Being successful in business is “all about passion”, according to Kristina Karlsson, founder and creative director of international fashion stationery label kikki.K. If you’re passionate about what you do, and build a team of people that are all equally as passionate as you are, Karlsson says you’re going to be better placed strive in your vision and achieve your goal.
“For us, we are a family business and like treating our employees as part of that family,” she says. “We always aim to recognise and reward our great teams for the wonderful work they do as we collectively strive for our vision.” Whether it’s as simple as offering team members a day off for their birthday or flexible working hours, or another incentive that stands out from the crowd a little more (such as providing a three month supply of newborn nappies to mothers who give birth while working with us), Karlsson says she values the business benefits of providing valued incentives. “Even the smallest perks are often valued quite highly, and help build brand loyalty, which is what we love to see.” Karlsson, who founded kikki.K in 2001 in a home office, says she couldn’t have known where that decision would take her.
Today, the Swedish home/office style chain has morethan 80 retail boutiques in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and an online store that services the world. With a branding tagline of “delicious stationery, gorgeous gifts and Swedish design”, Karlsson is passionate about the purpose of kikki.K and looks for a similar passion in potential employees. “We’ve found that the best way to find good staff is just by being passionate and having fun at what we do. As a result, our best staff have been the ones that have been attracted by what we do and the way we do it, and they have come to us,” she says.
With more than 600 employees worldwide during peak retail period, Karlsson says it is important to stand out from the pack and being seen as an employer of choice is a high priority. kikki.K has even made BRW’s ‘Top 50 Best Places To Work’. “We want to be a place that great people are desperate to work at. With rapid growth it’s all about good people. Get the best people, get the best results. Our people and our people’s talent are absolutely everything. We do have products and systems and processes, but really the expertise lies in the people,” she says.