I think everyone who’s from Scandinavia get a familiar feeling when they look at the photos above. Kikki.K is a range of Scandinavian inspired, fashion stationary boutiques in Australia and New Zealand, a bit like Swedish Ordning & Reda but better. The first store opened in Melbourne Central back in 2001.
I was a bit torn under what category to put this blog post; Typically Swedish because it’s something typically Swedish located in Australia or Typically Aussie since it’s an Australian range of stores…I went with Typically Swedish!
I read an interview with Kristina Karlsson the founder and owner of kikki.k and I think it’s inspiring with entrepreneurs like Kristina so I felt the need to share it with you. The fact that she’s a Swedish woman that moved to Australia and started her own succesful business does make it even a tad bit more interesting. (Kristina was born in 1973 and she grew up in Falkenberg, Sweden. In 1995 she followed her heart to Australia and has since become a permanent resident.)
From the interview at femail.com.au
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!!
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 King & Queen of Sweden – so that was very special. It was nice to be recognized by my birth country too.
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!
Australia, kikki.K, swedish