- founder and owner Ditte Lindemose talks about the creation of the store and what the new decade brings 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 the way into something new is something Mondo Kaos founder Ditte Lindemose has tried it quite a few times, so we think it was natural to ask her about her experiences and about how the store Mondo Kaos came to be, and not least what she has plans for Mondo Kaos in the new decade.
From the opening of Mondo Kaos 13 years ago to today, has been an exciting journey, and if you've ever wondered how it all came about, here are the answers.
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 would become, nor that it would become her way of life.
Yours tells that Mondo Kaos was actually a joint project with her boyfriend at the time. She herself worked as a social worker in a residential institution for young people, and had no experience of running a shop. The plan at the time was actually for the boyfriend to take care of the day-to-day life in the store - and she admits that it was probably more his dream that she was supporting. Unfortunately, starting the business together was a tough task, and just a few months after opening the store, the couple split up. They agreed that Ditte should take over and become sole owner 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 moved Mondo Kaos to new premises in Birkegade no. 1 and it was there that the store really experienced growing pains. Both Ditte and the store thus took a real leap forward, she went from having her own small store to being a manager with several employees. And once again, Ditte saw herself in a new role.
Photo: Store managers Stine, Ditte & Clare CEO: The House Of Foxy plans the upcoming collection for Mondo Kaos.
Audio Mondo Kaos grew, more employees were needed to continue the success. The store gained several new employees, including in 2011 she hired Kirstine, 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 originally intended that she should only help over the summer, but it soon became clear that she would also have to become a permanent support in Mondo Kaos.
It was with the feeling of having created a special universe in it Mondo Kaos, and having skilled employees like Ditte felt 100% safe that she was able to take the leap and move to Pasadena/Los Angeles with her son Charlie 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 was doing so well and had such exceptional employees that she felt ready to change her own role in it Mondo Kaos. A role that could easily be played from the other side of the earth. Ditte describes ”I had been 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 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 with it in the long run". And after 13 years Mondo Kaos there is no doubt for Ditte that the retro shop in Birkegade 1 is here to stay.
Although she now lives in the US Mondo Kaos 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 this 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.
Mondo Kaos 2020
The new decade must also start with news in the store, and starts with an objective to Mondo Kaos must remain a unique place to shop. At the end of 2019, Ditte had a small "in-house" collection of bracelets and earrings made 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 suppliers, in order to have unique styles in the store adapted Mondo Kaos customers. This is something that she will work on much 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 so it is not 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 all customers a happy 2020! ❤️
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