Inspirational Ladies: Kristina Karlsson

It was only since I have moved to Sydney that I have discovered the beauty that is kikki.K, the Scandinavian inspired stationary store run by Kristina Karlsson (which now has stores in NZ with plans to expand further around the world), but lately I have seen the story of Kristina herself floating around the interwebs.

There’s nothing like an inspirational story about someone starting their business from almost nothing to get you motivated & inspired to do the same. Over the last few years, but mostly the last few months, it is something that has become more & more appealing to me. Yes I know, before you tell me it’s not all glitz and glamor, I know, and I understand there is A LOT of time & energy that goes into running your own business, but if you do it right, then the rewards can be WELL worth it!

This is where the story of Kristina comes in. I think the biggest inspiration I get from her is how she started her business from doing what she loved, and how she started it from almost nothing. No business experience, just an idea to create beautifully designed stationary & home goods. It’s one thing to just say you’ve got this amazing business idea, or to say you’ll do what you really love one day, but it’s another to actually do it, and work your ass off until you get there. Which is exactly what she did! And I plan to do the same.

In starting kikki.K she had an original set of goals, which included having the freedom of running her own business, and looking forward to going to work every day, among other things. I love how she had a set of goals that she wanted out of a job, this is the best way to begin I think, as you can always refer back to them and see why you started doing something in the first place.

How awesome/cute is their range?

One of the main things I was scared about with starting my own business or doing freelance full time, was that in doing what I loved 24/7, would it kill the love? Kim (people that have their name starting with K know whats up huh?!) from Dream.Delight.Inspire. suggested that you should concentrate on what it is about your daily desk job that you don’t like, or what you want to change, and work out a way to eliminate/decrease these things in your own business/freelance life. Something I didn’t really think about until she mentioned it, but how good is that?! SUPER good advice.

This month is the 10 year anniversary for kikki.K, which opened its first store in Melbourne in 2001. 10 years seems to fly by so fast, and it makes me think, where do I want to be in 10 years?! I know I want to be doing what I love, inspiring people, and meeting awesome people at the same time. How I might be doing this, I have no idea. But that’s the exciting part right? In Kristina’s own words, ‘’Do something you’re really passionate about. You’re going to need to invest considerable energy and time into it, so make it something you really enjoy.” For me, at the moment, I’m sick of conforming to this typical design job people get all too easily stuck in. I want to have my own business, do my own thing, travel where/when I like, all of which revolve around freedom.

It’s stories like these that get me motivated to keep going, and help keep that dream in view. Sometimes it’s a little easy to get sidetracked, which is why its important to keep the list of goals you set out to do originally, and refer back to them.

Check out the vid below for more from the lady herself.

And a couple more links for interviews with Kristina… The Design Files // Career FAQ’s

*Images via kikki.K

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6 Responses to “Inspirational Ladies: Kristina Karlsson”


  1. 1 Sweet Lime and Spiced Tea November 7, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Sian, that video is freakin’ awesome. Love this post. Yet another message from the universe for me…

  2. 2 Danelle November 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I freaking loooooove kikki.K! They recently opened a store about 2 blocks from my place. Such bad news. 😛 I keep popping in on my walk home and always walk out with something haha.

  3. 3 Rach // In Spaces Between November 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Love me a bit of Kikki K (as you would have seen with my post about my diaries!) She is an amazing woman, super inspiring… thanks so much for posting this lovely xx

  4. 4 leah of sang the bird November 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    i always leave kikki k feeling like i am armed and ready to get my life into order…. must be time for a return visit…

  5. 5 Kimberley - Dream. Delight. Inspire. November 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Wow, I was mentioned in a post alongside Kristina?! Crazy awesome! Thank you darling and I hope that the story of kikki.K (LOVE their stuff) inspires you to take flight – very exciting times for you! xx

  6. 6 Angela December 12, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I really love your posts, and I’m not just saying this. Actually I’m reading all your posts, even the old ones because this kind of posts really give me encouragement to carry on. I’m having some “bad” times right now, and this is helping me. I just wanted to say thank you. I’d want to comment more but it’s just that I don’t have much time. And by the way, I love your style of designing.


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Hey! I'm Sian, and I’m a free-spirited creative wizard. I have a passion for working with people who are on a mission to live their dream lives, and are electrified by the unknown beauty that the future holds. Twelve by One is my place to share awesome finds + write about this amazing world we're living in. Read more here!

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*All photos are my own unless otherwise stated. Please credit me if you're going to post them anywhere. Thanks yo!

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