Armi Ratia (1912-1979) was born in Pälkjärvi in Karelia - now part of Russia. Her father owned a small grocery store and her mother worked as a grade school teacher. She studied in Helsinki and graduated as a textile designer in 1935. That same year, she got married to Viljo Ratia.
In 1949, Armi took the first steps to creating Marimekko. She joined Printex, her husband's oilcloth and print fabric company, and she started buying exceptionally colorful and bold patterns for the company. Marimekko was founded two years later, when Armi and Viljo began making clothes from Printex's unique fabrics. For a nation struggling with scarcity and greyness after the Second World War, Marimekko was a welcome source of color and joy.
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