Marie Kondo may have rocketed to international fame by showing people how to get rid of items that don’t “spark joy” and de-clutter their homes — but now she has an online store selling a tuning fork and quartz crystal for $75 US and a cheese knife that’ll set you back a cool $180 US.
In Toronto, some certified Kondo experts, referred to as “KonMari consultants,” say it could seem like a contradiction — but they don’t necessarily think it’s a hypocritical move.
“I have mixed feelings only because I’m a minimalist,” said Michele Delory, one of the consultants CBC News spoke to.
“But I’m not hating on her business decision.”
“Many people have asked what I use in my everyday life. This online shop is a collection of my favourite things and items that spark joy,” said Kondo in an online statement, noting people can still acquire “meaningful objects’ after tidying.
“My tidying method isn’t about getting rid of things — it’s about heightening your sensitivity to what brings you joy.”
On her website, Kondo says the items were chosen for their “ability to enhance your daily rituals and inspire a joyful lifestyle.”
But still, news of the store sparked online criticism, with some people saying Kondo’s teachings are at odds with selling non-essential stuff, like indoor shoes for $206 US and dish soap that costs $9 US.
marie kondo playing the long game. get rid of your dumb shit, so you can buy *my* dumb shit. incredible. the next jeff bezos
Marie Kondo opening an online shop that sells dumb crap you don’t need is my favorite heel turn of 2019. <a href=”https://t.co/4lFa28NadS”>pic.twitter.com/4lFa28NadS</a>
Delory says she was surprised by the online store and she understands the criticisms.
But Marie Kondo is a “brand,” she says, and her business is evolving and responding to fans.
The KonMari tidying method isn’t actually about getting rid of things, Delory notes — it’s about only keeping things that make you happy.
“From a business perspective, it would have been silly not to start selling it,” said Ivanka Siolkowsky, the most highly-certified KonMari consultant in Canada.
There are currently five such consultants in Toronto, all trained in Kondo’s methods. They are certified to help tidy people’s homes, but don’t gain anything from promoting or selling KonMari products.
Siolkowsky is also a minimalist — she hasn’t gone shopping in two years — and she won’t be encouraging her clients to buy Kondo’s wares.
But Marie Kondo’s personal method was “never about minimalism,” said Siolkowsky, and these products might “spark joy” for someone else.
Excited to buy from the store
KonMari consultant Anne Papaioanou, however, is excited to buy merchandise from Kondo’s store.
“I truly believe that she uses the best quality for her items,” said Papaioanou. “And I value her opinions on things.”
Papaioanou isn’t a minimalist like some of her colleagues. But she doesn’t impulsively shop anymore, and says she looks for quality over quantity.
‘A Kardashian world’
Kondo has “become a celebrity,” Siolkowsky said, and people want to know what’s in her home.
Siolkowsky says the high prices indicate a wealthier target market.
“We live in a Kardashian world,” said Siolkowsky.
“If someone famous says it’s worth buying, we’re gonna buy it.”