kikki k interview

We don’t have to be stationery lovers (or hoarders) to fall for the appeal of Kikki.K’s collection. Who can resist its beautiful (and thoughtfully designed) diaries, planners and a host of other stationery items? Embracing the clean lines of Swedish design, the products can be kooky at times, or uplifting, with new collections to look forward to throughout the year.

With Kikki.K now a global brand, it’s easy to forget that for Kristina Karlsson, its founder and creative director, it all started with a dream. In Singapore late last year to launch her debut book, Your Dream Life Starts Here, Kristina will have you know that her success story was realised through sheer hard work. She peppers the book with life lessons and experiences to draw from along the way, and she wants to spur and empower 101 million people all over the world to dream big and to get from “dreaming” to “doing”.

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kikki k kristina karlsson interview

What Your Dream Life Starts Here includes

The book includes exercises which encourage people to tune into their own passions and curiosities, and develop clear action plans to take control of their lives. It also comes 5 her personal experiences, as well as those of big names like Winfrey, Richard Branson and Stella McCartney. Every purchase of the book also serves a good cause: US$1 from each book sold will be donated a foundation established by scholar/humanitarian Dr Winfrey’s “all-time favourite guest”. Funds raised will be used as a workbook, with each chapter corresponding to a chapter in the book.

An interview with Kristina Karlsson

What was your childhood like?

I grew up on a farm, amid a beautiful and natural environment. We never really travelled far. But I was a curious child and wondered a lot about the outside world. I was determined to go explore and find out more, even as a kid.

How much of a “lagom” (the Swedish philosophy of having “just the right amount for a balanced life”) person are you?

I am not a “lagom” person at all (laughs). It’s a good philosophy to adopt, but I am just not the type. I’m more of a “go for everything and if you never try you never know” person. I’ve worked very hard to put Kikki.K where it is today and am still very hands-on with the business, overseeing the design aspects, but I never stop dreaming and setting new goals. And writing Your Dream Life Starts Here is just one of them. I write it with young people in mind.

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Who or what inspires you?

All the people I have included in my book have inspired me one way or another. Big names like Oprah, Branson and, of course, Dr Tererai Trent. Dr Trent’s story is incredibly inspiring. Born into poverty and married off at a young age, she never stopped dreaming and pursuing her love for knowledge and education, with sheer grit and determination. Ask any successful person how they it’s a lot of hard work along the way and no shortcuts. No one’s life is perfect, even if it may seem a perfect life. Spending time journalling also gives you ideas and inspirations.

How do you destress?

I am big on self-care. And I do meditation and take long walks early in the morning, even when I am away. I also pour out my thoughts, feelings and frustrations on paper, at least three pages of it. It’s like a stream of consciousness thing. After reading through, I’ll crush everything and throw it away. I always feel better after that. I also believe gratitude to be grateful for. Life is short, regardless how long you live.

Which Kikki.K items can’t you live without?

I can’t live without the metal rollerball gold pen. It’s with me wherever I go. And also my journal, in which I record cities I visit for business or vacation, write about the people I meet, and the things I am grateful for.

Kristina Karlsson’s Your Dream Life Starts Here is out in all Kikki.K stores and available online at

Written by Jacqueline Tan.