Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome MINOTAKE from Kyoto!

I am sure that you have already seen our new shop addition, MINOTAKE...  This beautiful collection has been shared by Gizmodo, tasteology (sister site to, Better Living Through Design and more... around the blogsphere!

I thought I would share a little background story about how this collection came on board!

I must admit... that this collection and Baum-Kuchen was meant to happen. On our last day of traveling Kyoto, I was strolling the city by myself (which was a super rare occasion...) for product sourcing.

On my way home after walking the city for three hours (without much success), I stumbled upon a small retail space that looked interesting... and there it was a collection of MINOTAKE among other beautiful bamboo products Kohchosai Kosuga produces. I was glued to their display and had a chance to talk to a lovely retail clerk there... I explained to him that I would LOVE to share their amazing collection at our shop in Los Angeles. He gave me a business card to CEO of the company and I bought a few sets to share with my partner-in-crime and my in-laws who happened to be staying with us during the week (and you know they have the most amazing German eyes for aesthetics:)

As soon as I got back to our home in Kyoto, I looked up their website and other retailers who are carrying their products and quickly came to the conclusion that there are very few people out there who knew about them. I was on a mission... I sent an email to Mr. Kosuga explaining how much I am in love with his MINOTAKE collection. I am sure that the email almost sounded like a love letter... (professional kind, of course).

Fast forward few weeks, we were discussing how to bring those collection to the U.S. and I was in the full gear to share these amazing products at our shop. One thing I really wanted to do for the MINOTAKE collection was to find a way to showcase their amazing sculpture form curved out of the bamboo. Doing a photo shoot and creating mini clips for each item was so much fun!

I will share a few of my favorite photos as well as four mini clips I made for the collection here!

p.s. On the next post, I would love to share some of the photos Mr. Kosuga has sent me from his factory!


MINOTAKE Small Spoon 

MINOTAKE Square Spatula

MINOTAKE Triangle Spatula

Monday, June 25, 2012

06:25:12 [159/365] - our favorite room

It feels like I keep talking about Roo's room lately... but SERIOUSLY!! It's my favorite place at this moment. We made a big change over this weekend - aka crib to a bed transition! We looked around for a toddler bed but toddler beds we liked were really expensive (and she is only going to use it for a few years, right??) so we decided to go for a simple route. A twin mattress with a super low frame... so if she falls off (which has already happened twice!), she still sleeps through.

Okay... so a big girl bed does not make her bedtime routine easier but she likes the space and what it feels like to be inside of the mosquito net bed (in her word, "a princess bed")... I hope she will be able to go to sleep on her own eventually.

p.s. now we are close to be done with her room, we are moving our attention to our living room... which will be inspired by "global expeditions" with our love for travel and vintage...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

06:24:12 [158/365] - ... for what we have

Sometimes I think it's nice to stop and be thankful for what we have...

... for the family and for little moments that are called everyday.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

06:22:12 [157/365]

After my day shift with Roo, I squeezed few hours of shop work! Yesterday I heard on NPR that the noise level of a coffee shop can promote much creativity in our brain... So yeah. That's where I was at.  I got three more new items on our shop! I am far from finishing the task... but it feels nice to get one step closer for sure! You can check out Spiral Bee Notebook and Kraft Envelope with Window (Large and Small) on our shop now:)

Tomorrow we are heading out to Dwell on Design in downtown LA! I can't wait to see what's new in the design industry.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

06:22:12 [156/365] - To be open minded...

So our Roo started her summer camp last week. She is going to one of those co-op school and their philosophy to deal with children's separation anxiety is very gentle. They got benches in the play yard for parents to hang out and upstairs room with wi-fi... all these accommodations help parents and children to take as long as they need until everyone feels super comfortable being there.  She is still learning how to be without papa/mama so I haven't been able to leave the campus yet but I can see that she is growing to communicate with teachers and her new friends and feeling more and more comfortable each day. She is starting more formal Pre-school in September and I think this will be a great foundation for her...

There are few other things I am learning from her schooling...

One of them is their 'YES' culture. YES. You can get paint all over your clothes (because it's water color and it will come off in a washer). YES. You can let a huge toy truck on the slide as long as there are nobody on the bottom of the slide (kid's favorite!!). YES. You can bring an inside pillow outside because we can always fix things later. It's all about listening and understanding kids' intention and accommodating them to accomplish it. Seeing Roo explore the world freely in her pace this way really made me think how many unnecessary boundaries we have created at home because something is somewhat inconvenient or doesn't comply to the common sense in our grown-up point of view.  So now... I think twice about saying no to something she wants to do unless it it harmful to her, to others, or to our house. If she wants to bring her wooden blocks and tea set and play with them while she takes bath, why not?

I love to do my best to accommodate the grown of an individual who is open minded and capable...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

06:21:12 [155/365] - Value of caring for things we love

I am pretty sure that a lot of kids have their "blankie" that they can't live without... Our little Roo has hers that she got really attached ever since her 1st birthday or so. This blankie traveled everywhere with her. When we were in Japan for three month, we tried to bring an alternate in case we lose it... (a smaller version with same material and color) but she never grew any attachment to this alternate blanket.

Now she dragged her pink blankie for more than a year, it is starting to fall apart. It started with one small hole. I was too busy to fix it then... so now after a whole month, it is literally ripping in half.

Today we had little down time at home with just two of us so I asked her if she would like mama to fix her blankie... and just like that we were in production!

After two hours of me stitching the blankie and her watching me do it (with an affectionate hug to the blankie... telling it "it will be much better"), her blankie is whole again! I chose to use a red strings so she could actually see where we fixed.  I am not a professional seamstress so the stitches are little rough but she loves the part where it got fixed... In her word, the little detail with red stitch is "kawaii!"

I am glad that we can start sharing am important value with her - a value of fixing and caring for things we love instead of just buying another one.

Now I got my sewing box out..., I am spying on what else I can fix around the house!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

06:18:12 [153/365] - working hard...

There were so many pending items that needed to be placed on our online store... so I literally spent all day in front of my camera & computer to catch up with as many shop updates as possible!

(In case you are interested, you can view all the new items at NEW ITEMS! section:) 

I still have quite more items to capture on the photos (and videos!) and upload them on our site... but for tonight... I am going to give my laptop and my brain a rest. I barely saw Roo today since FB took care of her all day. Maybe I can snug last bit of bed time story with her:)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

06:17:12 [152/365] - details...

I hope everyone had a nice weekend... Ours was filled with intimate social gatherings... which included a mini party for our little Roo's 2nd birthday and a brunch with my family to make our dad extra special... And of course few hours here and there to work on the shop while Roo played with papa for a father's day:)

When we were having brunch this morning at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach, I couldn't help to snap a few photos! Gorgeous colors and lovely attention to details! I love that there was someone behind the counter who made the plate so pretty...

Doesn't the appetizer (tuna tataki) look like a confetti???

I am all about attention to details when it comes to fulfilling orders for my customers... so it was really inspiring:)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hello, {HIKOKI, made in Yakushima}

Every time a box arrives from Yakushima, I can't wait to open it... because it smells so amazing! The smell of these wooden toys is like a forest in a package:)

Last week we have received one of these boxes from Flowers Studio in Yakushima packed with much anticipated new inventory of KURUMA, DENSYA and a new addition to the collection HIKOKI (airplane)!

With HIKOKI, there are more parts that are intersecting and you can really see the amazing craftsmanship of Togawa-san of Flowers Studio... and the iconic bubble head passenger looks so adorable on it. The passenger is positioned slightly angled so it looks like the airplane is in the motion! Clever, right? The propeller can be turned for additional play.

The HIKOKI has been inspiring me to do more stop-motion videos! Please stay tuned for more updates on HIKOKI!

Purchase Information:
Available at Baum-Kuchen

Thursday, June 14, 2012

06:14:12 [151/365] - A real cocktail after 5pm

Today was a crazy work day... I am in the process of updating a lot of new items in the shop including HIKOKI from Flowers Studio in Yakushima...

I also drove to Torrance (which is totally on the other side of LA from our house) to pick up new inventory for Traveler's Notebook, Brass and new issues of Come home! magazine as well as HUGE! All these new items will be a part of the growing line-up of "to be updated on the website" list!

But come 5pm..., it was time to step away from the desk. Roo helped me to get ready for a big date night with FB, a lovely babysitter came by and we said good bye to Roo to head out for dinner with just two of us:) With all the traveling, work, weekend markets that have kept us really busy, we haven't really spent a lot of time together other than getting through everyday stuff so it was a really nice treat:)

We found a new Japanese sushi restaurant, Kimagure in Pasadena and LOVED it!! They only take customers by reservation... and sushi chef Ike-san really took care of each one of customers. It's totally Baum-Kuchen:) We did "omakase" style which is like chef's favorite from the day line up of sushi. Everything was delicious:)

Tomorrow Roo and I are heading out to the 2nd day of her summer school... then I will be spending afternoon to prepare all the PRE-ORDER shipment!! I am so excited and happy to ship all the goodies to my amazing customers.

Have a great early weekend to you!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

06:13:12 [150/365] - Cocktail before 5pm

Roo and I had a big day... so having this fresh coconut juice in mid-afternoon was such a great pick-me-up! My friend Jane swears by this!

I am mentally preparing for a very productive working day tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

06:12:12 [149/365] - quiet day...

Today was a quiet day... preparing for a big day tomorrow (aka. roo's first day of summer school) mentally and physically.

Monday, June 11, 2012

06:11:12 [148/365] - Happy Birthday...

Today was a special day for us... our little Roo's 2nd birthday.

Thank you everyone for leaving video, audio and text messages to her... it made her day extra special!!! The day was filled with waking up to a balloon filled room, enjoying her birthday shrine, an adventure to an aquarium with papa and mama and an amazing video chat with her opi and omi in Germany!!!

Happy birthday Roo!!! We are so proud of you and are so happy to be your parents...




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