Stationery Ideas That Make Amazing Gifts

In celebration of great wedding planning and gifting ideas, Kristina Karlsson, founder of a global stationary giant kikki.K, discusses the growth of her empire and her wedding stationary must-haves.

  • Story by As told to Emily Bell

What piece of stationery can’t you live without?

Because I find inspiration everywhere and anywhere, I always have a notebook and pen at-the-ready to jot down ideas and inspiration on the go. I find that often when I’m out walking I get so many ideas and so I must have a notebook and pen on me at all times so I can write them down.

What stationery would make a great wedding gift?

From our beautiful Always & Forever collection, we have a Wedding Memories book which outlines all the questions you’ll want to remember the answers to when you look back, such as ‘my first thought when I woke up’. Another great gift would be the Your Dream Life Journal, so the lovely couple can start planning their dream life together.

As the founder of kikki.K, can you tell me about how it all began?

I came to Australia at the age of 22 to be with my partner Paul and quickly became dissatisfied with work. I became quite restless trying to work out what ‘my thing’ was, and in the end, it was Paul who helped me bring some clarity to it all. Then, one morning at about 3am, I was tossing and turning as I struggled with ideas of what I could turn my hand to when Paul turned on the light, took out a pen and paper, and encouraged me to write down a list of what was important to me. This list, which I now call my ‘3am list’ really helped guide my thinking, but it wasn’t until I went to set up my home office that an idea really sparked! I couldn’t find the beautiful stationery and workspace essentials I had grown used to in Sweden. Nothing I found suited my design taste, and the market was very price-driven. I discovered a gap in the market, and it was then that my idea for kikki.K began! I realised my passion for Scandinavian design and my love of stationery could come together to form a profitable business.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Where do I start! First and foremost, I absolutely love Swedish design – furniture, homewares, fashion. It remains such a big influence on what we do at kikki.K. From day one, my partner Paul has been a total inspiration and a very supportive mentor, guiding me and encouraging me to find something I was passionate about and make it a career. Gillian Franklin who founded The Heat Group has also been a wonderful mentor and inspiration to me. She has taught me so many things. Perhaps the most important has been the value of having a mentor.

I love to travel, and always, always, always find inspiration whilst exploring different cities all over the world. I’m also a real foodie – I love discovering new delicious, healthy recipes, flicking through beautiful cookbooks and dining out at new restaurants. It’s also sometimes just the simple things in life that bring me the most joy – spending time with my children, enjoying a cup of tea and writing thank-you cards or in my gratitude journal. I find inspiration in all these things – everywhere! That’s why I always carry a notebook and pen with me wherever I go!

What do you love most about your job?

Designing and developing new products for sure. I get so excited and inspired. It’s such a rewarding process to start with a blank page and create beautiful objects that people use every day and come to love. It’s even more exciting to work in one of my stores and see people react positively to the products is just so much fun. On a personal level, it gives me masses of enjoyment and is so rewarding.

How do you juggle parenthood and running a global business?

Finding and maintaining a sense of work/life balance has always been the biggest challenge for me – and I imagine that applies to many ambitious people, male and female alike.

A key tool for me to create a sense of balance has been to define and try to stick to a ‘generic week’ plan – where I allocate days/times to all of the important things in my life for a ‘normal week’. It’s my starting point to ensure I prioritise everything I want to – and to help me allocate time for anything that comes up during a week.

What trends do you predict for 2019/20?

I’m super excited for what I think will be trending this year. I believe the house plant trend will continue with people wanting to be surrounded by nature to elevate their wellbeing which leads into a focus on self-care and slowing down. I’m also looking forward to seeing earthy tones and textures throughout designs this year.

Check out kikki.K's celebration range below!

Click here to visit kikki.K's website and here for their Instagram page.

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