Muonio´s Shell, our office, is originally a gas station founded by my father Orvo Sadinmaa along highway 21, about a kilometer from the center of Muonio towards Kolari.
The service station, which once employed the whole family, has since had tenants running both repair shop and restaurant operations.
I, Heidi Sadinmaa, am a combination vehicle driver by profession. My original dream and plan was to continue my father, Kari Sadinmaa's other company, Hinauspalvelu Sadinmaa Oy, which has already changed owners a few years ago and now operates under a different name. After the change of ownership, life first took me to Southern Ostrobothnia to work for local towing entrepreneur Antti Valkonen in Kurikka and to complete Personal Trainer studies. From Kurika I traveled back north to Rovaniemi, lived in Sodankylä for a while and returned to Rovaniemi again. I even managed to buy my own apartment in Rovaniemi, but pretty soon it became clear that I wouldn't want to settle down in the city.
The longing for my hometown Muonio was strong and it was time to think about how I would support myself here. Entrepreneurship runs firmly in the blood and the love for the freedom of doing things for oneself was so strong that one's own business was naturally the first of the options.
There was an empty sand field in Shell's yard where a hall for tow trucks was once being built. However, the plans for the hall changed and the space was used as a parking lot for years. During the corona years, after domestic tourism and caravans increased, the idea of a travel park arose. From an automated, self-service caravan area where the customer is welcome exactly when it suits them best. The location would be great for something like this, along the busy highway leading to Kilpisjärvi and Norway.
After thinking about it for a while, my father and I decided to implement the idea. We applied for and also received investment support for the project from Leader, we tendered, compared and finally ordered the maintenance building container, fences and gate from the supplier we rated as the best, and started the foundation work of the area at high speed.
The area was supposed to be opened by the summer of 2021. However, the delivery of the maintenance building was delayed and despite the supplier's big promises, the container was not delivered to Muonio during the entire summer. And not winter. In the early summer of 2022, we finally applied for the building in our area in Muonio, unfinished, and father and his helpers finished the construction work. In Midsummer 2022, we were finally able to open the gates to our first customers.
In addition to the sand field, I wanted to come up with a useful use for Shell's empty repair shop premises. We rent a hall site equipped with a four-pillar crane for use by customers as a do-it-yourself space. You can also rent a car wash for your own use for self-service washing or buy a car wash from me as a service. In addition to towing jobs, thanks to working in two car rental companies, I have become familiar with car washes inside and outside.
Our name, Friija, is in the Sami language and means freedom. The name also stems from my love for entrepreneurship, the freedom of living and traveling, as well as my Sámi roots. In addition, my father, as well as myself, along with my husband and our little son, are travelers with a caravan and a car, so the travel park is built purely from caravans for caravans.
Friija is still looking for her direction. At the moment, in addition to the travel park, do-it-yourself hall and car wash, the operation includes cabin maintenance services and small-scale equipment rental. The baby year is coming to an end and more time is starting to be freed from motherhood for work as well. Part of the heart is still behind the wheel and the dream of owning a towing or transport business also lives on. Time will tell what the future has to offer. Welcome to follow our journey!