Interview With kikki.K Founder Kristina Karlsson
Ever since I was young, I’ve always been drawn to beautiful stationery. People might think it odd, but if you’d asked me to choose between a Barbie doll or a notebook, I’d lunge towards the latter without a doubt. So it makes complete sense that the second I discovered the quirky and beautiful kikki.K, I was sold.
So if you’d told me back then that I’d be meeting the Kristina Karlsson of kikki.K, I would’ve laughed in your face. But here I am, a few years later in this quaint little shop decked in kikki.K homeware and stationery — and I was chatting away with the founder of the brand herself.
Kristina is of a rare breed that speaks with youthful wonder and positivity, and at the same time, it speaks volumes about how wise she is. It’s a complete reflection of her new book, Your Dream Life Starts Here, which while imparting wisdom, injects a rejuvenating sense of wonder and belief – which I must say is refreshing for those working their way into adulthood, or are already in it.
It all starts with a dream
“Do you wanna go for big dreams and feel a little bit uncomfortable, or do you wanna sit and continue to do what you’ve always done and remain uncomfortable with that?” That was the big questions that helped pushed Kristina to work on her dreams.
It’s obvious that Kristina is a huge believer in the power of dreams, believing that everything starts with a dream, be it personal or business. I ask her what advice she would give to budding business owners and without hesitation, she asks, “If we couldn’t fail as a business what would we do? If we had all the money we needed, all the resources, the knowledge, the people, and no one told us what we couldn’t do, what would we do?”
But of course, it’s not all just about dreaming and keeping your head in the clouds. After doing that, Kristina advises to weigh the pros and cons of everything and then calculating the risks. She relates this to her decision to open kikki.K in Singapore. Since it would’ve been their third country to stock in and it was really early in the journey, it would be a big risk for them. But then they all sat down and looked at the benefits too.
Dreaming is a practice
A thought that’s been going through my mind for some time – especially with the debut of Kristina’s book – is that a lot of us don’t know how to dream. Kristina’s advice is to simply practice. The more you dream, the better you’ll be at it. It’s a practice she likens to meditation or yoga.
Meditating lets you observe your thinking and everything that pops into your head. Kristina says that if she doesn’t meditate, she feels like she doesn’t have space to think because she spends the day running around being busy.
“Observing my thoughts clears me and leaves me so much more inspired to follow my dreams. If I look at my dreams and my vision board, it all just comes together in my meditation. I think it’s really important.”
How to dream
“Asking yourself what you could do if you couldn’t fail is a great way to start dreaming. You could start thinking about another career, starting a business, or something you’ve dreamt of doing as a child.”
“I think the most important thing is to write down your dreams, and then put them on your vision board,” Kirstina says. As part of her new book, she gets readers to write down 101 dreams. You can’t achieve them all at once so she says to choose three dreams you’d want to work on. “It could be small dreams, could be big dreams”. She acknowledges that a board itself might not be your preferred medium but what’s important is to put it somewhere you’ll look every day, so you won’t forget about your dreams and goals.
Kristina’s aware of party-poopers or dream stoppers as one might call it.
“Surround yourself with the right people, those who are supportive. Share your dreams, but to the right people who don’t say it’s impossible,” she emphasises that this is another important key to being able to dream and staying positive throughout.
You have to to be wary of negative people – which there are a lot of – be it a family member, boyfriend, partner or friends. If you’re surrounded by dream-poopers, go out there and find people who have similar dreams – whether it’s at work, in cafes or at a workshop. She cheekily adds that kikki.K’s dream workshop is a great place to start!
We’re all aware that writing down our dreams is the easy part. “The key is to just start and do the work,” she says firmly. But exhaustion and the lack of progress can stump us at times. What she said next, I’ll always remember.
“I can do everything in the world, but I can’t do it all at the same time.”
It seems mundane but when you put it in a Singaporean context where we’re all kiasu and want things instantly — that’s when you see its effect. We often rush and jump over steps when we chase dreams but sometimes, we forget that it has to take time and you can’t do everything at once.
Dreaming is something that’s so important, especially if you believe in the power of positive thinking. Meeting Kristina was a refreshing and inspiring reminder that your hopes, as abstract as they may seem, are well within reach. So I hope that you’ve felt it with this article, and you spend the next few days with a desire to achieve what you once thought was impossible.
And be sure to get a copy of Kristina’s new book and journal, Your Dream Life Starts Here, for a full dosage of dreaming, creativity and inspiration.
Lots of love (and imagination),