Corina Popadopulou, founder of award winning children’s store Kidsen in talk about her London boutique, e-store and happy life just outside Stockholm, with her husband and 2 girls.

Kidsen opened in 2008 and delighted local customers by selling beautiful things for kids, with a focus on brands from Northern Europe. It was the first boutique to sell quirky Danish interior brand Sebra, champion Ferm Living’s early beginnings and stock its rails with ultra cool Scandi fashion brands like Mini Rodini years before it became mainstream.

Nowadays Kidsen also has a thriving online shop and people travel from far away to shop at Kidsen Kensal Rise and experience a slice of stylist Scandinavian life.

We had the pleasure to speak with Corina and she told us about her brand, her new life, her family (she is married to Franco Ofili and her two children Melina and Miya are 9 and 7 y old). I particularly like Corina’s story because it reflects a great opening to change, a lot of wisdom and it shows that one can make good lifestyle choices without risking to lose everything.

You’ve have recently moved to Sweden, what made you leave London?  

 I love London, and at heart I will always be a London girl. My reasons for moving back to Sweden were purely based on family and that I would have no regrets when I looked back at my life. When I was growing up I had a great relationship with my grandparents, and my grandmother played a huge part in my life. I simply did not want my kids to miss out on the same ‘closeness’ with theirs. And for me too, I want to enjoy spending more time with my parents and make sure I’m around as they grow older. I have an amazing husband who totally understood my need.

What are the pros and cons of running Kidsen from Sweden?

The Pros are that it teaches you to not be such a control freak and to actually see your team bloom and rise to the challenge of running a busy store on their ‘own’. It’s made me take a step back and see the bigger picture and that maybe, having more than one shop is possible. :) The Cons are that I personally miss my daily contact with both my staff and customers. I gained one family but lost another. I also miss the daily workout! Stocking shelves, running up and down to the basement, unpacking boxes and dressing windows kept me fit. I really must start doing some exercise, here it is jogging crazy Sweden. I did buy some running shoes back in January so that’s a start!

How often to you come back to Kidsen/London? I do come back every 4-6 weeks depending. As I enter busy buying season I tend to come a little more often in short bursts.  It can be very hard fitting everything in when I come back. Obviously there’s Kidsen to see to but I want to see friends as well – there is definitely not enough hours in the day or night!

What can we except from Kidsen for A/W14? This season has been our best by far, so it will be a difficult one to beat, but I am excited over some of the new brands we will be stocking and expanding a little more into the teen range. The original Kidsen customer is growing up and we’re going to cater for them too – in a small way at first but who knows what will happen in the future. Our ‘mummy wear’ selection of clothes and footwear has really taken off, especially our shoe ranges so I am looking forward to continuing this in AW14. There’s something lovely about Mums and Daughters wearing the same sandals, shoes or clothing brands. On a practical level it is great that mums can not only shop for their children but themselves too, all in one place.

Will we see Kidsen opening in Stockholm? I get asked that question a lot. What makes Kidsen great, is that I took my time to get to know my customer. You can have a beautiful store with beautiful things, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if the market you are buying for does not understand your vision then you will fail. Even though I am a Swedish citizen I still feel more comfortable with my British customers so I will spend a little longer getting to know the Swedish yummy mummy before I embark on Kidsen Stockholm!

The photo of Corina and the girls is taken in the Swedish archipelago on an island called Utö.