Ville Lahtinen


The OUTO products have been hand crocheted using Novita yarns.

It all started from a beanie that Ville Lahtinenís mother hand crocheted for him after he had seen one in a snowboarding film. Lahtinen started practicing crocheting himself and after a while the beanies started looking good enough to be worn in public. His wearing them to school turned out a success. Ville Lahtinen first started selling the beanies to his schoolmates under the label OUTO (Finnish for weird) and then expanded to an online store through which he nowadays also sells hand crocheted laptop and iPod cases, as well as customized items made to order. He has even received requests for highly specialized items, such as diabetic care pouches.

OUTO Wearís beanies and other design products are always individually tailored to fit the customersí moods and needs be it the weather conditions or the size and model of the laptop in question. Every customer is interviewed with questions concerning their personality before they can have their products delivered. New iPod models can get their own OUTO wear the day they are launched. Ville Lahtinen says crocheting is a quick and flexible process, which makes this possible. With the beanies, he just wants to make our days a teeny bit more cheerful.

Ville Lahtinen was only 15 when he started his beanie business, OUTO Wear & Gear Ltd. in 2002. He both designs and makes the products himself. At the moment Lahtinen is pursuing studies towards a Business degree at the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Ville Lahtinen also lectures about entrepreneurship in secondary schools and universities and has organized handicraft workshops for several institutions in Finland. Lahtinen is interested in handicrafts in general but has chosen crocheting as his medium. He experiments with colors, patterns and models and uses different kinds of yarns to create unique designs. His beanies have been presented in a number of Finnish publications. So far OUTO Wearís biggest challenge has been to create 260 unique, individual beanies for the European Union Youth Conference. OUTO Wear has retailers in Finland, Estonia, UK, Holland, and most recently also in New York City, the US.