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Introducing Cafe Analog x Beradadisini “KUUKI – This is Life”

At the beginning of 2024, I started listening to Tsundere Twintails while packing and preparing orders. Daniele liked their music as well, so it soon became our ritual. When we heard this music, it was time to process your orders, pack them, write notes, and prepare the shipping labels. It was lovely music to go through a dark and cold January—when all the New Year festivities had faded into the background. A song I particularly like is Meet Lime Cookie, and I sing it in my head all the time. It brings warmth and playfulness into my days—and I can’t help but smile listening to it playing on repeat.

Then, a word came to me: Kuuki. It sounds like “cookie”—sweet, warm, comforting, but also “kooky”—a bit strange and eccentric, and hints at a sense of confidence in being who you are, the courage to be silly, and not taking things or yourself too seriously. I stayed with this word for some time, and then, one weekend, I started drawing a girl character.

I want something simple, relatively minimal, with thick, pronounced lines that capture the sense of “Kuuki”. I drew several girls doing various daily activities for the past few weeks. Although they share the same lines and characteristics, they are different girls with different hairstyles. I felt a particular fondness for these “Kuuki” girls at the time, and I remember one day I wanted to know if “Kuuki” was a real word in some other languages.

I was surprised to find out that it was a word in Japanese! And when I read the meaning, everything started to make sense. Kuuki in Japanese means air, but it can also describe someone who doesn’t stand out. Air doesn’t stand out in itself, and you may not be aware of its presence every time, but you will feel its absence. I do feel like this is another embodiment of the Kuuki girl’s spirit. They are ordinary girls (and I believe there is a girl inside every woman!) who are content with themselves as they are, quietly loving life and being loved.

To me, Kuuki girls represent the beauty of being ordinary, embracing the mundane, accepting the ups and downs of every day, and going through daily life and routine in quiet joy. They represent living with a sense of playfulness and silliness, the ability to laugh at ourselves. They represent loving life’s imperfections and finding everything warm, sweet, and comforting in every passing moment.

So, I decided to bring Kuuki girls to the shop as little 2 x 3 cm stamps and collected 6 of my drawings for the first series, called “This is Life”. The idea is to have some stamps that capture the ups and downs of life but also look playful and give off a feeling of warmth.

These are the six stamps in the Kuuki: This is Life series:

1. Kuuki – Buying Bread represents the daily routine like grocery shopping—things we do to sustain ourselves, but also something that can bring us joy when we do it mindfully. Imagine buying bread while thinking, “Oooh, what kind of jam will I have with this? What kind of cheese? Can I make garlic bread? What if I make a sandwich? Can I make something nice for a friend, for my Mom, for my son?” and in the spirit of feeding ourselves (and our souls), we can turn our daily grocery time into something exciting. A chance to play, share our love (with ourselves and others), and find new favorite spreads or recipes!

2. Kuuki – My Tea Time represents a break from our busy days, carving a time to breathe, rest, and find comfort in things that warm our souls. Whether it’s a cup of tea, a slice of cake, a walk in the park, hugging our furry friend, or playing with your favorite stationery items, it’s a reminder to stop, pause, and slow down. Look at our planners and all those hours we mark for meetings, finishing deadlines, appointments… and now look at tomorrow’s schedule, and carve a few 15-20 minutes for yourself throughout your day and enjoy it fully, unapologetically.

3. Kuuki – Nurturing My Heart reminds us to care for ourselves and our hearts. It can be about taking the time to grieve a loss or rebuilding our world after a heartbreak, or it can be about trying to reparent ourselves when we have a challenging childhood or slowly building our confidence after facing a failure or rejection. It can be about giving ourselves the gift of being alone, leaving a place that no longer suits our values, being patient with all the pain and hardships of adulting, or being kind to ourselves throughout our emotional and spiritual growth.

4. Kuuki—Staying In represents those days when we feel like staying in bed all day, don’t want to do anything, or feel “meh” in general. Maybe we feel sad or stressed, burned out or overwhelmed, sad or disappointed. These are the days when you don’t want to leave your room, meet anyone, or wash the dishes. We all have these days, and it’s okay to take the time to feel all the feelings without being apologetic about it. You can think of it as a black cloud raining over you, and it will eventually stop, and the sky will eventually clear. It’s okay not to be OK all the time.

5. Kuuki—Health Check reminds us to take care of our physical health because this body is our vessel to enjoy life, to experience the things we love, and to love/care for others. It can be about going to that doctor’s appointment, tracking your vitamin and supplement intake, or it can be about getting back to your exercise mat, doing yoga, or walking around the block. It can be about choosing the food your body needs at a particular time. It’s about being kind to our body and nurturing it mindfully.

6. Kuuki—Wishlist represents our dreams, goals, and visions. It reminds us to keep asking ourselves, what do I want to do, what do I want to see, who do I want to spend time with, what are the things I want to experience, where do I want to go? It’s a reminder for us to keep dreaming of something, to find something to look forward to—no matter how small, and to expect something exciting to happen in the future. Isn’t that what can keep us going when things get difficult?

I hope you’ll enjoy this first Kuuki series—and I’m looking forward to creating other Kuuki girls in the coming months!

I am also thinking of making the next Kuuki series a semi-interactive project, where you can tell me which Kuuki-girls-are-doing-what you want me to draw and turn into stamps! I think that will be a fantastic collaboration between us! You can always email us or leave a comment on our Kuuki Instagram post to suggest the next pose for our Kuuki girls! 😀

Fun fact: Kuuki girls don’t have a mouth to represent their introverted nature and love of quiet times in general, but also to signal that they are great listeners—and interested in people. They may not be the chattiest person in the room who can throw joke after joke and be excellent at small talk, but when you need someone for a deep heart-to-heart conversation, you know that they are your go-to person!

Have fun with Kuuki girls, and I’ll be so happy if you enjoy these stamps as much as I enjoy making them!

love, H.

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