Sunday, May 24, 2015

Changes in behind the scene...

We have been making some changes for back-end operation matters recently so I thought I would share. For last 5 years I have been using desktop version of Quickbook for Baum-kuchen book keeping. I knew literally nothing about accounting when we started the shop 5 years ago but by now I have learned enough to navigate the business and make thoughtful decisions. But this meant I was manually typing every single order receipt, keeping up with expense tracking, recently added Payroll stuff... and just whole a lot of data entry work to make sure that we were up to date. It's fine for now but my gut feeling has been that I could not be the bottle neck for Baum-kuchen's operation when it is ready to grow little bit more. So I looked around and decided that it was time for us to give a shot at cloud accounting using Quickbook Online. The benefit I was looking forward to was being able to sync our bookkeeping with our orders on e-commerce. (we use Shopify  and its app ZapStitch together) so I only needed to update our inventory in one place and didn't need to manually input every single receipt. 

When I came back from Japan, I knew it was time to invest some time to transition into a new system and so it happened. It took some late night data entry throughout the week, figuring out the actual system and logistics and frustration that came with it because I just couldn't figure it out for a while... and spending more time in data entry... but I am so glad to share that our online accounting is up to date and I will be able to spend more time in creating creative contents, sharing inspiration and focusing on making sure that customer's voice is reflected on what we do. 

It might seem minor but getting through this entire process was a big deal to me. It was a process I needed to go through to grow up a little. 

Change is scary but it is a good sign that we are continuing to evolve and are not afraid to see what's ahead of us. 

I hope you are having a wonderful long weekend (if you are in the States:) I have more updates to share about our lovely Baum-kuchen open studio our friend Madalena hosted at the studio/shop this afternoon... our ongoing work on Baum-kuchen love letter with Angie... and much more. 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Coming back and finding rhythm in our routines...

Who would have thought coming back home to our daily routines can be such a roller coaster... but it has been for us for this past week. It peaked with Coco getting sick this past weekend... (crossing my fingers that she is on the path for happy recovery now)

Shortly after we got back, I often woke thinking that I was still on the island in my grandfather's wooden dome house. Has that ever happened to you before?? I think it's quite disorienting. I felt like my mind was somewhere between Yakushima and LA... traveling and floating back and fourth not knowing where to go. 

At some point... I think I told myself that I needed to ground myself and focus to be in Los Angeles now because this is our home. So that's what I am doing. Building home to be home again. 

I am still yet to go through all the photos we have taken towards the end of our trip. So I will slowly work backwards to edit and share our highlights starting with our family transit pictures between Yakushima-LAX. Little ones traveled very well on airplanes all things considered. So cheers to that:) 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

TN Blue... in stock and already out

Post travel is always bit crazy... between helping the family get readjusted to the daily routine and playing a huge catch up for the shop. Oh and let's not forget jet lag. I don't think I have slept much in last few days since we got back from Japan.

Well... life goes on and so as Baum-kuchen.

While we were away, we received the very first inventory of TN blue items. Since these are limited edition items, we started taking pre-order in March when we knew the expected delivery time and quantity. They were sold out very very quickly even though the delivery date was few months away... So when we received these new inventory from MIDORI last week, Nerine got to work and started shipping them as much as she could while keeping up with the new orders... but there were still quite bit of pending orders yesterday when I got back to the studio for the first time after 3 weeks. Today I told myself that I would not leave the studio until I ship them all. I don't think I ever shipped as many packages as I did today. I love the process of wrapping items and preparing the packages... even after 5 years of doing. The process takes time because we want each one of the package to have a soul and bring something little more than items themselves when they are unveiled. Today I sat quietly in the backroom and wrapped and wrapped hours after hours... and it was such a great reminder how much I love doing this and how lucky we are to be in the business of delivering something so special. I got to most of the pre-order packages; though, there are a handful still left. I am hoping that we will get to all the pending orders by the end of this week. So if you were the lucky ones who got to put your fingers on the first pre-order of TN blue items, I hope you enjoy them! If you are interested in getting TN blue items that are currently sold out, please send us an email ( so we can send you a notification email when pre-order status becomes available again. We will raech out to you as soon as we have confirmed delivery schedule and quantity from our MIDORI distributor. 

I have a lot of thoughts after coming home and I am writing on my journal a lot... Hopefully I have some downtime soon so I can finish editing rest of the images from our trip and share our memory from those moments.  


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Travel connects present with memory and dream...

Travel connects present with memory and dream.

Something that resonated with us tonight... 

A process of stepping away from everyday, being exposed to non-everyday routine and influences, experinecing moments through all senses. Travel does all that... and somewhere between this moment and the next, our mind connects our past with the future and it bridges memory to dream... 

We are nearing the end of our travel and I can't help to feel sentimental. Some people has told me not to feel nostalgic about the end of the trip and just enjoy the moment. There is truth to that but it is also truly authentic to feel the bitter sweet feeling at this moment. So I embrace both.

Because the journey is the destination... 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hiking through the layers of time... Yakusugi forest.

Satchi and I took another bus ride to head to the mountain. As beautiful as the beaches and rivers on the island..., the magic also happens in the mountain here. Through the hike we saw cedar trees that have been standing there over 3000 years... I talked to Satchi about how each tree has its own spirit just like we have our own soul and how much we respect each tree. I also shared the story of me hiking through this forest when I was her age with my parents and my grandfather. The forest has not changed over last 30 years. I realize that 30 years is really nothing in scale for this forest that has been existing thousands of years.

This was the first time Satchi really hiked through a hiking trail and she told me afterward that throughly enjoyed it. She especially loved looking at the map and seeing where she was on the trail. It was not an easy hike since some part of the trail feels like we are really walking "on" the forest. Between trees and around rocks. I am proud of her finishing the long hike with so much enthusiasm even though we started to get rain towards the end of the hike.  Most importantly... I am thankful that I was able to share this forest that is so close to my heart with her. I can't wait to bring Coco there once she is little bit bigger:)


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