The Best Christmas Presents by Estonian Designers

Kris Härsing • 28 Nov, 2013

Even though Tallinn’s Christmas Market has been mentioned numerous times in international travel media, you might be surprised to learn that locals don’t actually do much shopping there – instead they enjoy the holiday vibes with a drink of hot mulled wine. We wanted to offer you a more “local” list of Christmas present ideas so we asked Triinu Tiisel, the owner of a small Estonian design store, to recommend some unique gifts to stick in Santa’s sack.

Triinu is a designer herself, so it’s only natural that she values handmade things that are thoughtfully designed and made with love. Similarly, her store aims to promote local small-scale designers. Since she believes that every gift should have a meaning, she has compiled a list of spirited and original creations. Below she shares some of her favourite Christmas present ideas. Everything on the list can be found at her store TALI on Voorimehe Street, not far from the buzz of the Christmas Market.

triinu tiiselTriinu Tiisel

Mittens made from organic Peruvian cotton by

Everyone who has been in Estonia during winter will understand why this is the ultimate gift – no explanation required. For everyone else, I can tell you that Estonia is pretty much Antarctica during winter with more or less constant snowfall and temperatures dropping as low as -25 degrees Celsius. Anyone who plans on spending winter in Estonia or in a country with a similar climate will be forever grateful for such a thoughtful and practical gift.


Book-clutch by Heart Namaste

This stylish clutch disguised as a book will make you look like a true intellectual – someone who won’t put her “book” down at any cost. The idea is certainly original, and a book matches any outfit so you don’t have to worry about coordinating colours and styles. To make the gift even more special and unique, it’s also possible to order a custom-made clutch with your own ideas written on it.

Heart Namaste

Foxy earrings by Varm Country

Varm Country is a young Estonian design brand founded by a couple who believe that art and design make the world better. A recent creation of theirs is a pair of earrings that will make any woman feel foxy. There are lots of styles and colors to choose from, each embellished with a distinctive fox head piece. These earrings have also recently been spotted on Estonia’s First Lady, Evelin Ilves’ ears!

Varm CountryUnisex messenger bag by Hosewear

The founders of Hosewear think it’s rather silly that perfectly good materials are wasted when fire hoses reach their standard time of use. They give old fire hoses a new life by transforming them into various items including bags, wallets, belts and even iPad and laptop sleeves. Their products are truly nature-friendly as their production methods save tonnes of natural resources like water, oil and animals. The best part is that all of the products are unisex.

HoseWearCute postcards by Ulla Saar

Ulla Saar lives with her son and cat and likes to do things that make her happy, especially taking long walks – that’s how she describes herself. We’d add that she’s also a talented local artist who specialises in illustrations. Each Christmas she designs a new set of greeting cards and each year it seems they get cuter and cuter! Ulla’s postcards are the best way to send your holiday greetings to someone far away – the cuteness and originality will certainly be appreciated.

Ulla SaarMörr the felted bear by Grete Nilp

If you want to give someone a cuteness overload, why not pair a Mörr felted bear with one of Ulla Saar’s postcards? Mörr is a perfect gift for anyone whose heart melts upon seeing cuddly stuffed animals. There are lots of pastel colors to choose from – you could even create a colourful pack of bears! Mörr is just the right size – suitable for both cuddling and carrying around in your handbag.

M6rrFeminine brooch by Epp-Maria Kokamägi

Epp Maria Kokamägi is a famous Estonian artist who has crept her way into the hearts of many Estonians. Her paintings have been used to decorate many everyday objects such as diaries, notebooks, cups and plates. The latest addition to the collection includes brooches and matching earrings with her feminine and distinctive drawings. For someone who values a unique style and original jewellery, this is a dream present.

Epp Maria pross_kr

Joti Knot rope bracelet by Johanna Tammsalu

Joti Knot is a fresh Nordic accessories line made out of bold and colourful hi-tech mountain climbing rope. It consists of a small collection of handmade products made with a lot of care and attention to quality and detail. The range includes products for both men and women, and while climbing rope itself is quite masculine, the colours and details such as Swarovski crystals balance it out nicely.

Joti Knot

Neckpiece by Triinu Tiisel

Triinu’s most recent line of necklaces is inspired by winter. White backgrounds symbolise the endless fields of pure snow, and fine graphic lines are added for balance. The materials used include stained mahogany, crystal resin and metal. These necklaces are suitable for women who appreciate high quality, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery.


Kris Härsing
Happy-go-lucky kind of gal and obviously a travelphile. Born and bred in Tallinn, but have resided in Sweden, Australia and Russia.

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