Kaija’s entrepreneurial spirit and incredible knack for spotting a great business opportunity became evident when she was a just a young child. Interested in making money, she took the shoots from her mother’s spider plants, re-potted them and set up shop in her Toronto neighborhood. When she wasn’t selling her plants as fast as she liked, she picked up and moved to a busier corner, quickly selling out. Pretty good business sense for a 6 year old!
This first success ignited her career in sales. As a 15-year-old student, Kaija got a part time job in retail and eventually learned the business from the ground up, working her way to management for such stores as Cotton Ginny, Esprit and Mendocino.
A move from Toronto to San Francisco meant the opportunity to work at the renowned Gump’s department store as a manager and the chance to learn the business practices of this legendary retailer. While in the San Francisco, Kaija also had a prominent role in the opening of the first LUSH store in the city, which was also the first one in the United States.
It was during this time that Kaija honed her skills in the retail business and her instinctive knack for knowing what consumers really wanted. Upon her return to Toronto, she ventured out on her own and opened a small boutique featuring beauty products inside a nail salon. This led to the discovery of a new bath and body product line FRESH. Kaija saw the huge potential of FRESH and was instrumental in helping to successfully re-brand and re-launch the company now called LOVEFRESH.
Three years ago, the timing was perfect for Kaija to partner with her cousin Nora Fleming and mukula was born. mukula fulfills a life long dream that combines her success in sales with her business smarts, ability to connect with consumers and her creative influences of design, art, architecture and her Finnish ancestry.
Kaija has an Associate degree in Marketing and Advertising from City College in San Francisco as well as her real estate license. Along with her role in mukula, she is a licensed sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd, one of Toronto’s top brokerage firms. Kaija lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.