In an increasingly stylish city, there’s no longer any getting away with lugging your tatty old towel down to the beach in a Spinneys carrier bag. Enter Finnish friends and serial beachgoers Hanne Ripasaluoma and Terhi Pinnington, who, dissatisfied with the quality of beach bags and towels they were toting down to the shore on a daily basis, decided to answer their own needs and become their own bosses. ‘We saw an opportunity to create our own products locally to be better, personalised and exactly the way we want,’ Terhi explains. So together, they launched Omasi, meaning ‘yours/your own’ in Finnish, in a bid to become the go-to for personalised accessories and alternative mementos. Here, they tell the brand’s story and explain its unique ethos.
What’s Omasi all about? Tell us about the products.
Terhi: Omasi is about sunshine, fun beach life, personalised and friendly service, great quality products and adding a bit of luxury to everyday life. Our top selling products are poncho-style towels, canvas beach bags, hooded towels for babies, beach towels with fun details (a secret pocket) and yoga bags. Our aim for the Omasi range is to put you in a good mood, making you want to hit the beach the moment you purchase them. Our style is all about fun and practicality.
Where are they made?
Hanne: All embroidery for our products is done in-house in Dubai to ensure quality and fast delivery, and we currently manufacture all our products in the UAE, too.
What are the quirkiest personalisations you’ve done so far?
Hanne: We have done some interesting personalisations but not all of them can be revealed... Some creative examples include the Om symbol on a yoga lover’s towel, birth dates on towels for twin babies and short thank you messages on beach bags. Often customers want the item to remind them of a specific occasion.
Which better-known brands would you compare Omasi to?
Hanne: For now, I guess our product range could be compared to the big lifestyle or surf brands.
Terhi: Our new collection in September will add new colours of towels to the selection as well as a new line of beach bags. Think shades of grey with bright pastels.
How much do your products cost?
Terhi: We’re aiming to fill the gap in the market where you find high quality, bespoke products that won’t break the bank. Therefore our prices range from Dhs140 (hooded towels and ponchos for children) up to Dhs220 (beach towels and yoga bags).
Where is the Omasi range available right now?
Hanne: We are stocked in about ten shops in Dubai currently, including shops in five-star hotels. People can order online from us directly at www.omasi.ae – we offer free delivery in the UAE and cash-on-delivery – or through Little Majlis (www.littlemajlis.com/shop/omasi).
Omasi aside, name your three favourite places for personalised buys in Dubai.
Hanne: We love SmallPrint Dubai for jewellery (www.facebook.com/smallprint.dubai), Queen B for cards and prints (www.houseofqueenb.wix.com/queenb) and then just looking around the Ripe Market for excellent unique finds (www.ripeme.com).