Kayu is a California based label founded by Jamie Lim. Jamie grew up in South East Asia surrounded by artisanal crafts. However, over the years she noticed that these traditional arts were slowly disappearing. Kayu was born out of a desire to preserve and cultivate these traditional techniques and also support the artisans.
Jamie has traveled all over Asia, from the villages of Vietnam to the mountains of Chiang Mai. She has made custom batiks in Bali and studied wood carving in the Philippines. She seeks to keep the essence of the artisan but mixes techniques and colors to come up with new and unexpected products.
“Each Kayu product takes many hours to produce. Take for example a wood and straw clutch. First the wood is carved to the exact specifications, soaked in water and then dried in a kiln. The wood is then sanded and polished until it is smooth. Meanwhile straw is being woven by hand to be eventually placed on the wood mold. The process can take more than three weeks to complete.”
Kayu has been seen in the pages of such magazines as Vogue, InStyle, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Real Simple.
You can find Kayu nationwide in top department stores and specialty boutiques including Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, and Calypso St. Barth as well as retailers throughout Latin America, Europe and Asia.
A percentage of each sale is donated towards educational and health initiatives.