Eumer Finland: Record-breaking catches Merikarvia style

Text: Kreetta Haaslahti, Photos: Julia Hannula

The Merikarvia-based Eumer Finland has developed a spin fly that will guarantee you giant pikes, whopper perches and other record-setting fish catches. At least if you believe their extremely popular YouTube channel. And record catches are exactly what eager fishers are after. First to get theirs are young fishing enthusiasts, but the old bullheads will follow eventually, driven by envy.. At least this is how I interpret the essentials of the fishing business from the colourful tales of Olli Ojamo.

 

Olli Ojamo © Julia Hannula

“Whatever may be going on in the company, customer service always comes first,” Ojamo recaps the Eumer philosophy.

Ten years ago, the hobby turned into a profession and the brothers, who were in their 20s, became entrepreneurs. They had inherited the entrepreneur spirit and had a hard-working attitude as a result of their upbringing. At the Ojamo home, children never had a fiver just handed to them; the only way to get money was to work for it. Olli is grateful for that.
“We got this male role model from our old man, and it entails entrepreneurship. Our mother used to warn us that if you boys do not go to sixth form after secondary school, you will have no future. Well, we have just been fishing and doing the things we want to do,” Olli says, smiling.

Eumerin pihapiiriä © Julia Hannula

The inviting, idyllic surroundings of Eumer Fishing Center.

As a young boy, Olli used to collect butterflies and dreamed of becoming a biology teacher, but in the end he was not that into school.
“I think this company has been the best university for a restless soul like me, who has a hard time sitting on the school bench.
 

Customers before traditions

The first tube fly products of Eumer Finland were designed for traditional fly fishing, but then the brothers realised that only a tiny share of the world’s fishers use the classic method of fly-fishing. The next step was to develop Eumer’s top-selling product, the SpinTube spin fly, for the larger audience that prefers reel-fishing. This meant further development work of the spin tube, and with added weight, it became fit for the fishing reel.
“It was an interesting new product that shattered traditions and shook things up a bit, which is more or less unacceptable in the fishing industry,” But if customer service is your number one priority, you cannot always respect traditions. We have to do everything we can so that the customer is happy and catches fish.

Watch the video clip to see how to catch pikes Eumer-style.

Customers have responded well to the product development and great service by buying the products, and the company has also achieved success in product contests.
“For three times, one of our products has been selected as the best in Europe at the largest fair of the industry. That is sure to give you the greatest feeling. It is an acknowledgement for doing something different.”

In the end, the added value of awards does not mean much in comparison to the value accrued from a satisfied customer.
“Winning a medal is irrelevant if a customer is happy and the customer service around the product works.”

Eumer, asiakaspalaute © Julia Hannula

To Eumer, a happy customer means everything. Here is an example of feedback, a letter sent by a young fisherman, including very wise words: “You do not always catch fish, but at least you’ll get some fresh air!”

Resting place with plenty to do

Eumer Finland manufactures its own product line and operates its wholesale and is also engaged in the travel business. The Eumer Lodge, built in an old sawmill in Merikarvia, offers restaurant, meeting and accommodation services.

Eumerin joenrantahotelli © Julia Hannula

Eumer’s riverside hotel was renovated in an old sawmill building dating from 1906. 

The company’s factory shop is located in the immediate vicinity, offering an opportunity to purchase Eumer products as well as equipment by the fishing brands imported by the company, such as Mikado, Airflo and Deeper. 

“We are the only fishing centre in Finland capable of offering such a wide array of fishing products.”

This is a true haven of rest, where companies like to entertain both their own personnel and customers. 
“We are the only fishing centre in Finland capable of offering such a wide array of fishing services: the river is right there, the sea just five minutes and a lake 15 minutes away. More than half of the customers who have visited us come again. They want to offer their own customers unforgettable experiences. The service is great and the setting is unparalleled.

Eumerin joenrantahotelli © Julia Hannula

The river runs underneath the hotel, so you can really say you are close to the fishing waters,” explains Olli Ojamo, showing us around the hotel.

Hard work and self-confidence

The division of responsibilities in the company is clear. Jaakko, the Managing Director, has the main responsibility of product and travel sales in Finland. Olli takes care of marketing and exports. The first years were tough, but many things were learned from them. Now, the brothers employ several professionals, both in production and in the office. 
“It has taken hard work and good luck. You cannot let yourself be paralysed by the tough times. What we have had to do is come to work every day with a smile on our face, do our work, believe in ourselves and hope that everything will go well in the end. And so it has.”

Becoming an export sales man is one of Olli’s university courses. With not many language skills to speak of, he packed Eumer tube flies and a dictionary, with the words fishing and holiday underlined, in his rucksack, and went off to Alaska on a sales trip. 
“That trip was worth taking. There were no Finns anywhere near, so I had to pick up English. Something had stuck in my mind, even though I barely passed the English class in basic school.

"That was when I realised that there is no point in being afraid of anything in this life.” 

After travelling in the US, Olli headed to Scotland and one of Europe’s largest fishing stores. He was thinking that now he knew how to speak English and everything was going to be easy. What happened next was that he was received by a Scotsman who spoke English like he had a hot potato in his mouth.

“I was in the shop for six hours. I introduced myself and my products, but I did not understand a single word the chap was saying to me. We could be laughing for five minutes and neither one of us had any idea, why. Finally, I got a deal with them. That is when I thought that there is no point in being afraid of anything in this life. You just go in with self-confidence, act businesslike and respect the customer, and there will be a deal.

Olli Ojamo © Julia Hannula

"We always wanted to create products that are easy to use, catch you fish and are also easy to make yourself at home,” explains Olli Ojamo.

Take care of your own

Eumer Finland has run a wholesale webstore for several years now, and in the autumn of 2017, we will see the launch of an international consumer webstore.
“An international consumer online store is one of our dreams. If you have something unique to offer and you can present it well, the geographic location no longer makes a difference. Customers as far away as Japan or the US will be able to buy our products straight from the factory. 

When speaking of the ingredients of Eumer Finland’s success, Olli praises the determined nature of his brother Jaakko.
“Jaakko has set up a network of 200 vendors by always putting the customer first and practicing the number one skill of any salesman – listening.

“I am first responsible for myself, second for my family, third for the employees of the company, fourth for Merikarvia and Finland is in fifth place.”

And what is it that keeps the brothers going? Of course they want the company to be as successful as possible, but that is not all.
“I am first responsible for myself, second for my family, third for the employees of the company, fourth for Merikarvia and Finland is in fifth place.” If I am not here to drive these all on, we will be doomed. You cannot put the brakes on. If everyone puts on the brakes, Finland will stop.

Olli Ojamo has a crystal-clear idea of what is the most important resource of an entrepreneur.
“It is the personnel. When you take care of your personnel, it will get you far.

Eumerin toimistolla Anna Ääri © Julia Hannula

Anna Ääri, with her professional attitude and big heart, manages the Eumer office.

Thanks go out to the town of Merikarvia, too. Olli says that doing business in Merikarvia is top notch.
“Here, we clearly know how to get Finland on the rise. Entrepreneurs are supported and things are done right. Everyone should be here!” Olli Ojamo calls out to the rest of the world.

“Doing business in Merikarvia is top notch.”

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