”The small, local entrepreneurs really make the city”

As the founder and curator of award-winning concept store and gallery Lokal in the heart of Helsinki, Hagelstam breathes Finnish art and design. Since the opening in 2012, she’s curated close to 60 exhibitions at the gallery and various other locations in Finland and abroad. She enjoys nothing more than to provide a platform for a creative community to flourish, all the while promoting sustainable, ethical, and ecological values within the field.

And, she’s the ultimate social animal.

My favorite thing that makes me proud of Helsinki:
The fact that it has a feeling of a small town where you can reach places easily but at the same time has a big cultural scene and variety.

My favorite weekend routine:
Slow breakfast, walking in the close-by nature, a few exhibitions in town, and a coffee with a friend.

My favorite cultural spot:
Oh, so many, but maybe one could be WG, the Emma Museum, where I love how the contemporary art sits well in the industrial sixties building. It also has a very nice bistro, Luminere.

My favorite place for dining out:
It could be Espa for the interior, food, and site, or Sikke’s for a cozy relaxed feeling.

My favorite place for a creative or business meeting:
Walking is a favourite way to have a meeting, but if seated maybe Wintergarden at St. George.


My favorite breakfast place:
Café Engel. An old classic, which has been there for most of my adult life and never changes. The owners’ presence gives a special welcoming feeling.

My favorite city escape:
Maybe one of the saunas, Kulttuurisauna or Kaurilan.

My favorite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:
This is a tricky one, as I wish to promote so many of the small, local ones. They really make the city. In The Design District there are many, as well as in former hospital Lapinlahti

My favorite hotel for a staycation: 
I’ve actually never experienced one, but if I would try now, I guess I would go with Hanasaari.

My favorite route for a run or walk: 
My walks mainly go around the area where I live, Laajasalo. But if in town, then it’s around the shoreline from Kaivopuisto to Katajanokka.

My favorite place for fashion:
Samuji is definitely my favourite. 

My favorite space for great design:
That’s tricky. Unless you don’t count Lokal, of course, then it could be the Oodi library.

My favorite example of tech innovation in Helsinki: 
As I’m not a very tech person, I can’t think of any.

My favorite local media (newspaper/magazine/website/social media account):
I just stumbled on something on Instagram that looks very good and promising, BUM Editions.

My favorite thing at home: 
The big kitchen and round table. Under normal circumstances, this is where we all gather, in smaller or bigger groups, but always an enjoyment.

Oodi library
BUM Edition 1


Lokal Helsinki’s Christmas shop highlights the best from Finnish artisans

Founded in 2012 by photographer Katja Hagelstam, Lokal Helsinki is an art gallery and shop that showcases locally produced and high-quality art, crafts, and design, available in limited quantities. Their special Christmas store takes place in their new online store as well as in the Art Nouveau landmark Väinämöisenlinna, a striking and ornate stone building from 1901. 

The range includes objects for the home, such as Pino wooden boxes, lightweight and stackable storage items crafted by master carpenter Antrei Hartikainen, ceramicist Nathalie Lautenbacher‘s Kahvi cups in different sizes which create a harmonious atmosphere together with glass artist Renata Jakowleff‘s Kaksi glasses, and fine artist and designer Veera Kulju‘s Ilo textiles. Nikari’s minimalist furniture from Fiskari village showcases the best of traditional carpentry skills and internationally acclaimed Eija Koski has contributed her poetic Himmeli (a traditional Finnish ornament) mobiles, unique works of art made from rye straw she has grown herself.

For clothing and jewellery, Danish label Carcel offers high-quality knitwear and silk clothing produced in women’s prisons in exchange for fair wages. The world of fragrances is represented by Nakuna Helsinki, inspired by the quintessentially Finnish trait ”sisu” (meaning perseverance against the odds), whose range by Anu Igoni and Jaakko Veijola has been created for an international audience in collaboration with top noses.

Last, but not least, the shop includes artwork. Naturally, as one of Lokal Helsinki’s core purposes is to showcase the work of independent artists and designers and the temporary exhibitions at Lokal’s Annankatu gallery shop have featured talented artists for the last eight years.