10 Minutes With: kikki.K Founder, Kristina Karlsson
Succour for stationery? Then say “hej” to Kristina Karlsson, the Swedish founder and creative director of kikki.K, London’s newest (and cutest) stationery supplier.
30 Second CV
Name: Kristina Karlsson
Location: Falkenberg, Sweden and Melbourne, Australia
Current Title/Company: Founder & Creative Director, kikki.K
The Real Deal
Brief overview of what you do:
In 2001 I founded kikki.K, a global, Swedish design brand. At kikki.K, we create beautiful stationery collections, gorgeous gifts and organisation solutions to inspire and empower people to live their best life, every day. Today, as the Creative Director, I’m pleased to say I’m still very much involved in the creative process and lots of decision making with our wonderful team. I absolutely love my job.
Can you describe your job in 3-5 words?
Dream job, dream life.
Do you have a weekday morning routine?
Most mornings, if I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I like to rise extra early. I’ve started waking up at 5am and it’s made a huge impact on my day. Getting up early gives me time to think, read, write, be inspired and exercise – and I can do it all before the rest of the family wakes and the normal day-to-day starts! I absolutely love to start the day with a pot of Earl Grey tea and spend some time writing thank you cards or in my Gratitude Journal. It’s all about enjoying those little things in life.
What does a typical day at your desk look like?
Truly, no one day is ever the same – which is the wonderful thing about my job! I like to break up my day into blocks, to ensure I have time away from emails for my most important projects and creative ideas. Then my day can include anything from meeting with my talented design and product team, to developing new ranges, to working with the wider business team, attending seminars or meeting with other inspiring people. With a family of my own, it’s so important to find the right balance between work and family life, too.
What’s been the best moment of your career so far?
I am so excited to have just opened our first kikki.K store in London! At the moment, we’ve got two stores in Covent Garden – one at the Royal Opera House and one on James Street. My dream is to open a kikki.K boutique in all my favourite cities across the world, and we’re certainly ticking off that list now. Other highlights include being nominated for the Innovation Award in the Oracle World Retail Awards (an award previously won by Apple and Nike) and being presented with a Swedish Business award by the King and Queen of Sweden!
Your job – the good, the bad, the ugly:
The good: Oh, where do I start?! I love to create beautiful things and share them with the world. I just adore seeing the impact our products have on people’s lives. Whether it’s simply seeing the joy that our stationery and design brings to their everyday, or it’s in the stories we hear about how our products truly shape or significantly impact people’s happiness, habits or wellbeing.
The bad: Probably the fact that we are all bubbling with so many wonderful ideas for kikki.K – and want to open up across the world right away! – but in reality just can’t do it all at once.
The ugly: I really can’t think of an answer. I truly love what I do and I’m so grateful to be able to share this with my customers.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Find something you’re really passionate about – and make it your career. If you want to start a business of your own, you’re going to need to invest considerable time and energy into it, so ensuring it’s something you really enjoy is incredibly important. In other words, have fun!
Who are your role models?
I have lots of role models – I love watching, listening and learning from others: my partner, Paul, who encouraged me to find what I love doing and supported me in starting kikki.K; Gillian Franklin, who founded The Heat Group and has been a wonderful mentor to me; Robin Sharma, who is an inspiration when it comes to productivity and living your best life; and Dr James Rouse for living healthily and staying true to yourself.
How do you relax and recharge?
I love, love, love to read. Whether it’s flicking through a gorgeous new cookbook, or reading something from the stack of inspiring books I’ve collected. Spending time with my children is also an invaluable way for me to relax and recharge, as is a yoga class or a long walk.
What’s the last book you read?
Exhausted to Energised by Dr Libby Weaver. I enjoy reading about health and finding better ways to live my life.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve been listening to Robin Sharma, every day! I am so grateful that I recently got the chance to hear him speak and meet him at The Titan Summit. I also listen to Dr James Rouse who is so inspiring.
Complete this statement: I feel most powerful when wearing____ something casual, stylish and comfortable.