With a Desire to Promote Welfare – Meet SIRPA SELÄNNE

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Sirpa Selänne is a philantrophist, restauranteur, mom of four kids, wife to the legendary hockey player Teemu Selänne, and a lot more!

We had the priviledge to chat with her about charity, positivity, raising children (and dogs) and so much more. Our team had a photoshoot with her at their beautiful horse ranch in Coto de Caza, California.

Welcome to FEDITED.com, Sirpa! How are you today?

Really good, thank you – this is exciting! Can’t wait for what you’re gonna ask me.

Yes! You’ve done a lot of charity while you’ve been living in the USA. What is the closest subject to your heart?

Well, the last ten years I’ve been involved a lot with the Children’s hospital of Orange County, and we have been doing a charity fashion show and lunch every year with the other hockey wives of the [Anaheim] Ducks team. And overall if I think about any charity, I think that the children are the most in my heart.

“That’s very touching – when you actually see someone that really needs your help, it makes it all worth it”.

Why children, why not old people, for example?

Maybe because I have my own children – I have four children. And since I’ve lived in the USA I’ve always had them, so I think it has been a topic that touches my heart and my life at the moment. Who knows, maybe in the future it will be animals or older people, or anything.. but we kind of do, besides this yearly fashion show, we do a lot of charity in our restaurant, Selanne Steak Taverna. We give a lot of gift cards and dinners for all kinds of charities, so it’s not only for the children.

What has been the most touching moment while you’ve been doing charity? Like specific moment?

Every year when we’ve been doing the charity fashion show we end up going to Children’s hospital to visit and see these patients, and to see where the donations go – the assets that we’re getting from the fashion show. It’s always nice, and you kind of realize that why this is what we’re doing.. But then also like always in the event, we have videos and stories about people’s lives and little gifts that are part of the fashion show. It’s good to get to know them [the patients] in that little time that we have during the fashion show, to make it all even more personal at the event.

 

Yeah, that’s so true. What kind of brands are in the fashion show – are they like some local brands from Laguna or the Orange County or..?

You know what, the last few years we’ve been doing  this fashion show, we’ve done a really professional fashion show.. and last years we’ve had all the fashion and clothing coming from our local Bloomingdale’s, that is a department store in South Coast Plaza. And we always have the professional models there doing the show, and it’s always so much fun! One year I ended up wearing the same outfit as the girl on the stage, the professional model, and I was like “heyy look at me – we’re accidentally wearing the same dress!” because we always go there to buy our dresses for the event as well. But then after that professional fashion show we have the players particularly, usually like eight players with the children of the hospital walking on the stage, and they’re doing the other part of the fashion show.

“if for example have some mental issues they want to call someone and talk about it they can call the service and get help…”

That is so awesome. We have been also doing some charity with Children’s hospital as well. How does doing charity in the USA compare to doing charity in Finland?

Well, in the USA they have been doing it so much longer here than in Finland, so that it’s on a very professional level here. And everybody is so into it that you can actually get like awesome live auction items, event silent auction items that people wanna bid on and buy to support the cause… and then it’s just way bigger here. And the money that they make here in the USA through charities is unbelievably big. We’ve been doing the fashion show for ten years with the Lady Ducks – this year is the eleventh year, and we have raised almost 2 million dollars, which is pretty amazing. I don’t know in Finland or in Europe, if the charity work is this big – I don’t think so.

 

Have you been doing some kind of charity in Finland?

Yes, we do. We have Teemu’s Finnish Flash Organization. So we collect money for different causes like, for disabled people’s forts or women’s forts. And then we have this Neurological Children’s Centre that we have been been getting donations for, and also this mental phone service in Helsinki – and different kinds of places, charities, organizations. The Teemu Selänne Foundation collects donations by doing the hockey camp for children in Vuokatti, in the middle of Finland, and then also doing a golf tournament.. among other things we do! But we have been doing that for already like 22 years.

That’s all super inspiring, we love it. Let’s go to some other topics – who’s the most inspiring person to you, in your life? Who inspires you in your everyday life or in your dreams? Do you have someone?

I don’t know.. You know what, I don’t really have one person that I follow or… or look up that way – yes, there’s people that I might envy or whatever, but there’s not really one person I could say. I don’t have an answer for that!

That is so awesome. We have been also doing some charity with Children’s hospital as well. How does doing charity in the USA compare to doing charity in Finland?

Well, in the USA they have been doing it so much longer here than in Finland, so that it’s on a very professional level here. And everybody is so into it that you can actually get like awesome live auction items, event silent auction items that people wanna bid on and buy to support the cause… and then it’s just way bigger here. And the money that they make here in the USA through charities is unbelievably big. We’ve been doing the fashion show for ten years with the Lady Ducks – this year is the eleventh year, and we have raised almost 2 million dollars, which is pretty amazing. I don’t know in Finland or in Europe, if the charity work is this big – I don’t think so.

 

Have you been doing some kind of charity in Finland?

Yes, we do. We have Teemu’s Finnish Flash Organization. So we collect money for different causes like, for disabled people’s forts or women’s forts. And then we have this Neurological Children’s Centre that we have been been getting donations for, and also this mental phone service in Helsinki – and different kinds of places, charities, organizations. The Teemu Selänne Foundation collects donations by doing the hockey camp for children in Vuokatti, in the middle of Finland, and then also doing a golf tournament.. among other things we do! But we have been doing that for already like 22 years.

That’s all super inspiring, we love it. Let’s go to some other topics – who’s the most inspiring person to you, in your life? Who inspires you in your everyday life or in your dreams? Do you have someone?

I don’t know.. You know what, I don’t really have one person that I follow or… or look up that way – yes, there’s people that I might envy or whatever, but there’s not really one person I could say. I don’t have an answer for that!

LalliS by Lalli Savolainen pants and shirt

Yeah, that’s totally okay! You were talking about the mental wellness issues that you’re aiming to help with your organization – how do you maintain your own mental wellness?

Well, lately I’ve been going a lot to hot yoga, and I think that’s the best thing for your mental health, because you can be upset or sad or feeling really busy or stressed out, but as soon as you walk in that room and it’s quiet.. and the well-educated lady or gentleman who’s teaching the class speaks to you, it’s so nice and thoughtful. With doing the routine, it takes your mind out of everything – you just do the routine, and afterwards you just feel happy and stress-free when you leave the room.

You have four kids. I [Emmi] only have this one little dog, and sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy! And you have dogs, the kids and their schedules… How do you do all that? Is hot yoga the answer to, like, everything?

Not really… It helps you at the moment, it helps you to calm down, in all to just be more calm. Life can’t be like stress-free all the time, you always have things happening, and having all the kids… and I have the high-maintnance husband that I need to take care of and all that, so I think it just gives you the strength and the calmness and it’s easier to handle all those situations. But I haven’t done yoga all my life so I think I’ve just been learning in the long run, that you can’t be stressed too much, you have to let it go a little bit. Take a deep inhale and let’s think about this all together -kind of attitude. I think it’s kind of good that life has its ups and downs, then you really enjoy those moments when everything’s really good after those down moments.

You seem like a super positive person. Is that correct? I feel like the positivity in life is the main thing you kind of need to grasp onto?

I don’t know.. When I was young I always used to say that I want to be a good person when I grow up. The older I get, I just want to have a good sense of humor, and that’s when you can laugh at your mistakes and not to take life so seriously.

Katri Niskanen Evening Gown

That makes total sense. Have you ever thought of your life, where would you see yourself now if you did not moved to California? Do you have a place in mind where you’d like to live if it wasn’t California?

Well, you know what, if I didn’t have a husband who played professional hockey and moved here, I would have probably stayed home in Finland. And I could see myself in same kind of family life, because I love kids and I always wanted to get married and have children. So, I’d probably be there – but for sure I’d have been working all these years, because, you know, you kind of need to do that for financial reasons and it would have been just a more normal thing to do if you live in Finland, you have your children going to daycare, and then you work. I still see myself that I would have been happy because of my personality as I’m positive, but I totally love my life, I’ve got so many good experiences living here – you can’t beat this weather!

That’s sooo true, we love it here! And do you have any specific dreams for the future?

I do actually! The kids are getting older, my daughter [the youngest child] is ten already, six more years and she’s gonna drive herself everywhere… because in California you can drive a car that young. I feel like right now I have so much energy like I do wanna start doing and creating and I have a lot of ideas – I talk to my husband about it, to do some stuff with him, and I feel like I have a bit too much energy right now of not having the little kids in my house anymore – so, I see myself being busy and working, not working too much that I couldn’t travel or take holidays, but still doing something big. I’m trying, that’s my goal.

Aistikas Earrings

Where do you travel? Do you have some special favorites?

We love to travel everywhere. But I have been to many places in North America, and in Europe, but I haven’t ever been in Africa or Asia. But we do have plans now to travel to those places. I’d rather downsize my life and to travel more – to save my money to be able to travel!

Let’s go to the final and maybe the most important question: You have a little daughter, Veera. It must be hard to raise a little girl in today’s world – especially here in the Orange County, where everything is superficial and girls are under so much pressure… So how do you do that? And what are the main things that you want her to learn?

You’re so right about that. Raising a little girl in today’s world is really hard. Because of the social media, especially.. they get involved in that pretty early – not Veera though because she’s just ten, but she already watches all the shows and seeing how the girls look and what they wear and being a young woman… young girl, you get like into it and you wanna look like everybody else. She basically picks her own clothes in the morning, and I think she has pretty good sense of style, too. But whatever she’s wearing, I’m saying, if that makes you comfortable, wear it. I think that the biggest thing that I can do is to be careful of what I say about myself, like I shouldn’t complain about myself, because she’s listening to it and copying everything. And I always say good things about her – I never wanna say anything like you should do this or that, I want her to accept herself just the way she is.

“But I always tell her that she looks beautiful and the best just the way she looks, and I’m not doing it and never gonna say her that you should look like this or you should wear these kind of clothes.”

INTRODUCING THE BRANDS SIRPA IS WEARING:

Katri Niskanen

Katri Niskanen creates refined collections that encourage women to love themselves at any occasions.  The clothes are versatile and multi-purpose design bringing timeless elegance to everyday life.

In addition to the ready-to-wear collection, Katri Niskanen is highly regarded for her unique made-to-measure evening gowns. Katri Niskanen offers personalized service at her atelier in Helsinki.

The collections are sold at selected stores in Europe, Scandinavia, Asia, Middle East and the United States.

 

You can buy designs online at www.katriniskanen.com
Ask more: info@katriniskanen.com
Follow Katri Niskanen on Instagram: @katriniskanenofficial
Read more about Katri and her career on Fedited’s article HERE!

 

Aistikas

Aistikas makes the most beautiful jewelry out of handmade Frivolite lace and Swarovski Crystals. This fashionable family company is from Finland. They have a wedding collection,  statement jewelry and smaller earrings for everyday use.

You can buy jewelry at www.aistikas.fi
Ask more: info@aistikas.fi
Follow Katri Niskanen on @aistikaskorut
Read more about Aistikas on Fedited’s article HERE!

 

LalliS

Lalli Savolainen is a Finnish fashion designer, makeup and hair artist, stylist with years of experience. LalliS clothes are sold at their showroom located in Finland: Iso Roobertinkatu 35, Helsinki. Clothes are designed and sewed in Finland and Estonia. Materials used on designs are natural like silk and cotton.

See the products on www.lallisavolainen.com
Ask more: lalli.savolainen@kotiposti.net
Follow Lalli on Instagram: @lallis.design

Team FEDITED:
Photos  –  Marika Valdez
Makeup and Hair  –  Vivianne Raudsepp
Style  –  Emmi Kainulainen
Production Manager  –  Sarianne Solio

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