Tuesday, March 31, 2015

From our weekend

Over the weekend, I made a lot of conscious decision to stay present. When I worked, I worked... when I was with my family, I was with my family. Throughout the weekend, I took snapshots of the moments with my camera (instead of overusing my phone... for Instagram moment). It definitely helped me to stay in the moments when I didn't use my phone for pictures... and image quality is always so much better so it was an win-win situation:) 

Both of my sisters spontaneously visited us over the weekend and that definitely added more to our family time. I also managed to stop by an estate sale on Sunday and scored a matching vintage suitcase for $10. They were very dusty and tucked pretty deeply under other stuff in the garage of the estate sale... but when I saw them, I felt that they were asking me to pick them up so that they could travel again. 

I hope your week has been lovely so far. I am looking forward to spending my day at the studio!

Happy Tuesday:)


Friday, March 27, 2015

Staying true.

It has been a crazy week between launching TN Blue Limited Edition as well as new collection of mt masking tapes between all the operational tasks I have had on my ongoing to-do list. I am so glad that we now have Nerine working 2/week helping us with processing online orders, shipment and being in charge of making the bk leather charms and Frido taking a big responsibility in hands-on sample making for the studio. But then... I sometimes forget that I still wear almost all the hats for Baum-kuchen. On one day I can juggle between being a book keeper, inventory manager, creative director for online contents, a manager (and the only one) behind our customer service, a social media correspondent as well as fulfilling online orders and helping in-store customers. Oh and I have a huge desire to be there for my girls... and with my family. 

Wednesday afternoon I felt the peak... and I knew that I needed to change the pace of the way I was working. Thursday is usually one of my 2 weekdays at home with Satchi and Coco. I felt the urgency and need for being inspired from my life as I head home on Wednesday. I had all kind of ideas how to fill the Thursday with the girls... but I knew in my heart that I needed to find inspiration from our own home with them instead of looking for the external stimuli. We did head out to our local favorite Lincoln Pasadena for breakfast... but spent the rest of day organizing the house, giving some love to our closet (and trying out some pink dresses), spending a lot of time in the backyard, making frozen yogurt, having tea with Satchi, picking wild flowers from the garden... and resting. It felt very much like I was airing the house but also my soul in a really positive way. I also had sometime to browse the Kinfolk magazine Entrepreneurship issue between Coco's nap. I was surprised to read that so much of the issue was dedicated to the idea of "slow work"... which happened to be exactly what I needed to read. 

The subtitle for the issue is,
"Success is defined not only by the work we do but also by the people we help, the communities we build and the healthy balance we strike between work and leisure." 

By the end of the night, I felt better and had a clear idea about what are my priorities coming in the studio today... one of which was to write this post before I dive into the back-end support for Baum-kuchen... while the feeling was still fresh. 

I have put my personal wellness aside for a few years while girls were younger. It really was my choice to devote all of me to them for the first few years of their lives. But now that they are little older and more independent and also Baum-kuchen has gone through the infant stage of a business, I am hoping that I will slowly re-calibrate to find little more time to take care of myself. Because I truly believe that helping others and building communities all takes healthy mindset and lifestyle of my own. 

So now that writing this post is ending..., my 2nd priority of the day is to respond to my emails with love and care. So don't be surprised to receive an email from me if there has been a pending correspondence between me and you:)

Things might take longer to process when I try to run Baum-kuchen in more human way... but my personal goal always has been to grow the business that is proportional to our life so I think I will stay true to that. 

Happy Friday to you!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Getting ready for Inspiration Lab with Eunice (@thedailyroe)

I can't quite recall exactly when I "met" Eunice (@thedailyroe) via Instagram. It feels like I have followed her for a very very long time... Her updates have always filled my fancy and love for analogue. So I was thrilled to hear back from Eunice when I contacted her reg. doing a little interview about her Traveler's Notebook. While I was going back and fourth with Eunice about her Traveler's Notebook, I had a mini epiphany that I absolutely needed to share her artistic sense of journaling and creative approach in documenting her life with more people who were also passionate about what we loved. 

I sent a very lengthy email love letter to her asking if she might possibly consider working with us fully knowing how busy she already was with her everyday. When I heard back from her how excited she was to host the workshop with us, I was over the moon. It has been almost 2 weeks since we rolled the ball. We have been exchanging crazy amount of emails brainstorming on the workshop contents as well as ideas for specially curated Eunice's analogue box that will be shared with each guest. Now that we are getting closer to the workshop day, everything is coming together so beautifully. 

We want our guests to be immersed in the analogue process for the 3 hours we will be sharing at our studio... and head home feeling rejuvenated and inspired to open their planner/journal. 

Here are some snapshots from my Instagram feed... sharing our process for crafting Inspiration Lab. I will be updating more as we get closer so you can join our journey! Eunice is also sharing her updates on her Instagram feed so check back often:) 

And if you love documenting a trace of your life in analogue format, are looking for a unique inspiration and love being surrounded by fellow analogue enthusiasts, join us at our Inspiration Lab (link here) on April 5th! 

Inspiration Lab: 
Date: Sunday, April 5th
Time: 1pm-4pm
Location: Baum-kuchen studio / shop
Address: 3423 Verdugo Road Los Angeles, CA 90065

The power of collaboration / seeing things differently

I love ordering a new collection of mt tape each season. The best part of the process is to hunt for "the" tape that fits our Baum-kuchen out of all the tapes mt offers... So when we received a box full of tapes last week, my heart jumped! It happened to be my friend Susan was visiting our studio the day, so we got to work and sprinkled the studio/shop with new tapes. Susan also owns a very nice camera and an awesome eye for details so I totally recruited her as a photographer of the day:) 

Here are some selected pics from the photo shoot Susan did in the studio. I whole heartedly believe in the power of collaboration and I was so thrilled to see how Susan saw these tapes in her fresh perspectives. The images were not only wonderful but different from the way I have captured the tapes before (but still very Bam-kuchen because she knows us well:). 

You can find currently available mt Masking Tape here! I hope you enjoy:)

Thank yo Susan for your incredibly kind contribution!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mark your pages... especially the pages that inspire you:)

We are thrilled to share some new Book Darts available at our shop! "pin your dreams" and "track your journey".  When I design the message on Book Darts, I try to imagine the reason why these little beauties might be used in someone's life. Would he mark his dream vacation on a travel magazine? Would she leave a Book Dart on the recipe page that she is inspired by? Would he insert few Book Darts on the journaled pages he wants to remember and go back to? It's such a fun process!
For us we started marking the pages of California Camping book with campsites that we reserved for this summer. Yes. We have a plan to be camping a lot between June through August with Satchi and Coco. And I love the way the closed book looks when you see the marked pages (see the last pic!). Each dart representing special memories to be made. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

We connect dots with the real artifacts in hands... and the biggest THANK YOU to all:)

Yesterday I spent a day with my little ones. As we were getting ready... putting shoes on and grabbing my bags for a pool day, Satchi and Coco were running around the front yard... picking wild flowers that were just blooming. They each gave me one yellow flower and I tucked them in my notebook right away. Today I opened my Traveler's Notebook and the page still had the smell of sunshine and fresh cut flowers from yesterday. Instantly brought me the biggest smile. It's this tangibleness... that I know deep in my heart that any digital tools will not bring. It's the reason why we celebrate analogue process so much. I am hoping that these flowers will slowly press in my Traveler's Notebook and I will remember the moment for a very long time. 

I also wanted to share my biggest gratitude for all the encouraging comments and emails I received after I shared my thoughts about Amazon sellers. Sometimes it feel isolating to be operating an online store because so much of what happens is virtual... yet getting to know each one of our customer through his or her stories always helps me feel more grounded and connected to the realness of what we do. So thank you so much for sharing the journey with us. I am hoping that we can always be very open and honest about how we make decisions at Baum-kuchen... and be able to stand behind them with 100% of our soul and heart. 

Have a great weekend:)


p.s. Over the weekend, please stay tuned for some VERY exciting BK love letter as well as a brand new workshop we will be hosting in early April. I am channeling all the love and support from you into creative projects:)  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sharing thoughts about Traveler's Notebook sold on Amazon

I was recently inquired by our customer Ben about Traveler's Notebook sold at Amazon for much cheaper price. I thought about the answer for a quite while before responding to him... so I thought I would share my response here as well in case you are wondering the same thing as Ben.

On the email, Ben asked, "Hello,The same notebook is available from Amazon at $45.99." after placing an order with us for his Traveler's Notebook. 

and here was my response,
"Thank you so much for your order! Yes. We sometimes see Amazon sellers who offer Traveler’s Notebook and accessories for much cheaper price. I asked our MIDORI contacts about it and they told me that amazon sellers are probably not getting their merchandise through our official distributor. Most likely they have bought these items in bulk personally in Japan and selling them. They shouldn’t be any different from what we have in our MIDORI inventory. We have hard time matching the price to the Amazon price while sustaining our business since MIDORI has official wholesale price. We are aware that some customers prefer buying them from Amazon for less price and we totally understand the situation. We are hoping to contribute to our customers through our commitment to stock the entire TN collection at all times as well as the personal touch we are able to offer. -wakako"

I am so glad he asked! If you have any questions reg. how we run Baum-kuchen and thoughts that go behind it, please feel free to send me an email (wakako@baum-kuchen.net). I am always happy to share because I believe we are in this together:)


Monday, March 9, 2015


She is 21 months + week.
She talks a lot... she especially love repeating after her sister.
She has the strongest mind of 1 year old that I have seen... yet she is very shy around other people.
She finds her own game as long as she feels safe nearby us.
She loves her sister...

She picks her own sets of clothes everyday and would much rather wear her sister's clothes over hers. Most often she is happy wearing multiple patters on her clothes.
She loves her pockets on her dress.

She collects flowers for me while I am away at work.
She sleeps through the night in her crib and wakes up to call us saying "I am ready to get out of the crib now". We are so excited to pick her out of the crib every morning and give her the first hug of the day.
Sometimes she simply loves falling sleep in my arm.

She loves to hold us but she does not care much for giving hugs and kisses. In fact she avoids those by any cost.
She is heavy for being carried around but we accommodate it when she asks for it.
She is obsessed in buckling her own seatbelt.

She is my Coco and always will be.
I love her so much.


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