Baum-kuchen: A Quick studio visit

19 Feb

I had been wanting to visit the Baum-kuchen studio since I heard about the shop from my friend Mary. She told me all about the Traveler’s Notebook, which she has in black. I really liked the concept of the TN and decided I needed a dark brown one. It arrived very quickly, and it was so nicely wrapped. I started following Wakako’s updates from Baum-kuchen and really enjoyed seeing how she and others use their Traveler’s Notebooks in their daily lives. In fact, after reading several posts (and after talking to Wakako… more on that in a moment!), I understood that the Traveler’s Notebook is one of the main reasons Wakako wanted to open Baum-kuchen. I love that she wanted to share this notebook, which has so many possibilities, with others.

As it turns out, after I heard about the TN and Baum-kuchen, we learned we were moving to Southern California. I had been in touch with Wakako and told her that I really wanted to come visit her studio soon. Well, six months later, I went (last weekend)! It was so nice to finally meet her and to visit the studio I’d read so much about already.

IMG_3288When I arrived at the studio, I introduced myself to Wakako, who immediately started showing me around. She asked to see my Traveler’s Notebook, so I pulled it out and showed her how I had it set up and how I typically use it. I also explained that I would like to use it more than I do and that I just wasn’t sure I had it set up in a way that was working for me. She asked me a few questions and told me about some of the new items in the shop.

After looking around for a while, I decided to add a few things to my TN and remove a couple of items as well. I think I finally have it set up in a way that will work for me on a daily basis. I have been using it daily ever since!

I already had the 014 Kraft Note and the 003 Blank Notebook, but I knew I wanted a third notebook, preferably with lines. Wakako showed me the 002 Grid Notebook and the 001 Line. I really liked that the 001 Line has college rule lines, instead of wide rule, so I went with that.

DSC_5583As you can see, the notebooks are not very thick, so it allows you to put several together in the same Traveler’s Notebook.

DSC_5568I also really liked the idea of having a leather insert inside my TN, since I knew I’d be more inclined to carry it if I could throw in some of my credit cards, cash and ID as well. So, I picked up the [Essential] Leather Zipper Case/Card Holder, designed and made by 1.61 Soft Goods in collaboration with Baum-kuchen. The card slots hold up to 4 cards (maybe you could put 5, but I haven’t tried) each. I use the zipper side for change and any loose objects or extra cards I don’t want to lose.

DSC_5575It’s perfect to grab my TN and my keys if I just need to run some errands and want to have all of my most necessary items with me, without having to carry a bag. I like the soft leather, and of course, the smell of great leather is amazing.

I also splurged and picked up a beautiful Dimension Leather Pouch / TN size in dark brown. It was also made by 1.61 Soft Goods in downtown L.A. and made to fit the Traveler’s Notebook. There is a Traveler’s Passport size, too, in case you prefer the smaller notebooks.


DSC_5564I was so excited when Wakako pulled out the other Dimension Leather Pouches so that I could see the character and look of the leather of each one. She’s right. They each have a bit of a different look. I love that about handmade goods–no two are the same! I can’t wait to see the look of the leather as it wears over the years. That’s the beauty of items like these. They change with you and become more beautiful over time with wear.

It was so nice of Wakako to take the time to show me the studio and to help me set up my Traveler’s Notebook in a way that works for me. I could really feel her pride in her studio and business. It is such a special thing for me to meet and talk to other small business owners. I think it’s because I have my own business and I know the time and sweat that it takes to run it. I could feel Wakako’s passion for her studio and the beautiful items she carries that are cherished by her customers for years. I’m already looking forward to my next visit. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a lovely phrase that Wakako and her family share and that really resonates with me: “The journey is the destination.”


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8 responses to “Baum-kuchen: A Quick studio visit

  1. Mary

    March 1, 2015 at 4:30 am

    Absolutely adore this. So glad you got to go visit her & her shop! Looks like I’m going to need to place an order soon… 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    • mypersonalcoffeebreak

      March 1, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Ah! It was so fun to get to see the studio in person and meet her. You would love it! Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to pick up for you the next time I go, friend. 🙂 xo

  2. Kaori

    February 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks for your reply! After seeing your comment, I am more inclined to purchase it from Wakako. BTW, I love the way your travelers notebook looks. I also have the leather charm I bought from Wakako (Journey is the destination). I have had my travelers notebook for a little over 6 months now, and I get excited every time i see a new scratch mark! Look forward to more updates on your blog! Have a nice day 🙂

    • mypersonalcoffeebreak

      February 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Yes! You should go for it and give yourself this treat. And thank you! I love how my TN looks now, too. I really like how it’s set up, and it definitely took a couple of different set-ups for me to figure out what worked for my lifestyle. I’m starting to learn that that’s the case for most people. Love the “Journey is the destination” charm. That may just be my next one! Ahh, the scratches–such beauty and personality. 🙂 Have a nice day, too!

  3. Kaori

    February 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I am also a big fan of Travelers Notebook and Wakako’s store (although i have never visited in person — i am an east coaster). How does it feel putting loose coins inside your travelers notebook? For now I am keeping my wallet and travelers notebook separate, but if it is not too cumbersome, i would love to combine the two! Your travelers notebooks looks great with the dimensionless pouch! considering to get one of those pouches myself… thanks!!

    • mypersonalcoffeebreak

      February 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you, Kaori! I was living in the Midwest when I found out about the shop, so I was really excited to learn that they were here in L.A. when we decided to move. The loose coins have not caused any problems for me yet. The zipper is essential, though. Everything stays pretty flat, and the pouch itself is really great quality. I definitely recommend it! Check out what Baum-kuchen has, because I think there are a couple of options (and colors) for the pouch. Hope this helps! 🙂

  4. liscw

    February 19, 2015 at 11:24 am

    These leather goods look fabulous! Great finds! ❤

    • mypersonalcoffeebreak

      February 19, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Thanks, girl! I love handmade goods (especially leather!) and love that I can have beautiful pieces like these and support a small business that I admire. 🙂


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