Mother Essentials: Karam Kim, Co-Founder of BlueCut

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If you like cooking, you should definitely know about today’s mama, Karam Kim. In 2014, together with her husband (Chachi Prasad), Karam launched BlueCut, a brand known for infusing elements of streetwear fashion into a beloved line of aprons, coats, and other culinary gear. Worn by food icons (from Nyesha Arrington to David Chang), as well as home chefs, one of Karam’s most recent creations was inspired by motherhood. The SJ Apron is a tribute to Karam’s mom (Soo Ja Choo) and draws upon a cherished tradition Karam practiced as a child in Seoul, Korea for parents day, in which children place handmade red paper carnations, a symbol of love and gratitude, on their parents’ chest. BlueCut will donate 20% of profits from the handcrafted, carnation-adorned SJ Aprons to The Abundance Setting, a non-profit that supports the advancement of working mothers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. A mother herself—to 5-year-old daughter Evan—the busy L.A.-based entrepreneur shares her current Mother Essentials below!

Korean Alphabet Flash Cards. “It is important for me to teach Korean to my daughter to instill an appreciation and understanding of her heritage. I’ve spoken Korean to Evan since she was born and she is able to understand it. I want to make sure she doesn’t forget the language as she starts kindergarten. These flash cards are a great way to remember key words and pronunciation.” Korean Alphabet Cards, $26, Amazon.

Noom. “The pandemic shifted all our schedules, both professional and personal. Noom helped me get back on track for my health and wellness goals. What I love most about Noom is that it’s not just an app for dieting but it educates you on ways to live a healthier lifestyle. My morning routine starts with reading Noom for 10 minutes before I go for a walk. I have changed most of my ‘pandemic habits’ and feel healthier!”

Shiseido Sunscreen. “I’ve been using Shiseido sunscreen since I moved from New York to California. When I fist moved here, it was hard to get accustomed to the direct strong sunlight. Applying sunscreen quickly became a part of my morning routine. I like the fact that the Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion Sunscreen doesn’t leave any white residue after application and it absorbs quickly.” Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen, $49, Nordstrom.

The Perfect Swimsuit. “I’ve been looking for a stylish bathing suit that makes me feel comfortable and confident and Boden’s Kefalonia swimsuit was the ‘it’ swimsuit for me. The contrast color on the crisscross and waist provides the perfect silhouette.” Kefalonia Swimsuit in Black Colourblock, $98, Boden.

BlueCut Apron. “We love cooking together as a family and aprons are essential for us to keep us clean. I like to wear our Lucca Linen Apron in Gray, which is light-weight and soft. Our daughter’s favorite color is purple, so she wears the Lucca Kids Apron in Grape, and my husband likes the Mason Apron in Olive that has a clasp in the back, which makes it easy to slip in and out of and throw in the washer.” Aprons, $38 to $90, BlueCut.

BlueCut Task Jacket. “Our task jacket is my everyday summer jacket. The piece is made with 100% Italian cotton and the bone color goes with most of my outfits and keeps me cool when I need some coverage from the scorching sun! You would never believe a workwear-inspired jacket could have so much versatility with attention to style and fit, but designing pieces for day-to-night use is truly the goal of our line.” Unisex Task Jacket, $165, BlueCut.

Sun Visor. “I take this sun visor with me every morning. It is easily packable in my handbag and a great way to prevent sun damage on my face. I love the quality and its simple design.” Pineapple&Star Sun Straw Visor, $32, Amazon.

Oat Milk Cappuccino from Ground Up Coffee. “I think most moms will relate to enjoying a good cup of coffee after drop-off. It’s my treat to myself to sit with a cup of coffee in a peaceful setting after I take Evan to school. I like to stop by Ground Up Coffee in Montebello, California before going to my office since they make the perfect iced cappuccino with oat milk. It is the only artisan coffee shop close to my office and I also love that I’m supporting a small business that cares about its community. The owners of Ground Up Coffee couldn’t find a great cup of coffee where they lived. All the artisan coffee shops were in trendy neighborhoods and they wanted to bring a high quality coffee to their neighborhood. Their story resonated with me—how they started from the Ground Up.” Ground Up Coffee, 871 N Garfield Ave, Montebello, CA 90640.

Weekly Planner. “I love writing down my schedule on a planner, as opposed to engaging my digital devices. I’ve used this type of planner over 10 years. The quality never disappoints and I love choosing a different cover every year. This year I love my planner in Key West Olive.” Desk Weekly Planner, $10.20 to $34, Gallery Leather.

Kumon. “I hesitated a little to enroll my daughter in Kumon since I wanted my child to enjoy being a kid without having the pressure to constantly feel she’s in a school setting. When she turned 4-years-old, I noticed she was curious to learn words and numbers, so I gave it try and it’s been great since she started. Kumon builds a great foundation for reading and math skills. She is ready to start kindergarten with confidence this fall.”

AirPods Pro. “My AirPods go everywhere with me, from morning walks to Zoom meetings. The sound is so clear and it’s simple to use.” Apple AirPods Pro, $199.99, Target.

Keen Moxie Sandals. “The Keen Moxie Sandal is a must-have every summer for my daughter. It’s comfortable like a sneaker yet it keeps the foot cool like a sandal. It’s perfect for my little one to wear all day at school. Her school requires a closed toe shoe and this meets all the requirements.” Moxie Sandal, $55, Zappos.

The Miracle Morning. “I always felt it was impossible to make time for myself between being an entrepreneur and a mother to a 5-year-old. This book opened up my eyes to the benefits of becoming a morning person. I now wake up at 5:30 a.m. and it has become the most peaceful and relaxing time of my day. I’m able to exercise regularly and do things I was not able to get to during the day. I would recommend listening to an audio book if you don’t have time to read through the pages. I enjoyed listening to the audio book during morning walks. My new morning routine helps me feel much more energetic, less stressed, and happier.” The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life—Before 8AM, by Hal Elrod, $17.96, Amazon.

One Shoulder Dress. “One of my favorite brands is COS and this one shoulder dress is as chic as it gets. It can be dressed up or down and I love the simplicity and the silhouette.” One Shoulder Dress, $99, COS.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with Material founder Eunice Byun, best-selling author Joanna Ho, Brave + Kind Bookshop owner Bunnie Hilliard, TV personality Leslie Antonoff, author Rio Cortez, Kido Chicago owner Keewa Nurullah, small-space mama Laura Fenton, Curasalve founder Kelley Williams, Trade Street Jam Co. founder Ashley Rouse, Weelicious and One Potato founder Catherine McCord, interior designer Susan Work, author Tiffany Dufu, Les Gamins founder Veronique Nguyen, Lonny editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, designers Anna WallackCynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana HaimOlympian Alysia Montano, cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, wellness influencerJoanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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