Born in Finland, Mauri Skogster founded Finnex Agencies Ltd. in 1970, four years after immigrating to Vancouver, B.C. with his family. With a Master’s in Chemical Engineering from Helsinki and an Advanced Management Program degree from Boston, Mauri was instrumental in establishing the deep water port as well the pulp and paper mill in Kitimat, B.C., in the late 1960s. He ran the Eurocan Pulp and Paper Company Ltd. through 1970s.
In the 1970s, while working at Eurocan, Mauri launched Finnex and served as the sales agent for Alko Oy, the national alcoholic beverage retailing monopoly in Finland, and imported alcoholic products first to B.C. and then to Western Canada.
By the early 1980s, Mauri expanded Finnex by becoming the exclusive agent in North America for Saalasti Oy, a leading manufacturer of forest-based biomass processing equipment from Finland. The company has been working in this field since.
Kaisa Skogster, Mauri’s daughter, joined the company in 1986 after graduating from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science degree. With her father’s support, Kaisa is now steering Finnex Agencies in a different direction, away from pioneering industrial equipment and toward innovative consumer products.
In 2014, Kaisa started to look for unique products new to the North American market. For several years before that, Kaisa had started to bring back reflectors from Finland to Canada to give away as Christmas gifts. The response was so overwhelmingly positive, she decided to explore the potential to sell them in the North American market.
Kaisa learned that in countries with high usage of reflectors, such as Finland, Sweden, and Australia, nighttime pedestrian injuries and deaths are less than half of that in the U.S. and Canada. Inspired by the social safety aspect of reflectors and the limitless design possibilities, Kaisa found manufacturers in the European Union and began to create new designs under the brand of Finnex Reflectors.
In 2014, through business contacts in Finland, Kaisa was introduced to Sonic Force Ltd., the company that conceived of and designed the LoudBy® SoundCase®, a mobile phone case with sound amplification. Impressed with the performance and quality of the LoudBy® SoundCase®, she recognized its potential to fulfill the need for optimal sound in an ever-growing smartphone market.
In 2015, Finnex Agencies applied for and received NHL licenses to market both Finnex Reflectors and the LoudBy® SoundCase® to Canada and the U.S.