“Grandpa Heino drew a T-shirt shape on the fabric, cut it off and sewed it. He kept it as a treasure, even though no one thought it was beautiful, let alone well made.”
Black Moda Oy is a Finnish family company, established in 1996 and situated in the city of Tampere, in Finland. Black Moda Oy is specialized in textile design and marketing. The family’s garment factory, Cottonhouse Lda, is located in the idyllic town of Ponte de Lima, in northern Portugal. Our main market is Finland and we sell ready-to-wear jersey articles, finished fabrics and home and bath textiles, such as towels and bathrobes. Behind these two family companies lies an interesting story that touched the lives of three generations.
Where did it all begin?
Around 1930, Heino and Hilma Siltala had a small grocery store in the village of Nivala, in Finland. Those who knew them say they were a great team: she was good at selling things, he was organized. The couple also shared a passion for entrepreneurship, and the same passion later came to be a driving force for all the family.
Heino came from a poor background and so very early it became clear to him that he wanted to achieve a certain kind of “independence” in his life, to build something of his own. As an entrepreneur Heino was determined and precise; at home he was kind, encouraging and a gentle figure. The will to provide his family with something more than he had had in his own childhood was the main reason to pursue a life filled with different projects and an entrepreneurial career. Later on, he mentioned it was his dream to have a “garment factory”.
Heino’s motto was “when the old dies, something new is born”.
The daughter of Heino and Hilma, Soili and her husband Juho Keski-Vähälä opened a small shop in the city of Kalajoki, in 1973. Later in that same shop they sold clothing.
The true jump to the textile industry happened in 1977, when Heino and Hilma both the “Halpa-kauppa” store in Ylivieska and gave it to Soili. She ended up making a little sewing department downstairs and Heino bought the machines, the first fabrics and materials needed to get it started. Heino drew a T-shirt shape on the fabric, cut it off and sewed it. He kept it as a treasure, even though no one thought it was beautiful, let alone well made. The first article to be produced in this small atelier was a sleeveless baby romper.
In 1984, Soili and Juho purchased a warehouse in Alavieska and built a bigger confection. By this time Pikkuset was born, a brand known to many from its’ presence in the Finnish Baby Box, given to mothers all over Finland.
Years later, the 90’s economic crisis and the entrepreneurial spirit made part of the family move to Portugal to build a new factory, which today is Cottonhouse, established in Ponte de Lima around the year of 1992.
In 1996, Black Moda is established to promote and sell the production of the factory in Finland.
In the Spring of 2015, Black Moda moved to the historical premises of Pyynikin Trikoo in Tampere. Today, Black Moda focuses on the design, marketing and production supervision of the textiles produced in Portugal. Soili’s children Marko, Riikka and Laura Keski-Vähälä continue the family business.
We focus on high-quality and we bet on it from start to finish, throughout the whole production, by sourcing the materials from trusted suppliers, whom we have been working with for decades. Our own production and the Öko-Tex certification guarantee that the article is safe for its users.
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