Story of Millakka

Story of Millakka

Who am I?

I am the business owner of Millakka, Milla Alatalo from Muonio, Finnish Lapland. All through my career I have ridden sled dogs for others– it's been about 25 years now. Now I have decided to establish my own business, Millakka's shop, for a full-time job and ride my own sled dogs part time. Millakka's business includes a shop in Muonio village and our lovely Siberian huskies. The main job is running my shop.

I have graduated from Rovaniemi business college from the foreign trade section in 1997, but I have not work in foreign trade per say at all. I have also lived in Frankfurt Germany for a year in 1994 and that is why I speak fluent German. Perhaps that is why 99% of my customers enjoying our sleddog safaris are from German speaking countries. This has kept my language skills fluent.

I have also studied to become wilderness – and nature guide and I have studied the Further Vocational qualifications in Nature-based Services. I have also trained as a reflexologist, but I have not practiced for a long time.

I do a lot of handicrafts and sometimes the products end up for sale. I do Lappish handicrafts by knitting, sewing, looming etc. using wool, and products from the nature. I use e.g. reindeer skin and sheep wool making sweaters, sock and other Lappish garments and accessories. I rarely take orders to fulfill, because this is my hobby and I consider it a form of therapy.

Because the dogs are a big part of my life, I have a few at home. There are two Finnish Lapponian dogs living with my family at the moment. They are Moste and Risku, and you can meet them most days at the shop. And, of course, there are our Siberian huskies: Saana, Skaidi, Staalo, Sarek, Petra, Lumikki, Tsahkal, Tsarmi, Täplä, Tinka and Verka. The names of the dogs are names of the mountains, fells and lakes of the surrounding area, Lapland. I breed both dog species in my kennel Tuiskutievan. I am also certified by the Finnish kennel association to microchip dogs.

Where does the name come from?

Part of my Further vocational degree in Nature-based Services, included entrepreneurship studies. One option to complete the studies was to establish a training-business for a year. This means that the business functioned like an actual business, but with the school's business ID. I of course needed a name for my business, which was surprisingly not an easy task. I could not come up with one that pleased me. One day during the studies we were learning to color yarn with plants in Kajaani and during the process, which took a long time, I asked my fellow students to brainstorm names with me. We came up with many, but nothing that pleased me really. Then the teacher Heli Pirinen suggested using my name as the basis for the company name, like Millakka, and it felt right instantly. The training business-Millakka operated successfully for a year and then I put it in the drawer. Millakka was revived back to service on November the 1 st , 2022. 

Thank you, Heli, for coming up with a great name!