Kello-Optiikka Zeppelin

Entrepreneur stories

Zeppelin brought us to Kempele

Zeppelin, the largest shopping centre in northern Finland, has been serving its customers for well over 20 years. Kello-Optiikka Zeppelin has been operating in the shopping centre for all this time. Suvi Silvola, the optician, and Sakari Silvola, the watchmaker, have been very pleased with Zeppelin as a business site:

”Although we work long hours in Zeppelin as entrepreneurs, it is easy to run your own errands within the shopping centre during the working day.”

Before moving to Zeppelin, the Silvola family used to run a separate ground-floor shop in Paltamo. During the Zeppelin building process, the couple happened to see an advertisement on Zeppelin business places. ”Perhaps we could also open a store in Zeppelin?” Sakari Silvola then asked his wife.

And ever since the opening, they have been running their shop in the shopping centre. According to Mr Silvola, the threshold is lower for dropping into a shop in a shopping centre than that for a separate ground-floor shop. The vicinity of the other stores and businesses also increases the safety of the entrepreneur, and the activities have a stronger community character. Mr Silvola goes on to underline the importance of the favourable location and good traffic connections:

”This place is very easily accessible. Kempele is located at the intersection of main traffic routes.”

The store run by the Silvola family enjoys double seasons.

The business combination has been defined according to the couple's specialist areas: The first part of the business name Kello-Optiikka refers to watches ('Kello' = clock/watch), jewellery and gift articles, which is Mr Silvola's specialist field. The second part ('Optiikka' = optics/optician) refers to the optician's run by Ms Silvola, which forms a part of the Instrumentarium business chain. A lot of couples try to avoid sharing a working place in an attempt to maintain a good relationship. Ms Silvola, however, states that she and her husband both have their separate things to run in the store and that running an enterprise together suits them well.

"We can also help out in each other’s fields, if needed. When running our enterprise together, we also come to see each other more often."

Combining two different fields also yields double seasons. People have a tendency to buy new glasses for themselves during the first months of each year and during the autumn time. Then again, the best seasons for jewellery, watches and gift articles are springtime, summer and Christmas. The different seasons provide a favourable balance for the store.

The most concrete change facing the business during the good twenty years of its operation has been the toughening of the competition. The fact that there is more than one business operating in the same field creates competition, while it also, seen from the client's viewpoint, broadens the selection and provides more options to choose from.

”We have a competitive situation here in Zeppelin, with a few businesses operating in our field. But it should be borne in mind that it is not only the products that matter - a high quality of the service is also essential for successful operations", Mr Silvola concludes.

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Why to settle down in Kempele?

  • Some 30,000 vehicles pass through Kempele via the E8/4 motorway every day.

  • The population in the Oulu city region is the youngest in Finland and the level of education is among the highest in the country.

  • Judging by the number of inhabitants, the Oulu city region is by far the largest in the whole of Northern Scandinavia. What comes to services and economic life, it is also the most versatile.