kikki.K Ticks Off 10 Years
On the 10th anniversary of Swedish stationery brand, kikki.K, Alice Blackwood chats with founder and doyenne of elegant and enviable stationery, Kristina Karlsson
Celebrating a decade at the reigns of some of Australia’s sleekest stationery yet, kikki.K has just released a limited edition book, 10 Years of kikki.K Wrapping Paper Retrospective, that features some of the brand’s most popular designs to date, and insights from founder Kristina ‘Kikki’ Karlsson.
To mark the occasion, we caught up with Kristina, to talk about her work, her inspirations, and her relationship with Swedish design.
Tell us about the ethos behind kikki.K and your new book.
Because Swedish design is as much about aesthetics as it is practicality, this is something we aim to share – we love to inspire, to let consumers know that we’re not just about pens and paper, but a lifestyle and that wonderful feeling that comes from being organised and in control.
The design retrospective draws on our most popular collections and designs from the kikki.K archives. The 10 Years of kikki.K Wrapping Paper Retrospective features 12 double-sided A2 sheets of wrapping paper – two designs from each year, because we couldn’t choose just one!
We wanted to take our fans on a journey – to see how we’ve come to be, and our vision for the future.
You’re originally from Sweden and moved to Australia before launching kikki.K.
How does one culture inform the other in your work, life and brand?
I absolutely love living in Australia, and there are definitely elements of our culture here which speak for how well kikki.K is received. Australia is known for its easy-going lifestyle, and I think the simplicity of Swedish design found in our products goes hand-in-hand with this.
It’s the diversity of Australian culture and the reception of hundreds of international fashion and design trends which accounts for why so many people love our products too.
In terms of cultural differences, it goes without saying that our calendar and seasons are somewhat out of line with what I had been used to growing up. The great thing about kikki.K is that I can still have that taste of home with the products in our stores. That touch of Swedish influence in everything we do makes the world of difference!
You’ve long had a passion for design, what sort of design interests you and appeals to you?
Growing up in Sweden, I always had an appreciation for Swedish design, [which is] based on the principles of form and function, meaning design must not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also practical and useful. Naturally, it’s this key principle that’s distinguishable in all of our kikki.K boutiques.
In terms of Swedish brands, I’m a huge fan of Arne Jacobsson, Efva Attling (jewellery), Fillipa K (fashion) and I’m also a lover of Australian artist David Bromly.
In Sweden my favourite stores are NK in Stockholm, FACE in Varberg & Girl Next Door in Falkenberg. They all stock my favorite designers: Hunky Dory, Filippa K and other international brands.
Tell us about the spaces in which you spend your time?
To describe my home and home office in short, it is focused around three things: Swedish style, form and function. I spend a lot of time working in my home, so when we created it, it was important for it not only to be organised and inspiring but an extension of my personality and my ideas on fashion and design.
I love the simplicity of my homeoffice space, and for me, I’ve achieved this through the use of white storage boxes and folders. I love the feeling of being organised and in control, so it goes without saying that I use kikki.K products every day to help with this.
Kristina’s top design blogs include:
Pinterest – an online pin board where users collate everything of interest to them, from fashion to food and everything in between