Whenever people ask founder Seraina Peter about why she brings specific products into our online store, her response often involves a memory from home. In this feature, she talks about three of her favourite brands and products and how these inspire nostalgia for her and for many Swiss nationals currently far from home
In the past year, Helvetia and Sons has been offering So Much More From Switzerland – iconic brands I grew up with, innovative newcomers who offer exceptional products, and a whole host of artisan creators who bring a creative spin to many everyday items, transforming them into pieces of functional design you would be proud to have in your home. In which case, I would like to share three particular brands which I have become quite fond of throughout the years.
Home Ceramics by enSoie
Every time I visit the ceramics vault at Maison enSoie in Zurich, I would find myself transported to another world: the beautiful colours and the endless selection of different ceramic items are simply stunning. When I was at university, I couldn't afford these pieces; but my mum began a tradition of gifting me one piece for either Christmas or my birthday every year. It's how I managed to build a beautiful collection throughout the last decade – and each piece evokes many lovely memories. As all the ceramics are hand-made, the quality is always outstanding. I enjoy the craftsmanship that characterises each one every single day. Even today, I still look forward to receiving a special piece to add to my collection.
Tiger Finken by Tiger Swiss
These pretty little shoes are a throwback to some of my earliest memories, from the time I was in kindergarten. In Switzerland, kindergarten pupils needed to wear Finken or house shoes and buying a pair was a big deal for any kid about to start kindergarten. Like many children of that age, I chose a true classic: the traditional red Tiger Finken. Even now that we're well into the 21st century, Tiger still makes these lovely shoes by hand through a long process. That said, I am happy to pass this tradition on to my own daughter.
Kitchen Linens by Meyer-Mayor
Another fond memory from my childhood is taking a vacation at my grandmother's house in St Gallen. She would always cook my favourite meal: small and savoury veal chipolatas (small sausages) and Hörnli, cornet-shaped pasta cheekily referred to as Swiss macaroni. Because we spent a lot of time in the kitchen, I clearly remember my grandmother's extensive collection of Meyer-Mayor linens. I was touched – and pleased – to inherit those beautiful towels when she moved into a nursing home later in her life. Those linens are virtually indestructible! Indeed, 35 years on, two of her towels are still in use: adding a homey Swiss touch to my own kitchen in Singapore.
Products from enSoie, Tiger, and Meyer-Mayor are currently available through our online store. Shop for your own little bit of Switzerland today.