Story

Adventure continues... February 26 2017

Meet our incredible BK Team! February 26 2017

BK CLOSED // Tokyo Research trip! October 15 2016

Love for Traveler's Notebook with Patrick Ng (5/19/16) May 29 2016

May 19th was a very memorable day for us at Baum-kuchen! We had an amazing honor to host Traveler's Notebook meet-up with Patrick Ng. I had to pinch myself few times the day because it was really a dream come true to have such a passionate Traveler's Notebook community in Los Angeles to gather and listen to Patrick's point of view in analogue lifestyle, his role as a stationery buyer in Hong Kong, as well as stories behind Traveler's Notebook.

**click the title to read more! 

SAVE THE DATE // 1.61 Soft Goods Inspiration Lab // June 18th (Saturday) May 06 2016


We are thrilled to share that we are bringing new type of Inspiration Lab to our Baum-kuchen studio on June 18th (Saturday)! This gathering will be very special because we are featuring our favorite creative partners, Diana and Wes of 1.61 Soft Goods.

For the past 2.5 years Baum-kuchen and 1.61 Soft Goods have worked on so many creative projects together from Essential leather insert for Traveler's Notebook, Origami Leather Basket (which was initially designed as BK in-store shopping basket) to soon to launch Baum-kuchen charm 2.0! We love their design aesthetics, craftsmanship and maker's lifestyle.

On June 18th, Baum-kuchen community is invited to our BK studio/shop in Glassell Park to customize your Traveler's Notebook and refills (or any other notebooks of your choice:). You will be working with 1.61 Soft Goods using their beloved leather tools while browsing unique 1.61 Pop-up collection (some of which include artifacts that are exclusively sold through their website).

This gathering will be RSVP only and free to attend so please stay tuned for an update.

If you would like, please send us an email to karma@baum-kuchen.net so we can add your email address to our Inspiration Lab contact list!

Reflecting on Inspiration Lab 003: Mail more love (2/7/16) February 09 2016

We had so much fun at Inspiration Lab on last Sunday. This time around, we focused on facilitating the Baum-kuchen experience of writing, crafting and sending a letter. I love working with Eunice. She sprinkled so much details in everything we prepared... from a special gift to each guest to letter crafting ingredient stations! ... And we had mini work stations for everything. Paper/envelope station, wax seal station, typewriter station, envelope making station... you name it!

Once we launched the Lab, the whole room got very very quiet. Everyone was putting a lot of thoughts into what they were crafting... for someone special. The analogue energy in the space was incredible. Some guests finished the entire letter including the final touch with vintage postage and putting address labels and dropped off their letters into our BK mail box (aka vintage milk box from Japan). I so so appreciate everyone bringing such a positive energy into the group... making the time we spent so much more. Writing a letter is a very personal activity. I am hoping that mixing the private letter writing process that is so close to our heart and being at the communal table brought much creativity and inspiration to everyone who was present!

We are hoping to facilitate and host more unique gatherings at Baum-kuchen in the future so please stay tuned! Send us an email (karma@baum-kuchen.net) if you are interested in putting your contact info on our Inspiration Lab list. You will be the first ones to receive the announcement via email. We then usually announce our studio events on our BK (email) love letter and Instagram

Happy analogue adventure:) 

Baum-kuchen is growing in the most awesome way - welcome on board, Eunice! November 21 2015



Since the end of this summer we have been itching to grow our team so we can continue to support all ends of Baum-kuchen. Between Nerine and I... we have been shipping our packages to so many wonderful and loving customers and hosting many in-store guests.

I kept asking... "Can we get through the holiday seasons between two of us?" I knew I could pull many hours in the studio (you get trained to do some impossible things when you go through a competitive design school...) but it started to make sense to seek for a support from an additional team member.

I am cautious to grow and I think I wIll always be. Because I want to make sure that Baum-kuchen is a sustainable business that does not have to push hard to sell. I don't want to sell things for the sake of selling just so that I can make the ends meed. I want to share inspiration because I truly feel inspired. Carrying artifacts we love and believe and being able to share with our amazing community...

Last month we slowly started to share the thoughts of looking for a new team member with our close friends. Just asking... if any of our friends might know someone who might be a fit... who might understand our Baum-kuchen karma. And I kept saying to myself and everyone..., the right person will come across our path without us forcing it to happen. I understand that it's incredibly naive to run a business this way... but the entire Baum-kuchen has been built on the beauty of believing. Being naive to the most positive and constructive way.

Fast forward few weeks... I was having lunch with our friend Eunice. By the end of our lunch, what we ended up having was not only yummy food from Habitat Cafe but also the possibility of working together at Baum-kuchen.

I am sure everyone knows of her from her beautifully curated Instagram account @thedailyroe. We were so lucky to have hosted the Baum-kuchen Inspiration Lab with her in the past.

I must admit... incredibly coordinated stars aligned beautifully for us.

Eunice will partnering with us to lead the Baum-kuchen Love for Analogue which is a HUGE core of what we believe as a brand. I seriously can't wait to explore the concept of "Love for Analogue" with her to the max! She will also be supporting Nerine who is putting a lot of TLC to Baum-kuchen karma everyday.

I will be sharing the very first project we worked on yesterday in our studio. Please stay tuned for more Love for Analogue to fill your blog and IG feed:) We will definitely be sharing!

Now let's thrive and enjoy the entire life through holidays:)

xoxo
-wakako

Traveling to Yakushima (and shop schedule update for next 3 weeks)! April 15 2015

For next 3 weeks, we will be making our annual visit to the island of Yakushima in Japan. (You can browse our experience from past trips from this link:)  This is our 4th time going back to this very special place in our life and we can't be more thrilled. Okay... honestly I am very excited but also slightly freaked out at the same time... from the idea of getting ready for the trip, leaving the shop/studio for that long and from all the other things that come with travel. But Frido has been incredible in taking the lead in getting the family ready... and I am trying to focus on wrapping up few things here in the studio before we take off.
 
The great news is... that our amazing Nerine will be in the studio on Mon/Wed/Friday opening the shop (between 10am-1pm on most of the days) and fulfilling online orders in a timely manner. You can always check the updated shop calendar here. So just like everything else in life... Baum-kuchen will be okay without me being here for 24/7... 
 
On this trip, Frido's parents are flying in from Germany to meet us on the island. It will be such a treat to experience a place that is so close to my heart with them and for Satchi and Coco to spend quality time with all of us together. I have a few creative projects I want to work on while I am away... and Frido will be finishing up the Yakusugi projects (Yakusugi is 1000+ year old cedar unique to this island...) which he started last year. We will most likely have a descent internet connection even though it's a remote island so I am looking forward to sharing my travel experience here on our blog as it unfolds. 
 
Please know my email correspondence will be bit slower than usual since I will only be checking in with internet once/day or every other day (and who knows what might be our jet lag condition with kids for a few days...) so please expect slight delay in our correspondence starting this weekend. 
 
xoxo
-wakako

Bits and pieces from the Inspiration Lab with Eunice Roe (4/5/15) April 07 2015

I am so thrilled to share that we had wonderful time gathering at Baum-kuchen studio/shop to host the very very first Inspiration Lab with Eunice Roe (@thedailyroe on Instagram). 

I have admired her journaling style, her aesthetics and sensitivity to details for so long... so to be able to soak up the inspiration from Eunice, her story as well as journaling techniques along with other workshop guests who also loved journaling as much... was definitely beyond what I could have ever asked for. 

**click the title to read more! 

Getting ready for Inspiration Lab with Eunice (@thedailyroe) March 24 2015

 

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. 

**click the title to read more!

 

The power of collaboration / seeing things differently March 24 2015

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!
xoxo
-w
**click the title to see more images! 

Bringing artifacts to life! February 09 2015

 

 You know we received some new Superior Labor bags last week... I took a lot of pictures in the studio but it was just lucking the last bit of life the bags totally deserved so I asked Frido to come in the studio on Friday to take pictures with some of the bags. Here are some of my favorites. I was absolutely totally awkward in some of the photos that are forever going to stay only on my laptop. I am much happier just hugging the bags (above picture) than pretending to walk with the bag. Some day... I hope we could bring professional models to be in these photo shoot but for now... we do what we can to make things happen.

**click the title to see more pics!

Sharing what we believe with the world... February 04 2015

 

As I was taking the pictures of their beautiful bags, I was reminded how incredibly lucky I am to be able to share artifacts we believe in. The way the materials for the bags are sourced from all over Japan, the way the bags are made one at a time by hands in a rural part of Okayama prefecture, how they continue to find joy in creating and making... I truly aspire their brand.


Some bags that were stocked today already found new homes within an hour of us posting the product on our website... (thanks to our amazing community on Facebook and Instagram...). Here is the list of items we updated if you are interested in browsing through!

Shoulder Bag: 
Khaki canvas with navy paint
Khaki canvas with orange paint (sold out)

Tote Bag:
Khaki canvas with yellow paint
Khaki canvas with blue grey paint
Khaki canvas with white paint
Beige canvas with red paint
Natural canvas with blue grey paint
Natural canvas with orange paint

Tote Bag LIMITED EDITION with leather bottom (with 3 stencil options)

It's so hard to pin point my favorite from newly added items... Frido loves khaki shoulder bag with orange or navy paint. I think khaki tote bag with white paint got such an awesome vibe while being versatile... and the tote bag with leather bottom!!!

Which one is your favorite??

**click the title for more images!

Behind our Baum-kuchen love letter January 28 2015

Recently I shared how we have been evolving our packaging ideas for Baum-kuchen. I am asking a lot of same questions about everything we do... including our BK love letter. (You can subscribe through here if you are interested). I feel that the BK love letter in the format of email newsletter allows us to share a singular theme in a creative way compared to our other media such as blog, Facebook page and Instagram. And it's so important to me that each BK love letter is thought out because it is destined to add one more incoming email to our friend's inbox... and I don't want to clutter inbox with contents that are less than meaningful. 
**read more by clicking the title

Growing inside and outside January 13 2015

 

I never knew receiving a branded sticker can be so exciting! That's what happened today in the studio:) 

One of (many) things I promised myself to accomplish in 2015 is to continuously evolve how we fulfill package to bring extra delight to our customers when Baum-kuchen package arrives and opened. Not an over night make over design solution but a slow gradual transition to better, much better to a great package. With a healthy dose of try and error and a natural selection of design as a part of process:)

**click the link to read more!

Story behind "The Journey is the destination" sticker November 18 2014

 

If you have recently placed an order with Baum-kuchen, you have received this "the journey is the destination" sticker in the package! The making of this sticker started from the conversation Frido and I had about wanting to share our gratitude during the holiday seasons to our customers. Just like anything we do, process is an inspiration of why we do it so I thought I would share how it was designed and made!

**click the title to read more!

Pack my life in the Superior Labor Shoulder Bag! November 12 2014

 

As I was preparing to place a new order with The Superior Labor few nights ago (stayed way too late past midnight because I am totally obsessed about them), I couldn't contain myself about how much I love them. So here is the result of my love obsessed quick photo shoot from this morning in the studio. Seriously... they are so amazing and I can't get enough of them.


I also love some of the fall/winter appropriate colors like light khaki, navy and black paint. I carry mine few times a week when I head out to the studio. My entire life fits in this bag as I commute and I love how much conversations this bag triggers from simply carrying it over my shoulder. Male, female, young and elder... all seem to be intrigued by the bag.

Just thought I would share:)

xoxo
-wakako

**see more pics by clicking the title!

Hello holidays... November 04 2014



Hello November... and we are starting to feel the holiday air at our shop. November and December have been historically difficult for us as a family... to find the equilibrium between shop and home. All the holiday gatherings alone can be really unpredictable and overwhelming for little ones. On top of that add bunch of long days when I am not as present as usual at the dinner table. Part of it is a reality. We run a small online retail and we do get busy during these two months.

**read more by clicking the title

Shop update: shipping rate, schedule, opening hours and BIG THANK YOU! October 15 2014

 

I am pretty thrilled to let you know that we finally have a humble presence on the building where Baum-kuchen resides thanks to Frido! It has been a whole year since we opened the shop in this space and we can't wait to see what is ahead of us.

As we believe in transparency and open communication about how we work inside of the Baum-kuchen, I would love to take a moment to share few updates with you.

 

**read more by clicking the title

Baum-kuchen brick and mortar shop / REFRESH! September 28 2014

 

We have been wanting to update the shop layout at our Glassell Park brick and mortar and I am so thrilled that we finally found some time to tackle the project on Friday!

I started with taking literally everything off the shelf on Friday morning... It's the best way to make sure that it is actually a "change" instead of a small update. 
First I relocated my work corner from the side of the entrance door to the little nook which is adjacent to our back room. It made more sense since I am constantly going back and fourth between these two spaces and my desk has been looking pretty messy lately. I now work standing (have you read benefit of standing desk??) on my vintage Japanese Tansu if I have to be on my laptop or on my work bench. I love that it's all tacked in one corner. 

 

**click the title to read more! 

Inspiration for future travel [The Superior Labor Backpacker] August 15 2014

 

Palm Springs has such a cool mixed vibe of design, dry desert and pop of colors... We took our brand new Superior Labor Backpacker to test it out in the hot air!

We are already so head over heels for their Engineer Shoulder Bag with its design, craftsmanship and quality... and definitely saying YES to carrying this unique Backpacker everywhere we go with our future adventures because it is totally growing on us.

**click the title to see more pictures! 

Because options for Traveler's Notebook are awesome! August 13 2014

 

Since we opened our brick and mortar shop, I have witnessed many great moments... when our customers make the big decision to determine how they would customize their Traveler's Notebook picking the perfect combination of refills and accessories. I am so fascinated by watching the process because it's so personal...

When we put our head together with Diana and Wes of 1.61 Soft Goods to come up with Baum-kuchen original leather inserts, we were hoping for making the notebook even more functional while keeping the tactile experience to be just as amazing as the Traveler's Notebook leather cover itself.
I am excited to share [Essential], [Pocket] and [Portfolio] leather inserts to customize the Passport Size Traveler's Notebook so that your Traveler's Notebook can be perfectly suited for you and your life!

#packgoodkarma from Baum-kuchen August 03 2014

 

Ever since I have started growing our team in the studio, I made a switch to more streamlined fulfillment process and am always looking for ways to reduce our errors when we fulfill and ship each package.  

 
It all has been great in efficiency but I have been missing the "little extra touch" I felt that I put in when I personally wrote every single shipping address. But no productive solution comes out by missing things in the past, right? So instead... I created the "next" version of our fulfillment process.  
**read more by clicking the title!

Little changes... making BK better everyday. July 20 2014

We had a very productive week after Satchi and I came back from Michigan last weekend. I always get little bit overwhelmed by the rush of reality post travel... Does it happen to you?

On Monday I was preparing packages to fulfill for customers... and I must have been little bit disoriented from my travel. I made a classic mistake and placed an wrong item in one of my customer's envelope. (So sorry Eunice!!!) I found out that I made the mistake when my customer reached out to me on Wednesday with a picture of the item she received and "what should we do" question.

I shipped a new package with a correct item as soon as possible and shared a sincere apology with her. I am hoping that she would have her item in her hands... by now.

The mistake and feeling so terrible made me question "what can Baum-kuchen do to make less mistakes like this?". Especially now that we have both me and Nerine working behind the scene to prepare the packages... and I came across a great idea when I was reading SWITCH, which is all about making small and big changes.

One of the case studies they mentioned was to "create a checklist" to prevent avoidable simple mistakes... So simple... but so true. A checklist can bring awareness to our small actions. So I created a quick prototype of an invoice incorporating a set of checklists. It's a small change but I am hoping that a continuous changes and improvements like this will make Baum-kuchen a better place to interact for customers... and for us to work in.

Hello from our ever-evolving Baum-kuchen back room! June 25 2014

 

 

 

If you have ordered items from Baum-kuchen before... and recently placed a new order, you might have noticed a few changes. Yes... address labels are printed instead of hand written...  It is a minor change but symbolically a rather big change for Baum-kuchen.

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. 

**click the title to read more

What's new at Baum-kuchen! June 18 2014

 

We have a few new items lined up at the shop! Whenever we stock a brand new items, there is a whole set of process that I go through... writing a product description, a photo shoot, website updating... telling a story (aka my favorite part of the shop operation:)

A space is a reflection of our heart... (it's for us at our shop:) June 04 2014

I have been itching to change things up in the studio for a while... so I was thrilled to have a chance to just tackle the task on Friday!

The biggest change I made was to de-clutter the middle table. I was getting cluster-phobic when I approached the table before... Now it feels like a place of calmness. I love to use this tabletop space as a place to share some of our favorite artifacts in life thoughtfully mixed with a very few items that are actually for sale instead of just displaying merchandise. I know it's odd to use the biggest real estate of the shop for non-commercial purpose but it feels right to me. I am excited that I can use this space to reflect what we feel passionate about... like treasure from travel, our favorite publications, color palette, etc... Currently our table top exhibit is all about treasure from our Yakushima adventure mixing Japanese vintage stationery with found objects from the island's sea and land.

New VERY functional items for Traveler's Notebook! May 26 2014

Each year... MIDORI Traveler's Notebook seems to out-do themselves. Bringing more to the table. I love the newest update to their collection for their eagerness to listen closely to the community's wishes and needs and making it happen.

Adventure to Traveler's Factory in Tokyo! May 11 2014

On the last day of our Japan trip, we traveled from Kagoshima to Haneda airport and had about 6 hours to spend in Tokyo while we waited for our midnight flight back to LA... so we hopped on the train and headed out to Traveler's Factory!
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