Kati Kanerva is a Finland born TV director and design boutique owner based in LA. We sat down with her to talk about her life in the city of Angels.
Tell us about yourself – who is Kati?
I’m TV director & writer and owner of the sustainable clothing company, Hyvä Helsinki. I’ve been doing TV almost about 10 years. The Au Pairs is the most known TV show I have created and directed. After I moved to Los Angeles with my husband and two dogs in spring 2017 I wanted to try something new and started the clothing business. The idea of Hyvä Helsinki is to bring sustainable Scandinavian clothing & vintage available for Americans. Same time helping Finnish brands to get noticed in the American market.
How did you end up in LA?
I’ve been dreaming about moving to United States ever since I was an Au pair in Miami 15 years ago. I wanted to move already then but there was no good way to get a work visa. LA came in the picture when we were shooting the second season of The Au pairs in Los Angeles. I fell in love with the energy of the city. That’s when I decided that now it’s the time to try do something about it and I started my Green Card process. 2,5 years after that my application got approved and we sold our house in Finland, packed our stuff and moved to LA. That was the best decision I’ve ever made.
PHOTOS & TEXT EMMI KAINULAINEN
” I fell in love with the energy of the city. That’s when I decided that now it’s the time to try do something about it and I started my Green Card process.”
What are your current projects?
At the moment I’m away from LA and from my family for three months because we’re shooting the sixth season of The Au pairs. My friend is helping out with Hyvä Helsinki while I’m gone. Hyvä Helsinki is just getting started and I’m still developing the concept. Next spring there will be some changes coming up.
What dreams do you have for your career?
My dream is to build up sustainable Scandinavian lifestyle concept in America. I’m just in the beginning on that path but hopefully 5 years from now I can say I did it. 🙂
Yes I do believe. Every New Years eve me and my husband write down dreams and goals for the upcoming year. It’s funny to see how often those things actually come true. I also believe it’s good to surround yourself with the likeminded people.
Any tips for people who are willing to create an international career?
I’m just starting myself but the tip I can give is, work hard for your dreams. Get international connections, study in the country you might want to work. Don’t give up if the things won’t work out right away. Be brave.