The Story of Riipi Puukko

When a van load of French tourists rushed into the yard of the Riipi Puuko workshop in central Lapland for the first time, the owners first thought they were lost. New entrepreneurs Eliisa and Mika Lintula had their hands full with work – making traditional Finnish knives – as well as three small kids. However, people began to get out of the car, and they seemed determined to visit the workshop.

That was in 2014. Now, six years later, the three generations who now live next to the workshop are no longer surprised by the continuing flocks of tourists.

“Visitors come from all over the world and our products have been sold to 15 countries. Our main sales channel is though our online store, which is available in three languages. Our knives can also be purchased directly from our workshop or from a few retailers.” Eliisa Lintula says.

How did it all start?

Riipi Puukkko’s owners say that they are surprised at how well the business has begun. However, it has not happened quickly or easily. The most difficult things have been getting used to the uncertainty of entrepreneurship, and the lack of a work colleagues, compared to their previous working life. The early days, in particular, were difficult for a family with young children.

Mika Lintula made knives on alternate days and evenings at the beginning, he recalls. At some point, the situation levelled off. Riipi Puukko originated from the joint enthusiasm of a “suitably crazy” couple and the courageous decision to become entrepreneurs. The decision to start a company was influenced not only by the desire to try new things, but also the courage to come up with crazy-sounding ideas, and the birth of a baby.

“We wanted to provide our children with a safe and peaceful environment.” the Lintulas explain. They left their permanent jobs in Rovaniemi and moved to Mika’s childhood home, the village of Riipi. Pretty soon after the move, the Lintulas knew they would become entrepreneurs.

The village on the shores of Lake Riipijärvi, with less than 150 inhabitants, posed challenges for employment. There is only one farm and one taxi in the village, so paid employment was very unlikely, Eliisa explains.

Suitably crazy ideas

The young couple, who had always worked hard, began to look at the options.  “We thought of all the possibilities, raising chickens seemed like a good idea. Making coffins was also an idea we discussed for a long time” remembers Eliisa.

Indeed, renovation work on the old cow barn was begun, with the plan to make coffins. A break in the work caused by the birth of their baby gave time for the current business idea to form.

Coffins and chickens made way for knives. The solution was workable and well-reasoned. The skills and know-how of both were harnessed in a new way. ”Mika’s knife-making hobby and craftsmanship combined with my sales and marketing skills have supported each other from the beginning.” Eliisa says. Both mutual teamwork and cooperation with other parties, such as friends and other entrepreneurs, have been the key to the company’s entire success story.

Life carries us

According to Riipi Puukko’s owners, an entrepreneur in Lapland needs courage, daring, confidence and a vision that differs from the masses.

“With accumulation of know-how and development of our own competence, entrepreneurship has finally become a way of life.” The Lintulas state.

At the moment, Riipi Puukko is doing well. The parents of four young children are now filling orders and making knives according to customers’ wishes. Now a tourist visiting Riipi Puukko is welcomed by it’s happy owners. You could also meet dogs and cats in the yard, and with good luck, chickens and sheep might come to greet you.

Life is spent in the midst of family, animals and nature. “ This life is made by us and Riipi Puukko is currently making it possible. That’s good.” Eliisa says. Little by little, through many twists and turns, it has been become clear that  life and business will prevail.

Company's email

[email protected]



Riipi Puukko ky, Riipintie 36, 99720 Sodankylä

Company's phone

045 3557775