Meet Varpu, your “Finnish fairy godmother.” Varpu established Her Finland to help make people’s dreams of living in or visiting Finland come true. Her popular online services help people better understand Finnish language and culture in new and exciting ways.
We sat down to chat about Varpu’s motivations for building Her Finland, the challenges of building a digital business, and the services she provides.
Varpu’s international experience, eclectic professional background, and love of her community helped her to understand that her passion was in helping others, not in becoming a CEO. She noticed that there was a community of internationals who wanted to learn more about Finnish language and culture, and she felt passionate about helping them.
So, Varpu began building Her Finland, a platform that offers content in Finnish language and culture including Finnish baking, sauna etiquette, social customs, culture-based language courses, and so much more.
At first, it was not easy to put herself out there. Being Finnish, Varpu was not used to sharing so much of her life on the internet.
“It was painful for me to do videos and to start filming myself,” she recalled. “It was pure agony!”
With practice and a bit of time, however, she became skilled at online marketing. After a while, Varpu began receiving messages of support and appreciation from people across the world.
It was such a special moment when she realized that she was making a difference. Varpu says she is grateful for every message or note she receives, because it means somebody has taken the time to think about Finland and the community she loves.
Varpu points out that, in addition to helping and teaching others, she learns a lot from the Her Finland community. For example, she recalls how questions from the international community about family structure led her to have emotional, insightful conversations with other native Finns.
“When we connect as people, we can improve and change lives,” she said. “The best part of my job is that I can be a student and a teacher at the same time.”
In the future, Varpu hopes to use her platform to contribute to the discourse of internationalization by encouraging Finnish businesses to consider issues of accessibility from an international perspective.
Listen in for details on her upcoming language support course, price ranges, discounts, and a sneak peek at her plans for the future!