When Kikki.K founder, Kristina Karlsson asked us to be part of her #KikkiKGratefulHeart campaign, we were overjoyed. The only tricky bit, was narrowing down the gift selection. Here's our Kikki.K story and edit.
Christmas is one of our favourite times of the year. What’s not to love about the luminous decorations, plentiful food, relaxed family times and of course, all of the gifts too! This year has been an extra special one for Step Up – 12 months ago we were putting the final touches to our book’s first manuscript. And now, we are published authors!
The best thing about having written a women’s career manual is the messages we receive from our readers. On an almost daily basis emails, Tweets and letters come through telling us how our book has improved their confidence, made them feel better about themselves and, most recently, get ready for some recharged action in 2017. We love every single message – each is a tiny emotional gift – and we are utterly grateful. As Christmas approaches, we are looking for presents of a different kind: ones that we can wrap in beautiful paper and ribbons, and place under the tree.
On this year’s present buying quest, we have tried to support businesses run by women – well, there’s nothing like living by your own brand values. This female-friendly shopping challenge has been a great way of unearthing new labels that we didn’t already know about, as well as allowing us to revel in those that we already adore – like kikki.K.
For one, its founder, Kristina Karlsson, is just the type of easy-going, kind and quietly driven female entrepreneur who gets us feeling all warm and fuzzy about life. She also happens to be a voracious reader (great news when you just happen to have a copy of your book in your bag when you first meet!) and cultured beyond measure. Her intelligence and style are obvious in every corner of the kikki.K brand. Kristina is a modern working woman – she balances family life with a global mega-brand, and still has time to diarise her thoughts and dreams within her own beautiful notebooks.
Kristina is an undisputed Step Up role model, which is why we were so thrilled when she asked us into the kikki.K fold this Christmas. Our office would not be the calm, visually pleasing and super organised place that is it today, without all of our favourite Kikki.K bits and bobs. So this festive season, we’re proud to be spreading some of its cool, modern love. We are definitely celebrating with a Grateful Heart, as the brand puts it; our book would not have made it onto the shelves without our special family and friends. So to say an extra special Step Up thank you, here’s what we’ll be giving them on Christmas Day, We can’t wait!
For My Best Friend, Elly
There is nothing I can’t do in life without Elly by my side – she is the calm yin to my frazzled yang; she’s seen me at life’s best moments and when the world has fallen away beneath my feet. She is a rock, equalled only by my husband, and she deserves spoiling, because she is the type of friend who always puts herself at the bottom of the list. I know she will love this gold tray – simple, elegant and just the right side of modern, I want her to put it on her dressing table so that she can enjoy a little slice of luxury each morning.
For My Mum
My Mum knows the power of a cup of tea. She is also reliably available when I’m in the middle of an emergency childcare issue. If I know that my girls are with their loving grandma, then I am able to feel calm in the office. This is the ultimate basis of a successful career, which is why I want her to be able to drink her Earl Grey from this delicate glass wonder of a cup. The inspirational words are it’s crowning glory.
For My Daughters, Pearl and Tallulah
Writing, drawing, drawing, writing, as long as my girls have a pencil and some paper they are happy; I want them to grow up with a love of stationery. As a child, I eagerly anticipated the start of each school year for the simple reason that it meant a new pencil case, and smooth, clean writing books full of empty expectation. This colourful set will be a winner for my two – the holder, for one means they can draw while we’re out and about, and then there are all the exciting bits within. I can’t wait to see their little faces when they open this gift, and then watch as their books become full of their imaginative doodling.
Before we started working together, Phanella and I were peripheral friends. We’d bump into each other – usually around this time of year – at parties, and always end up talking about our careers. I knew her, but I didn’t know her. Over the past two years, we have grown so close and she is now my daily inspiration. What I adore most about Phanella is her uninhibited thinking. She has a mind and soul that does not do small scale – and Step Up is all the bigger and brighter for her fearlessness. What better gift then, than a book onto which she can keep a record of those big thoughts. Watch out 2017, we’re going to have every one of Phanella’s ideas tucked stylishly away!
It’s been a busy year for Step Up and, like all of us, Alice sometimes feels the overwhelm. As she says herself, her confidence can be fragile and in the midst of the craziness, she sometimes forgets to acknowledge the amazing things she achieves. I’m in awe of her skills as a writer, her dedication as a Mother and her warmth as a friend. She loves a notebook and the pause journal will help bring clarity and calm as she, literally, takes note of her success. Beautiful quote cards placed judiciously on her desk will prompt her to take time out and be mindful even on the busiest of days.
For My Mother in Law, Suzanne
My mother in law is my role model. Quietly but immensely successful businesswoman, caring mother to four and involved grandmother of five: she’s got all the roles covered. Her job is global and she’s rarely in one place for long. Despite her busy schedule, when she’s here, she’s so helpful: always on hand for last minute babysitting or school pick-ups when I’m stuck at work. When you live out of a suitcase, organization becomes everything. This beautiful pochette is perfect for storing her jewelry or makeup. Better yet, it will inject a hint of glamour into whichever hotel room she finds herself in next. And remind her of how much I appreciate all her help.
For My husband, Richard
As Alice says, I think big. I can’t help it. And that means I can be hard on myself if reality doesn’t keep pace with my plans. My husband is the voice of reason buoying me up each time I falter. Each with our own businesses and each trying to be as involved as we can with our three children, daily life takes place at warp speed and there’s not always time to thank him for being my rock. As well as being my biggest supporter, he’s also a huge fan of the stationery I can’t help collecting. If I can’t find one of my Kikki.K pens, I always know to look in his jacket pocket. Now, finally, he’ll have an elegant rollerball all of his own. The touch of Christmas bling will make him think of me during endless meetings – reminding him how much I value his support even if I don’t always say. Better yet, my Kikki.K beauties will stay safe in my bag.
For My Children, Noah, Otto and Lulu
All my children have inherited my love of drawing: paper and a pencil will amuse them for hours. These notebooks are pretty, pocket sized and initialed to avoid arguments. The perfect stocking fillers for my brood.