Tella’s story starts from a family of merchants called Saksa. They arrived in Finland during the Middle Ages, back when the Hanseatic League dominated Baltic trade. The family name, Saksa, means Germany in Finnish but originally it actually stood for merchant. The Saksa family eventually settled in Teuva, South Ostrobothnia, and became farmers while never abandoning their original profession. Centuries passed, until in 1935, Aarne Saksa from the Saksa family founded Teuvan Lakkitehdas (“Hat Factory of Teuva”) together with his business partners. Manufacturing of high-quality hats began.
Aarne Saksa’s son Antero Saksa inherited the company from his father. Antero turned out to have quite a talent for expanding business. Teuvan Lakkitehdas shortened its name to Tella, as was fashionable at the time. Antero worked hard to make his company successful, and with remarkable results: Tella’s hats became known not just all over Finland but also abroad. They were even sold to the Royal Family of Norway!
Antero’s great granddaughter Liina-Maaria Lönnroth started working for Tella when she was only 14 years old. That’s when she designed her first line of hats for the company. Talented and interested in design, she graduated as Master of Arts in 2008 and assumed the position of Tella’s Design Director. Eventually, in 2016, she then took over the entire business, becoming Tella’s CEO and continuing the life’s work of her grandfather and great grandfather. At this point, Tella also moved from Teuva to the nearby municipality of Kurikka.