words, even if the actual production is done outside Finland, experts are also needed in Finland to keep the wheels turning. In January 2021, 13 people work in Black Moda Oy’s office and warehouse in Pirkkala Linnakallio. Or would work, but about half of the workers work remotely from home. We all know the reason for that.

The CEO of Black Moda Oy and the company’s employees are present at the presentations of the Pirkkala staff of our Garments´ Makers series. Among other things, they talk about their work, what motivates them and how the textile and clothing industry has changed during their careers.

Now it is Johanna’s turn to introduce herself. She is the manager of the production team and takes care of production customers matters together with the team. In addition, he is the immediate supervisor of the staff in Pirkkala.

Your name?
Johanna Leppä-aho

What is your study or career path? What have you studied and what kind of work have you done before?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Textile Science and Engineering and Production economics in Tampere 2004. In addition, I have further studies in the commercial sector. I have worked in the textile sector in various positions for more than 15 years, for example in the cutting room, product warehouse and sales positions.

How did you hear about Black Moda – how did you get here? When did you start working at Black Moda Oy?
I was doing business at Pyynikintie 25 in Tampere, where Black Moda’s office, showroom and warehouse were located at that time. There I noticed the name of Black Moda in the mailbox. The name referred to the textile industry, so I took a closer look at the company’s website and what kind of products they have on offer. The company seemed interesting, so I contacted the CEO directly and introduced myself. A little later, a job opened in the company and after an interview round, I got the job. I started work in February 2016.

What is your job title and your main job roles and responsibilities at Black Moda right now?
My most important job is to take care of the production customers ’ day-to-day matters of together with the production team. In addition, we introduce new fabrics and innovations to customers and support customers in their work. My job title is the manager of the production team, but I work as the immediate manager for the entire Pirkkala office staff.

What is your typical working day like? What work do you do and with whom do you collaborate?
There is no normal or typical working day, but every day is very different. That makes my job so interesting. Days consist of various tasks, most often in front of a screen. Working days are mostly filled by processing orders, production issues and deliveries.

I work most with both Finnish and Portuguese production teams, but the production chain runs through a great many professionals. As a result, I have daily contact with many different people from pattern to packaging and dispatch. In addition to internal contacts, customer contacts are very important. Every day I work with many clients.

What motivates you in your work and what in turn is the most challenging in your work?
My motivation is to be a part of fulfilling customers wishes and fluent productions. Diverse and challenging situations motivate and at the same time teach more about the diverse textile industry. The most challenging is scheduling in situations where many simultaneous situations require my attention.

How has the industry changed during your career?
The industry has changed a great deal. The biggest and best change, I think, is that responsibility and ethics have risen from specialty to everyday life in every area. The use of responsible material alone is no longer enough, but responsibility covers the entire life cycle of a product and, at best, the company’s operations as a whole.

The production volume of a single products has increased and production in whole has become more efficient. Products are designed as long-lasting and timeless garments instead of fast design to be worn only few times and thrown away. A beautiful and fashionable garment can also be a wardrobe foundation.

What is the most important thing you have learned in your work?

How wide and diverse the textile industry is.
Solving new issues as well as challenging situations increases my professionalism and interest in the field. Every day you can learn more.

What do you think are Black Moda Oy’s competitive advantages?
A motivated and professional staff who does their job with a big heart. Long-term partners and responsible European production.

What do you dream of?
About traveling and the heat of the sun.

What kind of greetings do you want to send to production customers or resellers?
I thank our production customers for their trust, cooperation and passionate interest in this challenging field of textile industry. Together with them, we solve situations, sometimes even challenging and experience the joy of success. We support their ideas and want to support their growth goals.

What kind of greetings do you want to send to consumers?
I hope consumers will appreciate the products they buy. The products go from design to consumer through the hands of many professionals, that is, from person to person.

What kind of greetings do you want to send to a young person in the textile and clothing industry?
The textile industry is interesting and diverse. Be open and willing to develop yourself and learn new things. Education provides a good foundation. Professionalism is developed through work and listening to the advice of other professionals.