Ville Haapasalo heats his hot tub every day
Ville Haapasalo: “There is no rush in a hot tub, you can just sit there with friends and talk”
Finns mainly know Ville Haapasalo as an actor, the voice of Moominpappa and a host of travel shows on TV. As for Ville, he calls himself a jack of all trades whose job is to sell emotions.
“I haven’t called myself an actor for a long time. This job has so many different aspects that I’ve forgotten what I am or what my job title is.”
We are talking with Ville on the phone in May 2020, when the state of emergency due to the coronavirus has already lasted for months. Ville says that for a person whose job is usually very focused on people, this spring has been hard. The days have been filled by staring at the screen or talking to a piece of plastic. Puttering around in the yard of his own cottage in the Finnish Lakeland has been a good counterbalance.
“I like to keep myself busy outside, chop firewood, light a fire: for me, that’s a sign that the daily work is done and you can relax.”
Sailing to Estonia in a hot tub
Ville only discovered the joys of a hot tub as an adult.
“When I was a kid, we did have this old wooden barrel originally used for storing meat where we went after the sauna. You couldn’t heat it, so the water was cold.”
Ville discovered Kirami’s hot tubs in an unusual and unique way: in June 2019, he sailed from Helsinki to Estonia in a hot tub raft together with the inventor Janne Käpylehto and the sea captain Antti Linnanvirta. You can read more about their journey here.
“We thought about the sailing trip to Estonia from a lot of different angles in advance. The whole idea was completely nuts, of course, but sometimes you still have to do that kind of thing in life. Too often you hear people say ‘sure, it’d be fun, but I don’t know if I can do it after all.’”
Laughing, Ville says that the trip would have been more restful if the sea had not been so rough.
“90% of the time we had to fight to stay on the raft. We had only been sailing for 10 minutes when the barbecue grill fell into the sea. After that, we ate cold food for the rest of the trip. We had to empty the water out of the hot tub, and we only refilled it after we reached a calmer area in the sea.”
In the autumn, Ville and Janne visited Kirami to reminisce about their summer adventure. Naturally, they also enjoyed the hot tub and bathed in the FinVision -sauna. Mika, Kari and Pirjo from Kirami cooked delicious food for everyone, and the Outstanding products were in full use on the terrace in the evening.
From an old tub with cold water to your own hot tub
Now the lakeshore at Ville’s cottage boasts his first own hot tub, Kirami’s Steady M, which can hold 6 bathers at a time. It was installed before the Christmas of 2019.
“At first, I wondered what was the point of having a hot tub on the lakeshore. After all, I go swimming a few times a day even in the winter – why would I need a hot tub? But it changes things with the lake: at the cottage, you enjoy looking at the scenery, and you can stay in the hot tub even if the weather is bad. Who’d want to sit on the jetty when it’s sleeting!”
Ville can stay in the hot tub for as long as a few hours, especially in good company.
“You can sit in the tub with friends, there’s no rush, you can just be there and talk. We often have good discussions and ideas in the hot tub, and it’s even a surprisingly comfortable place for having a meeting. I have also invited business partners to sit in the tub, even if not immediately at the first meeting.”
The best ideas come while chopping firewood
Ever since Ville settled down at the cottage with his family in March, his own tub has been heated every day. The sauna is always heated too in addition to the hot tub.
“I’ve told my family that the hot tub is open every night, so everybody who wants to can go there. Usually the rest of them also come four or five times a week. The Tubbar 2 drink holder floating in the tub is the kids’ favourite, and you have to have something to drink there.”
When the hot tub season started, the lake was still frozen and the temperature at night was -10 °C. Back then Ville heated the water in the tub to 42–43 °C, but he thinks that a lower temperature will suffice in the summer.
“You sure need to chop a lot of firewood, though! But it’s all good, because that’s when you get the best ideas. While I focus on hitting right in the middle of the log every time, my subconscious is mulling things over, and suddenly something pops up! At least 10 of the 20 ideas this spring were thought up while chopping firewood.”
Ideas and selling emotions
New ideas have been in demand this spring, when the future has been impossible to predict.
“Will the theatres open? Will there be trade fairs? Nobody knows anything about anything. When a recession hits, my field is shut down first and opened back up last. In Russia, they said that they’ll be closed for a year, so you can’t go to work there. I know exactly what I’m doing until mid-August, but nothing after that.”
Ville admits that everything felt terrible at first, and he nearly panicked. Bit by bit, he started to calm down when he remembered that times like these have come before, and people have always got through them.
“Without the financial issues, this would be absolutely brilliant. You can safely stay at the cottage, go for a walk every morning, see if you can spot the bear roaming the ridge... Unfortunately, a lottery subscription is the only buffer fund for those of us who sell emotions.”
Ville has never stopped working completely. Chopping firewood and other work have produced as many as 20 business ideas by May, and up to five of them will be realised.
“I’ll be a marketplace entrepreneur in the summer! I will be selling delicious Georgian khachapuri bread in Puumala. In addition, we have a hand sanitiser factory almost completely ready in Russia.”
See also the Kalastus-tv fishing show hosted by Ville! In the “Luovan pöljää” (Creative idiocy) episode, a hot tub raft is built for fishermen who love comfort.
Thank you Ville for the interview and great pictures!