- founder and owner Ditte Lindemose talks about the creation of the store and what the new decade will bring for Mondo Kaos.
Photo: Ploug Fotografi
A new year always brings with it a form of reflection, everything you want, changes, intentions, or looking back on things you have achieved in the past.
Standing with your foot right on your way into something new is something Mondo Kaos founder Ditte Lindemose has tried several times, so we think it was obvious to ask her about her experiences and how the Mondo Kaos store came to be, and not least what she has plans for Mondo Chaos in the new decade.
From the opening of Mondo Kaos 13 years ago to today, has been an exciting journey, and if you have ever wondered how it all came about, the answers come here.
From social educator to self-employed
When Ditte threw herself into the opening of Mondo Kaos in 2006, she neither dreamed of the success it was going to be, nor that it was going to become her way of life.
Ditte says that Mondo Kaos was actually a joint project with her then boyfriend. She herself worked as a social educator in a residential institution for young people, and had no experience of running a shop. The plan at the time was actually for the girlfriend to take care of everyday life in the store - and she admits that it was probably more his dream she supported. Unfortunately, starting the business together was a tough task, and only a few months after the store opened, the couple split up. They agreed that Ditte should take over and become the sole owner of Mondo Kaos.
Ditte took over the store with a feeling of wanting to show 'that she could of course do it herself'. For a year, she drove, side by side, both shop and work as a social educator on.
But once again, changes had to happen when Ditte, completely out of planning, became pregnant with her son Charlie. She realized that it was necessary, after maternity leave, to make a choice; her regular job or the shop. Luckily, she chose the store!
She was now both a new mother and a new full-time self-employed person. A whole new point of view for Ditte!
She explains “Even though it was a difficult decision to quit my secure job and be independent as a single mother with a small baby, it just felt like the right thing to do. It was a super difficult period, but I have not regretted the decision a second ago. "
"Learning by doing"
Ditte had no experience of running a business, so everything, from sales to accounting and orders, was "learning by doing". But that should be no obstacle to taking the chance and expanding the store.
In 2010, Mondo Kaos moved to new premises in Birkegade no. 1 and it was there that the store really grew. Both Ditte and the store thus took a real leap forward, she went from having her own small store to being the boss with several employees. And once again, Ditte saw herself in a new role.
Photo: Store managers Stine, Ditte & Clare CEO: The House Of Foxy is planning the upcoming collection for Mondo Kaos.
As Mondo Kaos grew, more employees were needed to continue the success. The store gained several new employees, including she hired Kirstine in 2011 who quickly became a close friend and valued employee, and who still works in the store to this day.
Stine, who is now the store manager, joined in 2014. It was actually intended that she should just help over the summer, but it quickly turned out that she too should become a regular support in Mondo Kaos.
It was with the feeling of having created a special universe in Mondo Kaos, and of having skilled employees like Ditte felt 100% confident that she was able to take the plunge and move to Pasadena / Los with her son Charlie Angeles in the summer of 2017.
Photo: Ditte enjoys the sun in Pasadena wearing favorite Jeans from Lady K Loves & Mondo T-shirt.
The idea of moving from Denmark was a new leap for Ditte. The store did so well and had such unique staff that she felt ready to change her own role in Mondo Kaos. A role that could easily be played from the other side of the earth. Ditte describes “I had had a longing for a long time, and felt that I needed something new to happen in my life. I didn't really have a concrete plan, but moved here when my sister and her family did the same, and then I had to see if I could get a plan screwed together when I landed. ”
In the beginning, it was just the adventurous spirit that drove her, and then the idea was that it was just for a year. After one year, however, she realized that she was not really ready to leave beautiful California.
One year became 2 ½ and in March 2019, Ditte received a visa for 5 years. The plan is to enjoy them to the full, but whether the visa will be renewed in 2024, or whether she returns home to Copenhagen or a completely different place in the world, she will let time show.
"I have had to learn to let go"
Of course, there have been new challenges for Ditte associated with running a business from the other side of the earth.
But she confesses to having learned a lot from the situation. In particular, she has had to learn to let go a little, and not go into every detail, as she did when she still lived at the store in Copenhagen. She acknowledges that it has been a great challenge, but it has also helped her learn that work no longer needs to be 24/7.
Because as she says "otherwise you probably won't stick to it in the long run". And after 13 years of Mondo Kaos, there is no doubt for Ditte that the retro store in Birkegade 1 is here to stay.
Even though she now lives in the US, Mondo Kaos is still a full time job for Ditte. Today, the tasks mainly consist of communication with the dealers and the webshop. In addition, she is personally responsible for creating newsletters, as it gives her the opportunity to still communicate directly with customers. Precisely because Ditte is not personally present in the store, it means a lot to her to still have a feeling with the store's customers. In addition, Ditte has daily contact with her employees in the store.
World Chaos 2020
The new decade should also start with news in the store, and start with a goal that Mondo Kaos should remain a unique place to shop. At the end of 2019, Ditte made a small “in-house” collection of bracelets and earrings for the first time, and Ditte confides in us that this is something she would very much like to work on more.
The idea behind Mondo Kaos has always been to deliver the unique. She will therefore in future to an even greater extent, explore exclusive collaborations with the suppliers, to have unique styles in the store adapted to Mondo Kaos customers. This is something she will be working on a lot more in 2020.
Ditte has had to say goodbye to some brands if they became too common, because as she says "getting into Mondo Kaos must remain a special experience, and that is not the case if a brand can be obtained everywhere".
She feels that she knows her customers so well that she is no longer afraid to take chances, because as she says: "If I had not taken a chance or two over time, I would not be where I am today - and would not wish me elsewhere. ”
With the wish that everyone takes some chances in between, and dares something they have dreamed of, Ditte and Mondo Kaos wish all customers a happy 2020! ❤️
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