Spring is the perfect time to get organised, and now is your chance.
We've got three kikki.K stationery wardrobe makeover packs valued at $75 to give away. All the stylish tools you need to revamp your workspace this season.
When Swedish born Kristina "Kikki" Karlsson decided to set up a home office almost ten years ago, she couldn't have known where that decision would take her. Today she is the creative director and founder of international fashion stationery label kikki.K - Swedish Home/Office Style, with seventeen retail boutiques in Australia & New Zealand, and over 120 stockists around the world.
Born on 7th February 1973, Kristina grew up in Falkenberg, Sweden, and is one of four children. In 1995 she followed her heart to Australia and has since become a permanent resident. Ten years later and Kristina has turned a desire for stylish home office products into a booming design and retail business. She started kikki.K with little business knowledge, but her drive and determination led her to success. Here she shares some of her secrets...What was the inspiration behind kikki.K?
I started kikki.K when I set about setting up my own home office. I had recently moved to Australia, and was used to gorgeous home/office products at home in Sweden. I quickly discovered that they weren't available here. I really wanted my office to be an extension of my personality, just as the rest of my home was. So I designed my first range. And it started from there!In the early days, what were the biggest challenges in getting kikki.K off the ground?
Everything was a challenge. I had no business experience, let alone any idea how to go about manufacturing. So I literally looked up 'stationery' in the Yellow Pages and started making calls. Some people thought I was crazy. But I had a vision and nothing could stop. It was difficult, tiring and stressful - but so rewarding. And still today I get uncontrollably excited with the delivery of gorgeous new products!!The kikki.K collection is constantly growing, and you add you ranges every season. What inspires you in this process, and what does the process involve?
kikki.K products are very much aligned with fashion. From colour, design, materials and textures - we move with the seasons and constantly have new products arriving in store. I gain inspiration from everywhere, and travel to Sweden at least once a year to keep the Scandinavian element consistent. Sometimes it's as simple as thinking of practical solutions to everyday problems. Other times it's from nature. Inspiration truly is all around.You've won many awards - which has been the most special one to you personally and why?
Being named Melbourne's Most Innovative Store just six months after opening was personally very satisfying. We knew we had something unique, and something that people responded to. But to receive the award from the Lord Mayor really cemented the fact that we had something special and it really was just the beginning. Last year we were named Best Newcomer in the Swedish Business in Australia Awards. The award was presented by the Kind & Queen of Sweden - so that was very special. It was nice to be recognized by my birth country too.How has your day-to-day work changed as kikki.K has grown?
Running your own business is extremely difficult. Quiet moments are few and far between. However in the beginning we had a very small team and we did everything. From working in the store, to managing accounts and payroll. Not forgetting actually designing the products too! These days things are a little more controlled. As we've grown, so has our team, so now there's more time to focus on product design which is what I love the most.What's the best thing about your job?
Driving to work on a Monday morning being excited. Developing new products! We start with a blank page and end with beautiful objects that people use every day and come to love. What's even more exciting is working in one of my boutiques and seeing other people react positively to the products! So rewarding.What advice would you give people interested in trying to start their own business?
Do something you're passionate about. It takes up so much energy, so I don't think anyone could succeed in doing something they didn't truly love. Have a strong, clear vision. When times get tough your vision has to be strong enough to pull you and everyone else though. And most importantly, have fun!How do you like to relax when you're not working? How do you switch off?
My ideal Sunday is: to have a sleep in and have breakfast somewhere out, reading the papers, 2 hours browsing in the local book shop and stock up on new books and the latest magazines to check out the latest design, fashion, business and food. Go to a yoga class in the afternoon and finish the weekend with a glass of wine and dinner with friends and be in bed early with a good book What are your 'top five tips for business success'?
1. Passion - for your business to be a success you're going to have to invest a lot of energy, so it must be something you enjoy. Why bother if it's not fun?
2. Vision - along the way so many things occur that can distract from your original vision. If you start out with a clear vision it will guide you through the ups and downs.
3. Plan - a business plan is essential to achieving your vision. Putting it on paper really cements it and gives you direction. Don't be afraid to refine as you go.
4. Network - contacts are invaluable. You can't do everything yourself, so find some mentors. You'll be surprised by how many people are happy to help.
5. Decisions - you'll have to make a lot of decisions, and welcome this as a positive. There is no such thing as a bad decision as all decisions bring new learnings.
kikki.K's award winning online store delivers worldwide. See the complete kikki.K range online at www.kikki-k.com.au
or visit your nearest boutique listed below.
kikki.K MELBOURNE CENTRAL - PH 03 9662 1600
kikki.K CHADSTONE - PH 03 9568 6817
kikki.K SOUTHLAND - PH 03 8512 0133
kikki.K LT COLLINS STREET - PH 03 8616 0518
NEW SOUTH WALES
kikki.K BONDI JUNCTION - PH 02 9386 0804
kikki.K CHATSWOOD CHASE - PH 02 9904 6519
kikki.K EASTGARDENS - PH 02 8307 0304
kikki.K MIRANDA - PH 02 8515 0145
kikki.K MACQUARIE CENTRE - PH 02 8817 0127
kikki.K QVB - PH 02 8264 0123
kikki.K CHIFLEY PLAZA - PH 02 8264 0128
kikki.K HORNSBY - PH 02 8914 0150
kikki.K BROADWAY - PH 02 9281 8810
kikki.K QUEENSPLAZA - PH 07 3229 6205
kikki.K CHERMSIDE - PH 07 3350 3588
kikki.K NEWMARKET - PH 09 524 0156
kikki.K QUEEN STREET - PH 09 309 2400
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