RETAIL | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Meet the woman behind retail store kikki.K

She opened two more stores in Hong Kong.

Following her move to Australia in 1995 to be with her partner, Kristina Karlsson’s motivation to drag herself from bed to office hit a brick wall: No matter how well she did, no matter how pleased her boss was, her career life was like a roller coaster. She knew she needs to do something new.

After much thought around what she wanted to do, Kristina found clarity one morning at about 3am. While tossing and turning she struggled with ideas of the things she could do. At this time, her partner Paul turned on the light, took out a pen and paper, and encouraged her to at least write down some parameters that could help guide her decision making. And then the rest was history.

In 2001, Kristina launched kikki.K , a global Swedish design brand that is making waves in the retail industry. It now has over 80 stores worldwide in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UK. To take advantage of the growing e-commerce, the brand now has an online store that ships to over 140 countries.

In Hong Kong, kikki.K opened its stores in Harbour City and Times Square in 2015. And in May 2016, the brand has opened two more stores at Cityplaza in Tai Koo Shing and Prince’s Building in Central.

Both the Cityplaza and Prince’s Building stores incorporate the distinctive design features of The kikki.K Studio at Chadstone Shopping Centre in Australia which was designed by London-based agency, Dalziel & Pow.

Kristina, now 43, shared that it has always been her dream to have her own business.

“I guess the first indication I had of my entrepreneurial instinct was at the age of ten, when I used to ride my bike around the snow-covered streets in my neighbourhood selling Christmas books door-to-door. I was completely driven by the rewards on offer and had a clear vision of being able to win my own TV, and finally I did win a TV for my efforts as the region’s best saleswoman,” she said.

Kristina added that the little venture taught her that it’s possible to achieve something when you really want to. It also taught her that she could make money and earn rewards by doing something that she loves. “I’m sure my enthusiasm rubbed off and was a factor in my sales performance,” she noted.

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