When you start off with anything new you're always seeking for some sign of confirmation or approval. A troubled reply from your most loyal friend while presenting your "reinvented wheel" will surely make you insecure and as a result you'll probably question why you brought up the whole damn thing in the first place! Some say entrepreneurs (with their unrealistically opportunistic self-image) differ from the majority by not getting affected by others' views, but I would say that's an overstatement. We all need recognition and the same goes for any business - essentially a group of people co-operating with a common goal.
In 2013 during our first year of operation we were selected among twelve other brands and received the Toimittajien Tusina -award for best new design item in Finland in the children's category. This was totally unexpected and we were just blown away by the whole thing. It had a tremendous uplifting effect on me, and more importantly on all people involved in Lillagunga. In 2015 something even more awesome happened when we were selected to present Lillagunga Classic at The Century of the Child -exhibition (Nordic Design and Children 1900–2014). What an honour for a self-titled designer to have a spot among iconic products created by the most prestigious designers such as Kaj Bojesen, Alvar Aalto, Ben af Schultén and many others.
This year's highlight (so far) was a greyish winter day when an annoyingly energetic UPS-messenger knocked on my door and handed two fresh samples of the Luna Brand Bible. As I started to unfold and browse this wonderful book full with extraordinary design creations, my expectations gradually rose and there it was - a selection from our portfolio beautifully laid out on a two-pager! As it later turned out, it was my dear sister who had had her fingers in the pie, but that did not make this experience any less unforgettable.
Now, what I believe is that creating a brand that will be remembered requires more than an excellent product and a flawless strategy. It requires time, patience, perseverance, loads of mistakes and last but not least, recognition. Recognition is a "good work guys" -comment, an uplifting review on your website, or a tap on your shoulder, while struggling to keep your nose above the waterline. Recognition is the vital fuel for those on a long journey who are trying their best to pave the way.