Getting outdoors

March 18, 2023 BY

A bush kindergarten in Melbourne using the MK Nordika gear for their adventures. Photos: SUPPLIED

BEFORE settling on the Surf Coast with her husband and three kids, local businesswoman Marie Kullenberg was born and raised in Sweden.

“There’s a Swedish saying, ‘there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing’,” Kullenberg said.

“In Sweden, you have to go outside, no matter the weather, because otherwise you’d stay inside all the time. You have to just dress up and put appropriate gear on, and out you go.”

“That’s deeply engrained in our culture in Sweden. We just go outside, and we have to make good gear to withstand all the elements.”

It was this philosophy that inspired Kullenberg to launch her business, MK Nordika, selling high quality and stylish Scandinavian designed rainwear for women, men and children in Australia.

MK Nordika imports waterproof, windproof, PVC-free and machine-washable Scandinavian outdoor clothing, including outerwear, winter parkers, raincoats, boots are more.

Kullenberg said she is very passionate about getting everyone outside, regardless of the weather. Photo: SUPPLIED

Kullenberg also has a strong focus on supplying quality children’s outdoor clothing to Australian kindergartens, inspired by her own childhood.

“I went to this ‘forest kindergarten’, which is the equivalent to bush kinder here in Australia, and we were outside every day. The weather didn’t stop us.”

“We had snow, rain… even in minus temperatures. We dressed up, we ate outside, we had our naps outside, which is not very common here in Australia. We were obviously dressed for it.”

Kullenberg adopted this approach in raising her own three children.

“That’s how the idea began,” Kullenberg said.

“In 2011, when I lived in Sydney… I had my three young kids, and I was still outside every day in the rain, and my kids were wearing the rain gear that I wore when I was a child.

“I met a lot of parents, and they got really like ‘where did you get this from?’ this is so good!’.”

“Australian people are very outdoorsy people, and obviously the climate is better here.”

“The brands that I’ve chosen are all brands that I grew up with… the quality of the products has to withstand the Scandinavian climate, so it should withstand the Australian climate, because it’s not as harsh here as Sweden.”

“I thought, I should start importing this product. So, I contacted a few brands in Sweden and Denmark, a few Scandinavian brands, and that’s how it all started.”

Kullenberg and her three children. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Kullenberg launched an online store and started importing for private buyers.

The brands supplied include Isle Jacobsen, Elka Rainwear, Didrikson, Celavi and more.

“Then when we moved here and my son started bush kinder I thought I should start selling to bush kinders.

“I started to approach kindergartens to sell my gear… I got a lot of kindergartens purchase gear for the whole class.”

Now through MK Nordika, Kullenberg has supplied over 300 kindergartens, child care centres and family day care providers across Australia with rain sets, helping children embrace the opportunity to play outdoors in all weather.

“It’s inspiring to see here in Australia there are many kindergartens that want to adapt to that approach, so the kids can be outside.”

Kullenberg said the products are made to last using quality, soft, lightweight and comfortable material to keep children clean, warm and dry, and outside for longer.

“Many Victorians say the weather is really bad, but for me, not at all – this is really good, and I love that in Victoria the seasons are a bit more distinctive here.”

MK Nordika products are imported from Scandinavia and made to last using quality, soft, lightweight and comfortable material to keep children clean, warm and dry, and outside for longer. Photo: SUPPLIED


Kullenberg said there scientific evidence demonstrating the benefits of being outside, especially for children.

Enabling that is Kullenberg’s mission.

“It’s just getting people outside more,” she said.

“Being in nature boosts immunity, stimulates the imagination, encourages problem solving and promotes physical activity.”

“In terms of my business I love how many kindergartens are embracing this ‘there’s no bad weather’ policy. They’re getting the kids outside.”

A bush kindergarten in Melbourne using the MK Nordika gear for their adventures. Photos: SUPPLIED


In five years’ time Kullenberg said she still sees herself living with her family on the Surf Coast, selling gear to more kindergartens and hopefully seeing more and more adults also learning to love the outdoors in wild weather.

“I’m very passionate about getting everyone outside. The weather shouldn’t stop you from doing that, if you dress appropriately there are no limits.

“So I will continue to sell high quality, well-made outdoor clothing to inspire people to go outside regardless of the weather.”

“Australia is a beautiful country, and with appropriate clothing, you can enjoy the great Australian outdoors in all kinds of weather.

“There is no bad weather, only bad clothing!”

To follow along on the MK Nordika journey follow along on Instagram at @mknordika_kids and @mknordika_adults or visit www.mknordika.com.au to purchase gear.Kullenberg and her three children.