For the longest time, I was the only one who processed Baum-kuchen shipment and fulfillment. Okay... for a long time, I was kind of the only one behind the entire Baum-kuchen. I corresponded with our customers, wrote blog posts and manually fulfilled orders (including writing address labels one at a time). Last year... little before Coco's birth, Frido started to get more involved as a creative director of visual direction for Baum-kuchen. We started to work on more original products while continuing to curate special artifacts from around the world. Then in last September we moved into a new shop/studio space in Glassell Park. It has been a slow and gradual transformation from a miniature business that used to run in our garage into a slightly more public lifestyle brand.
Since we came back from Yakushima, we have been playing with an idea of "building a team" for Baum-kuchen... mainly for our back-end support (aka shipment/fulfillment) to start with. Because my hours that are dedicated to pure Baum-kuchen work is still limited to 3 days/week (It's my conscious decision to dedicate the other days of the week for our two sunshines and recently I realized that I am just a human who only has 24 hours/day...). Also a slowly growing number of orders... meant that I was spending more time fulfilling orders than sharing inspiration and love for life. And it is so important for us that we do our best to provide quick shipment... Emotionally it was one of the biggest decision that I have made for Baum-kuchen... probably bigger than signing a lease for our rental space. Hiring a help not only meant ensuring that we could support those hours financially but also shift the way I operated the entire shop process. The one that has become very comfortable for me... and also the one that was only designed to accommodate one person working.
After pondering for many months, I stepped out of my shell to ask for help. Then everything started to roll like a snowball of positive karma.
Our trusted friend Nerine has begun working with us few weeks ago. She is here few hours/week to support the hands-on shipping/fulfillment process. After giving her demo of Baum-kuchen signature packaging/fulfillment, I quickly realized that we needed a better space for facilitating the process to be effective. So we decided to move most of the fulfillment procedure to our backroom equipped with a dedicated laptop, printer and scale. It makes a total sense since the fulfillment station will be much closer to where our inventory is... but I have to admit that it was such a growing up process.
It will probably take sometime to feel that this is our new normal... but I am excited for the change. Now that I stepped away from being the only one who is fulfilling the orders, I can respond to our emails from our customers much quicker. Also a big chunk of my working hours can be spent on the creative process including writing for our blog, updating product photography... and telling stories of life. I am planning to pour some energy to slowly curate a backroom that inspires everyone instead of focusing on just the front shop area. For now we are getting by with foldable tables and found chairs to get going with minimum investment... but with time... I would like it to be a place that feels cohesive with rest of the shop.
I have also shifted the way I perceive my role for Baum-kuchen. In a way..., Baum-kuchen has been the representation of myself and that partially explains why it was so hard for me to delegate the process. I now think of myself as a mother who unconditionally cares and loves the brand and provides a safe home to facilitate the healthy growth.
change is the only constant... and it always will be.