Interview: Kristina Karlsson

Chelsey chats with Kristina Karlsson, founder and Creative Director of Kikki.K Stationary, about organisation, aesthetics and stationary needs.

It has been said that kikki.K was born from both your appreciation of design and love for stationery – what are some of the design pieces and/or people who have continued to influence you and the brand over the years?

I’ve always been passionate about Swedish design. As for what inspires me…everything! I never switch off and am nearly always open to be inspired.  Traveling back to Sweden is something particularly inspiring for me. Seeing family and friends, going to cafes, restaurants, forests, lakes, beach, galleries… has me bubbling with ideas. I’m also constantly reading magazines from around the world, blogs and beautiful books. Inspiration is all around us.

The new range – Basics seems to have a very strong, direct design element to it, can you tell us how you came up with this and some of the inspiration behind the collection?

The Basics collection was created from the desire for stylish, functional everyday stationery. The everyday essentials in the kikki.K Basics Collection are the perfect combination of the Swedish design principles, form and function. The minimalist design and neutral colour palette means the pieces work perfectly when combined with items in seasonal collections, just as well as they do on their own. Just as your wardrobe needs basic, staple items to work back with your seasonal prints and colours all year round, so too does your stationery wardrobe – and this is where the Basics collection works perfectly.

Seeing as organising is without a doubt a passion (or some might say burden) of yours, can you tell us your top 5 organisational tips?

- A stylish and organised space should have a place for everything and everything in its place.  
- Ensure that all your stationery and desk accessory essentials are within arm’s reach.
- Ensure you have a designated entry point, temporary or permanent home and an exit point for your documents to help establish a logical paperflow system.
- When organising your space, it’s best to tackle one small, manageable area at a time.
- Recognise the motivational power of colour in your space, and its effect on the feeling of organisation

Seeing as aesthetics have always been an integral part of the kikki.K story, do you have any aesthetic rules that you live by, and if so what are they? (ie pink and orange together is a no, never use too much black etc.)

In short, the aesthetic of my workspace is focused around: Swedish style, form and function. I spend a lot of time at my workspace, 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 workspace; I’ve achieved this through the use of white kikki.K Storage Boxes and Folders. I love the feeling of organisation that colour blocking White Storage creates.
Do you think your Swedish background has had a part to play in the overall look and feel of the brand and if so, how?

All kikki.K collections are very much influenced by Sweden and Swedish design. We move with the seasons and constantly have new products arriving in store that provide a balance between form and function – key Swedish design principles. They are always beautiful in design, colour and texture – however they’re also functional. They not only look good, but they make life a little easier – with style.

What piece of stationery could you not live without and why?

I’ve always got to have a gorgeous kikki.K Notebook and Pen on me. At the moment, I love the gorgeous Essential Notebooks in the Basics collection. You never know what or who will inspire you next, so to be able to put pen to paper on-the-go and jot down new ideas is so important.

If there’s one thing that makes me feel like I’m achieving something during a hectic day, it’s writing a list. What do you do to keep a frantic, stressful day at bay?

There’s something so great about the feeling of creating a list and checking things off when they’re done. I love lists. Lists free your mind. With so many things to remember, it's easier than ever to forget. I try to avoid this by using a kikki.K To Do List. We’ve just introduced a fresh new design which I love.

Considering the constant change or evolution of technology and its growing importance in our lives, why do you think stationery is still important?

There’s nothing like putting pen to paper - the tactile nature of it and the connection to the childhood joy of stationery. I don’t think this will ever become irrelevant. There is something special about the joy of putting pen to paper that simply can’t be replicated. I’m not really sure why, but while I believe people will continue to use smart phones, computers and iPads, nothing can ever replace the feeling of a paper diary and pen.  
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us; we just have one last question – Why do you love stationery so much?

It’s sometimes the little things each day like using Notebooks and Pens with gorgeous designs and colours that make you happy. I try and do something small to add a touch of happiness to each and every day. 

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