The dream of independence and the goal to do more gave birth to Uniqa

Energetic women Kukka, Laura, Pauliina, Tanja, Emmi, and Leena know that even a solo entrepreneur needs a partner and a sparring partner. Uniqa is a versatile wellness center. Engineer Markku, acting as a business mentor, says he is outside his comfort zone but has learned a lot. He recommends "taking the plunge" for other mentors.

Uniqa, a hair, beauty, and wellness center, is located in Kyröskoski, Hämeenkyrö. The factory chimneys and people bustling along the village street create an environment where you’ll find six dynamic women- entrepreneurs. Hairdresser Pauliina Seilonen looked at Uniqa’s space from across the road and contemplated her future.

– “I wanted to do more, not just have a big hair salon. And this is the result. The fact that it’s like this now is definitely thanks to this team. They came here asking for a place, and now there are six of us,” says Pauliina.

– “Our chemistry works.”

In addition to Pauliina, Uniqa’s team includes cosmetologist Laura Kiiveri, certified massage therapist Leena Lahti, foot care specialist and lash technician Emmi Hietikko, reflexologist Tanja Sirén, and tattoo artist Kukka Varvio. They are all independent entrepreneurs. Collaboration was facilitated by the Kasvun Eväät -project of Business Mentors Pirkanmaa and the Adult Education Center of Tampere’s apprenticeship training program, “The Many Ways of Employment.”

– “Pauliina came from the apprenticeship training where I was the supervisor. We decided to continue discussions. This is the realization of a dream that has certainly created a buzz in this village,” says business mentor Markku Saarinen.
– “It works great here, but probably not in the center of Tampere. This could be an idea for many quiet village centers.”

Markku Saarinen, as a mechanical engineer, says he is completely out of his comfort zone but has learned a lot. On the other hand, basic business principles are the same in both large and small companies.

– “The business must always be profitable. The first time, I asked about the jars on the shelves and how often they rotate. If I remember correctly, the next time, there were significantly fewer jars.”

Why does Uniqa have a business mentor?

– “I want to share my thoughts with someone else. We have talked with Markku about this business model and its development opportunities. You can safely present your ideas to a mentor. And with my nature, I always have to think of something new,” says Pauliina.

Markku Saarinen thinks Paulina is a person who wants to think things over first on her own and then with others.

– “It’s good that we progress slowly. This concept already works, so we’re not in a hurry. Everyone has work, but at some point, it’s time to move on to building the brand. A mentor is primarily a listener and questioner. We don’t impose ready-made solutions.”

Support, encouragement, collaboration

Even though the women of Uniqa are independent entrepreneurs, they are a team that supports even beginners.

Although the work itself is individual, Laura, the cosmetologist, also enjoys being part of Uniqa’s group.

– “We recommend each other to customers. Fortunately, we are also different ages, so there are a lot of different experiences and courage. I can say that it would be much more challenging alone.”

Business mentor Markku Saarinen sees collaboration as pure strength. Uniqa’s independent entrepreneurs form a supportive service cluster.

– “And the customer gets several services in one visit. An apartment building is being built next door, bringing in more customers. Hämeenkyrö’s new bypass road brings Tampere within half an hour. There are really opportunities here,” Saarinen reflects.

Uniqa’s website provides a good overview of the services offered. The price list shows that professionals’ work comes at a cost.

Juha Kosonen


There is always help available

Juha Österlund offers his experience to a company

Back to the top