New lighting collection from VALO
Young lighting brand VALO has released a new on-trend collection of light fixtures featuring concrete and copper.
Finnish-born Heli Annola, who now lives in Sydney, began VALO in early 2014 after abandoning the corporate world to focus on doing something more creative. “Like many Scandinavians, I have always had an interest in home décor, and especially in unique styles of lighting,” she explains.
“I think lighting is an important element that creates the mood and atmosphere for the life around us and I wanted to create products that I was passionate about, so I decided to establish VALO. It’s the perfect way to combine my creative side with my experience from the corporate world.”
VALO takes its name from the Finnish word for light, and Annola says she wanted it to be simple and to the point, just like traditional Scandinavian style. For her modern, industrial designs she gets inspiration from nature and raw materials, as well more unlikely places.
“Sometimes I see something chucked on the side of the road and get inspiration from that. I also like to discover old objects in my grandma’s barn in Finland that can inspire me to create something unique.
“There are also some great restaurants and bars that inspire me, such as Urbo in New York, Industriel Farm in LA, La Soupe Populaire in Berlin, or Naked for Satan in Melbourne. I’m very passionate about travelling and I’m always planning my next trip. Exploring different cultures inspires me and I always come home with new ideas.”
After exhibiting for the first time at the September Reed Gift Fair last year, Annola decided to take her brand to Life Instyle this February and got a great reaction to her collection of concrete and copper pendants, as well as a new range of cage pendants.
While starting her own creative business has been a challenge, Annola is extremely happy that she took the plunge. “Getting great feedback and interest from everyone is very rewarding,” she says.
“Stepping out of my comfort zone is one of the biggest challenges as I’ve had to wear several hats to get the business up and running. I have learnt so much over the past year and although there have been moments where I’ve doubted myself, I’ve realised that staring VALO was probably one of the best things that I’ve done in my life.”