How tidying icon Marie Kondo is monetizing her KOL status

November 21, 2019 11:28
Marie Kondo says her tidying method 'isn't about getting rid of things', but rather about 'heightening your sensitivity to what brings you joy.’ Photo: Reuters/KonMari

Marie Kondo, the Japanese tidying celebrity, has opened her own online homeware store, prompting a buzz on social media.

Kondo rose to international fame by encouraging people to get rid of unnecessary things. Her book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.

The tidying guru was ranked as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2015.

Some minimalists strongly call for people to declutter things and some even go to the extreme of allowing themselves just a few outfits and items absolutely necessary, leaving their homes almost empty.

Unlike those tidying experts who focus excessively on what things we should get rid of, Kondo encourages people to focus on keeping things that can really bring joy and discard those that cannot.

Her approach on organizing is apparently more pragmatic for most people, and that perhaps explains why she became so popular.

For example, she advises people to keep sentimental items, or things that can bring back good memories, even if the items may not be of much practical use.

Having done books and a series of TV shows, launching a shop is perhaps a natural extension if Kondo wants to keep monetizing her KOL (key opinion leader) status.

Her online homeware store offers table top and kitchen gadgets, bathroom stuff, scented oil, tidying and organizing stuff, decor and books.

Most items on offer are quite costly. For instance, a cheese knife priced at US$156 and a pair of indoor slippers at US$206. Even a duster asks for US$35.

With a strong Japanese touch, the online store appears to target the upscale markets in Western countries, not least those who like oriental culture.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 20

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]


Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist