Live A Playful Life

Leafcutter Designs is a design studio, online shop, and production space. We seek to create a more playful and peaceful world by offering curious goods, surprising services, and unique promotional and custom products. We also develop and license original content to various partners, including book and gift publishers.

Most days in the studio, you’ll find Rose carefully making big batches of custom goods and Sonja talking to customers on the phone and shipping out orders. We work in a building that’s more than 100 years old and used to house the old corner grocery store for West Berkeley. The ceilings are eleven feet high and sunlight streams in all day long. We think of ourselves as makers, artists, designers, and yes, business folks too.

Creative people seem to like the curious goods we dream up. Since 2008, we’ve sent out more than 30,000 surprise Tiny Packages plus tons of other unique and original gifts like our Trade Tokens, Seed Money, and Punch Boxes. We support our families this way and you become the superstar gift giver you always knew you could be. Ready to make someone’s day?


We Admit It…

We don’t have the biggest selection. We don’t make things as cheaply as possible. We don’t use fancy algorithms to get you to purchase things you don’t really want. We never pay to advertise on other sites and we don’t let anyone pay to be on our site either. We don’t design apps or anything that requires batteries. In fact, we often just watch what Amazon does, and then we do the opposite!

Shopping at Leafcutter Designs is different. When you add gift wrapping to your order, we do it by hand with kraft paper, special baker’s twine, and a handwritten custom note. It looks good! If you email us with a question or problem, Sonja or Devin will personally reply to you and get everything sorted out. You can call us whenever you like. Our phone number is (510) 984-0487.

There are probably a million places to shop online. And yet, here you are! Each and every order you place with us is an honor for us to make, pack with care, and ship.


Why Does Leafcutter Designs Exist?

We started Leafcutter Designs in 2008 because we noticed people were starting to drift away from some of their deeper social connections. Prized activities like family game nights and long lunches with best friends were slowly being encroached upon by a million subtle, but persistent, interruptions.

Since then, text messages, so-called “social” networks, and a general sense of digital overwhelm have seeped into many corners of our lives. Are there benefits? Sure. But there are costs too, and if we ignore them for too long, we just might forget what it was like to be wholly present with ourselves and people we love.

So we make and sell lots of playful things that encourage you to spend high quality time (i.e., offline time) with the most important people in your life. Go for a hike. Cook something new. Plant some herbs. Sit and knit together.

What do you say?

Will you make a point to unplug every once in a while and be 100% present wherever you are?