Entrepreneur: Kristina Karlsson

Kristina Karlsson is Founder and Creative Director of kikki.K

WHAT SPARKED THE IDEA FOR THE BRAND?

I couldn’t find gorgeous stationery products to turn my office into an inspiring space. One night, whilst in bed, tossing and turning, I took out a pen and wrote down what would make me happy. This became my famous ‘4am List’ and it changed my life. I wanted a job I’d like to get up for in the morning, to combine my love of design and travel, and something to make £500 a week!

DESCRIBE THE KIKKI.K ETHOS

We’re about delicious stationery, and organisation solutions that inspire people to live their best life – with Swedish design principles of form and function, of course, too.

DESCRIBE A DAY IN YOUR LIFE

I wake at 5am – it’s my time to think, read, write and exercise before the family wakes. I break up my day into blocks so I have time away from emails for ideas. My day includes meeting with my talented design team to develop ranges, new product launches and attending seminars. But having kids, it’s so important to find the right balance between work and family life.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

I had no formal training, and English was my second language, so the hurdles were always going to be big. I didn’t even know what the word ‘invoice’ meant. I had no idea how to negotiate a lease, make a presentation or build a website. A great idea and boundless enthusiasm will get you a long way

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A DAY OFF?

I’d be in my Swedish summer home writing in my journal and having endless cups of tea. I’d buy fresh salmon from the local shop that my partner, Paul, would cook on the barbecue. We’d open a bottle of wine, the kids would be playing in the garden and I’d take a minute to think about what I’m grateful for.

HOW DO YOU JUGGLE FAMILY AND WORK?

It’s an endless balancing act. What helps me is my daily journaling. I do three pages of unconscious writing a day to get thoughts out of my head – it helps me work out what’s important on that day. For me, progress is far more important than perfection. With all the travel I do, I try to take the family or at least one of the kids, Axle, nine, or Tiffany, six, as often as I can – it’s education for them.

LOVES AND LOATHES?

I love to create beautiful things, share them with the world and see how they shape or impact people’s happiness or habits. I find it hard to be patient with my goals!

WHAT DOES YOUR OWN DESK SPACE LOOK LIKE?

I try to keep it simple, with inspiring magazine clippings, artwork and personal mementos. I use a Vision Board to display my inspiration and I could never be without my journal!

WHAT WOULD SURPRISE US ABOUT YOU?

When I was young, I absolutely loved playing with Lego, but I would always have to separate out the coloured ones and only build with the white. It’s a love of simplicity I still have with the brand today.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR KIKKI.K?

One day, I’d love to have stores in all my favourite cities around the world – Stockholm, New York, Copenhagen, London; the sky’s the limit! Personally, it’s heading home to Sweden to catch up with family and friends – and to work on a new range.

kikki-k.com

 

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