Studio / Shop

While we will be away traveling... April 12 2014

We are getting ready for a big adventure in Japan. We are leaving after next Friday... for three whole weeks!!!

Prior to this trip... when we traveled (and were not available during Coco's birth), we never doubted closing our shop during our absence. But now... that we are slowly growing, we wanted to do things differently during this trip and have a good support system to continue opening our online store.

I am thrilled to share that "the" support system we will have is our lovely friend Christine (who designs and makes pretty leather clutches, etc.). Christine and I have been working together for last few weeks to pass on the Baum-kuchen order fulfillment flow and it has been a pretty exciting process for me.

**click the title to read more! 

Future collaboration with 1.61 Soft Goods! March 08 2014

There are some interesting collaboration on the horizon for Baum-kuchen! One of them is 1.61 Soft Goods x Baum-kuchen collection. Frido and I had our very first meeting last week with Diana and Wes of 1.61 and it was a very productive one! I love it when we can speak the same language:) We will be featuring some of their Baum-kuchen exclusive items soon at our shop... They will be VERY functional and I know some of the items we will be carrying will be very useful for Traveler's Notebook lovers (including ourselves). Stay tuned for more updates!

k(not) leather clutch by clau... adding a new color to the shop! February 14 2014

Visual story telling has been one of my "thing" in life for last 15 years. Whether it's for trend research, family album or Baum-kuchen related... I love story... and I love telling it through visual connections.
This morning I got on the floor of studio/shop and did some photo taking of the new k(not) leather clutch Christine has designed. With my compact sony camera, natural morning light and exposed concrete floor... I could have gone for hours taking photos. 
**click the title to read more and see additional photos! 

A little glimpse of our studio/shop February 08 2014

Between fulfilling orders and helping in-store customers... I had little downtime today so I snapped a few photos from our studio/shop. I made small changes in the space... especially loving some of the vintage artifacts Frido recently found at a local estate sale.  So here is a post. A part documentation for ourselves, a part visual story to share from our shop...

**click the tile to see more photos! 

Pardon our growing family and business... February 08 2014

Some of you might have noticed that we sometimes make urgent announcements on our Facebook page that we are closing our studio/shop space in last minute. Also some of you might have caught my recent update on our Facebook that we will be shifting some of our opening days starting March... People sometimes give me surprise looks when they hear our opening hours (it seems random and very short to...

The Superior Labor Engineer Pouch! (coming soon;) February 07 2014


Aside from their amazingly utilitarian Engineer Bag, I am excited to share that we are also stocking The Superior Labor Engineer Pouch at our shop! I use the one with orange paint to organize little things in my Engineer Bag
Okay... confession.
I actually got this pouch for Frido to use as a toiletry bag but took it away from his bathroom cabinet because I wanted to use it. It's that good:) 
They are also expected to arrive in late Marcy to April with an option of red, orange, black, white and sky blue, grey and yellow paint
So please stay tuned! 
*please click the title for more photos! 

The Superior Labor... more photos (because we love them:) January 27 2014

I had a chance to take few more photos of The Superior Labor shoulder bag (aka. Engineer Bag) so I figured I would share! Yes:) We are still taking PRE-ORDER here! click the title to see more pics.

more making... January 25 2014

We are making some changes here in our Baum-kuchen studio/shop as we slowly move forward through January. One thing we wanted to experiment was to create more making space within our studio space... contrary to having a lot of "display" space like a regular shop. It took some big furniture moving (takes a while with one person doing it...) but I am happy how our small nook became a little cozy corner where our vintage maple work bench comfortably fits. The nook gets so much natural light with a big window and is a lovely place to sit and work with hands.

If you walk in our shop, you might catch me sitting there... working:)X

Taking PRE-ORDER for Superior Labor shoulder bag January 14 2014

I have a very exciting news to share tonight! Baum-kuchen will be officially sharing some of the items from Superior Labor, a Japanese lifestyle brand in Japan. I totally absolutely fell in love with their Engineer Bag, a canvas/leather shoulder bag ever since I visited Japan in the summer of 2012 and have been using my shoulder bag. I've used it for travel, for an everyday outing with the girls... and lately as my must have bag that travels between our home and our shop.

The bag is so versatile and doable... The more I use it, the more I have become to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into making each bag...

Ever since I starting using the bag to commute to our studio/shop, some of our in-store customers spotted my bag hanging on the side of my desk and really wanted to get their own... in a very passionate head over heels way. So I pulled my heart together and asked Superior Labor if we could be one of the lucky stores in the U.S. to share their bags.

And they said yes:)

I will be placing our first order soon. Before I do that, I wanted to offer if anyone would like to pre-order the bag. Since they are big items, I will be carrying a small quantity and a limited variety in colors... so if you would like to make sure that you get yours in the colors you would like, please let me know in next few days!

(send me an email to:

Above is a video which Superior Labor recently put together to share the process of their bag making... and below is a handful collection of photos I have taken in last 1.5 years with my bag. I thought it might give you a picture of how the bag feels like!

24 hours in San Francisco December 22 2013

XI can't believe it only has been a week since I was in San Francisco to attend Remodelista holiday market. It was a bit of crazy gig I pulled out of my pocket... I left Friday late afternoon with two overweight suitcases full of Baum-kuchen goodies (these two suitcases weighted more than me!!), crushed at my sister Yuko's apartment, woke up to do an all day pop-up at Heath Ceramics in San Francisco (one of the busiest market I have ever taken a part of!!), celebrated the day with Yuko over beer and Yakitori after the show was over..., then flew back to LA arriving home at 1am on Sunday...


click the title to read more! 

A (quick) report from Remodelista Holiday Market in LA. December 22 2013

We had a lot of fun at Remodelista Holiday Market in Los Angeles last week. It was hosted at Big Daddy's Antiques which was an amazing warehouse for all things vintage and beautiful. The scale of things they had! For the event, I decided to pack most everything in our vintage trunk and suitcases so our "under the table" looked as pretty as "above the table". I think we fit in the space pretty well:)
Tonight I will be flying to SF to attend one more Remodelista Holiday Market in San Francisco. This will be my first night away from my two girls... so of course I am having little butterflies in my stomach. 
My word for this week has been diligence and it will continue to be this weekend. I am planning to push through and fly through the weekend with whatever butterflies I have in my stomach:) When I see my girls next time, I will be one year older and hopefully much wiser! 
I hope you have a lovely weekend! I will be posting my San Francisco adventure on our Instagram so stay tuned:) 

photo courtesy of Remodelista. Photograph by Marcia Prentice.

Inspiration Lab 001: The Art of Gift Giving November 26 2013


I still remember the day when we posted our very first workshop on our website. Even though we had years of teaching experiences as well as hosting design related workshop..., creating and executing the Baum-kuchen original event was really new to me. I felt pretty nervous.... probably more nervous than the time when I signed our lease for our studio/shop. That day, I prepared myself to write a blog post about "what to learn from failing..." on November 24th in case we would not get enough attendees.

Fast forward 1.5 month..., I am happy to report that we did fill up the space for the workshop... and had tons of fun. A lot of work went in to make the afternoon as special as we could for our guests and I loved the creative challenges we encountered along the way. I guess we keep trying new things to keep ourselves "uncomfortable" so we can evolve and grow...


**click the title to read more!

Getting ready for our very first Inspiration Lab! November 23 2013

I can't believe it will be tomorrow! Our very first Inspiration Lab on "the Art of Gift Giving". It has been TON of fun getting ready for the day... including brainstorming and creating the contents for discussion, styling the space... and of course little goodies to share with our lovely guests. Today I spent most of the day in our studio working diligently... tidying up all the loose ends. I still have bit more to do tomorrow morning... mainly organizing the overall space in our studio and styling the table top (fun part!!!) and hunting for white paper cups for coffee (surprisingly had to find!! crazy, right?)

This feels very much like a milestone to me because I have told Frido million times that he and I should create a special workshop together... combining our design and teaching expertise. I also once thought I might want to become an event stylist... Of course I chose the path of Baum-kuchen instead of pursuing event styling... but I always loved making a scene and vignette special with a touch of design. It feels that this opportunity is bringing a lot of things I have dreamt of doing/being together in one place.

I am so thankful for our lovely workshop participants who have decided to invest their time and resources to be with us tomorrow.Thank you Jessie, Sara (and Jack), Christine, Brigitte, Minh, Erin, Deb, Tamara Georgia and Gloria!!! I can't wait to spend the afternoon with you.

Also very very special thank you to Susan of The (other) Kennedy Compound and Christine of clau for providing amazing goodies to share with our guests.

I am looking forward to sharing more about the event and all the details tomorrow (or Monday:)!!!


**click title for more pics! 

Baum-kuchen will be at Remodelista Holiday Market! November 20 2013

Flowers...? November 12 2013


Last week we visited a local farmer's market and came home with a bouquet of flowers. I talked to the flower lady and asked where she got her flowers from... hoping that they had come from a local gardens. Surprisingly... they came mostly from a flower market in downtown LA. It wasn't bad... but I was so wishing for a story that is little more... authentic.
I brought some of the flowers from the bouquet to the shop and am totally loving how much it brighten up the space! So now I am on mission to grow our own flowers. We do have (almost) 365 days of sunshine here in LA, right? Maybe there will be enough bloom to share at our studio/shop! Now that's local:) 

Inspiration Lab 001: The Art of Gift Giving (Nov. 24th) November 11 2013

In another two weeks, we will be hosting our very first Baum-kuchen workshop on the topic of "the Art of gift giving". We feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to share our thoughts on this subject matter... since curating and creating a memorable experience that comes from giving and receiving a gift has been a big part of our frequent conversation!

Perhaps it comes from my upbringing in Japan where people apologize for giving gift as a part of the cultural code... but Frido and I take the responsibility of giving gift pretty seriously. For one thing... we really prefer not to clutter our loved one's home with a random "stuff" because we are so careful not to add anything that is not "right" to our house.

Also as a designer... it's an ultimate project to create an experience that brings smile to people we love. It's tangible, personal... and so rewarding.  Over last few years... we scored high on some gifts and miserably failed on others... and through those experiences, we are starting to get a sense of what works and why. During the workshop, we will be sharing some of our insights to curate unique gifts, generate new ideas for upcoming gift giving seasons, and create a signature gift experience.

Now that the workshop is around the corner, we are finalizing our agenda, putting together a collection of very special gifts to our participants and figuring out the details! 

There are still few spots left in the workshop so if are curious and interested in the topic, join us! We will make sure to bring a thoughtful afternoon in the very Baum-kuchen way!

Registration: $38
You can sign up for the workshop here!

A happy place November 03 2013

I am so beyond words with gratefulness for all the support you have shared throughout the week. All the encouragement we received via emails, comments, and hugs mean so much to us... THANK YOU!!

We are definitely moving forward... with newly generated ideas and more refined thoughts about where we want to take our Baum-kuchen to. The words we keep reminding ourselves are: integrity in what we do, thoughtfulness in the way we grow and meaning in what we share... 
I am also so happy that we are starting to have lovely visitors to our studio/shop. Meeting online customers in person..., being able to help friends to customize their Traveler's Notebook, chatting about our awesome Glassell Park neighborhood... Our studio/shop is starting to feel like extension of our home. This is my happy place... where I feel centered and calm. 
Now I just need to get this little cold out of my system and we're ready to go for November! 

Baum-kuchen opening party October 15 2013

I am glad to share that we had a fantastic studio / shop opening party on Saturday! A week leading up to the event was pretty "full". My friend Susan was staying with us for a week to help us with EVERYTHING from filling our belly with her delicious cooking, playing with our girls, packaging some of the products... to giving me critical feedback on the styling of the space. And having a friend nearby for the busy week kept me sane. I kept telling myself that the most important thing is that we all have fun:)

**click the title to read more! 

Baum-kuchen studio/shop opening party! October 02 2013

The first round of snapshots from our Studio/Shop September 22 2013

It has been two weeks since we moved into our studio/shop in Glassell Park and I am starting to feel pretty settled and cozy in the space:) I would love to do a proper introduction of each corner in the near future...; meanwhile, I thought I would share an aggregated collection of Instagram pics from our studio/shop!

** click the title to see more pics!

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