Inspiring Little Citizens: Thank you for your support!

Thank you for supporting our Inspiring Little Citizens finalists. Together we donated over $37,000 to five amazing kids!

From painting and delivering 150 pictures to a local nursing home, to collecting pop tabs to help support the medical programs provided to families by the Ronald McDonald House, these kiddos are changing lives for the better. And thanks to the Tea community (all of you), they each now have $7,451.65 to make an even bigger difference.

Click their photos to read more about Cash, Lilyanne, Savannah, Bridger and Lillian and the good they’re doing in their communities. We can’t wait to see what they do next with their donations!

 

 

 

 

 

Keep tagging #InspiringKids2017 on Instagram & Facebook…we want to celebrate every act of kindness from all little citizens!

TEA’S 2017 BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY

Tea Back to School Giveaway

It’s that time of year…Summer is winding down, and kids across the country are starting to file into their new classrooms. To help you prepare for another exciting back to school season, we’ve teamed up with a few of our favorite back to school partners to put together the ultimate back-to-school prize pack.

We have over $1,000 worth of goodies up for grabs! Here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside for your little citizens:

PUBLIC Bikes

A Mini or Sprout Bicycle from PUBLIC (Up to $249 total value)

Send them cruising back to school in style with a cool new set of wheels! PUBLIC is a design-oriented city bicycle and gear company based in San Francisco. Featured in Vogue, Dwell, Wired, Vanity Fair and more, PUBLIC’s bikes are designed for all sizes and ages.

May Designs

$200 worth of May Designs notebooks + stationery 

They’ll be at the top of the class with these noteworthy notebooks. Perfect for jotting, doodling and sketching, May Designs’ custom notebooks and stationery have been featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, Real Simple, and were named as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things!

Clif Kids

On-the-go adventure essentials from CLIF Kid

CLIF Kid® knows it’s hard to get kids to eat the right snacks. But you can feel good knowing that all CLIF Kid recipes come in kid-friendly flavors—made from nutritious and organic ingredients—to keep them going, growing and exploring. Perfect for adventures big and small, this kid-friendly assortment includes a CLIF Kid Zbar Filled, a pair of sunnies, a water bottle, band-aids and stickers.

Yumbox

A delicious snack pack from Yumbox

Pack them up with a variety of healthy foods for school, work, daycare or sports. With sizes to fit any appetite, there’s a Yumbox leak-proof bento lunchbox for everyone in the family. Our lucky winner will take home two Yumbox Originals, two Yumbox MiniSnacks, and two cooler bags ($126 total value)!

Tea Back to School Giveaway

$300 Gift Certificate to Tea Collection

At Tea, we create globally inspired styles for little citizens of the world. And this back-to-school season, we’re visiting the charming country of Scotland. With so many great prints and patterns, there’s a lot to love about our back-to-school collection and you could score a whole new wardrobe!

All of these amazing back-to-school essentials will go to one lucky winner. It could be you!
Enter here for a chance to win!

The winner will be notified via email by September 29, 2017.

GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART PARTNERSHIP: Student Collaboration

The Tea boy and girl are bold, spirited, and completely unique…and everything they do—from the activities they take part in, to the clothes they wear—is a form of self expression. Here at Tea we encourage creativity from an early age, and our back-to-school collection celebrates it with unique patterns and designs inspired by Scottish arts of all kinds.

It makes sense then that when our designers traveled through Glasgow, they made a point to stop by the prestigious Glasgow School of Art. There they saw first-hand the works of the famous artists who once studied there, and had the amazing opportunity of meeting some of the young visionaries who are driving the artistic movement there today. After touring the campus and visiting with the students at their studios, our team was so impressed that they wanted to create a contest to feature and market the students’ talents. So they had them create a very small collection of prints and graphics to be featured on a few of our new back-to-school styles for fall.

They were blown away by all of the amazing work they saw from these emerging fashionistas, and ultimately chose the talented Claudia Veneroni for this very special collaboration.

Claudia Veneroni

Meet Claudia Veneroni—the artist behind the beautiful designs featured on our newest, one-of-a-kind Claudia Graphic Tee for girl, and our cool, vibrant School of Art Graphic Tee for boy. See why we instantly fell in love with her work.

When did you first fall in love with art?
I first fell in love with art as a little girl. I was always wanting to draw and design princess dresses. I think that was my initial starting point when I began to love it—I just always liked to draw and be creative. I remember drawing a whole mural on my bedroom wall when I was about 7 or 8—it was a whole mermaid scene, my mum wasn’t even annoyed she just found it funny because she actually thought it was a good drawing! Although she then had to repaint my whole room, so not sure how funny that was!

At what point did you decide to pursue art as a career?
Art was always my best subject in school and it was the only subject I really tended to concentrate all my energy on. I would spend every waking moment I could in the art department—it was just an amazing, creative atmosphere and I really loved my time there. I also had a really inspiring art teacher who was really supportive. He told me that I would definitely get into to art school and he believed I could do it—I think hearing that at 14 really encouraged me to go for it and work really hard.

Now you’re 21 and living that dream at GSA. What have you been focused on as a student there?
Before I got into GSA, I went to college in Glasgow, where I did a portfolio course. At first I was really set on doing jewelry design, as that was what I had focused on at school, but doing such an intense course I really found my path through textile design. When I then got into GSA, I had the ability to explore the four textile pathways of print, knit, weave and embroidery. I fell in love with embroidery straight away—I just love the details and how experimental it can be. I think there’s a common misconception that embroidery is just done by grannies in their living rooms, (which I know is who I will be when I’m older!)  but it can be so open and abstract.

Claudia Veneroni Mood Board

Where do you draw inspiration from, and what does your design process look like?
I draw inspiration mostly from architecture and day-to-day life that I capture through my camera on the street and world around me. I am definitely influenced by new places—whenever I go away somewhere on holiday I’m always taking pictures of everything. My design process begins with accumulating lots of research through magazines, books, my own photography, Pinterest etc. I then create color palettes through this research and begin to collage and create drawings (so much drawing!). When it gets to creating the textile, I tend to work with fabric as if it was paper, with lots of hand cut shapes, so I can really capture the essence of my drawings. Working this way really allows me to create textile designs that capture my personal design style, and I think this really allows me to explore lots of new possibilities within my work whenever I work on a new project.

Where did you draw inspiration for the designs you made for our Scotland collection?
For Tea Collection’s Scottish Culture brief, I was first drawn to the beauty of Scottish Sunsets. Growing up in the countryside near Edinburgh, I was always inspired by the bold and bright sunsets that hazed over the hills and farmland of my hometown. I looked to Historic Scotland magazine for initial ideas and I kept being drawn into the beauty of natural Scottish settings. As a result, I came up with a Fall/Autumn color palette drawn from various sunsets from Loch Lomond to Linlithgow Loch—picking out colors I felt were relevant to Autumn, but combining them in such a way that isn’t so obvious. I wanted to represent the playfulness of childhood linked in with my own personal representation of Scottish Autumn. Rich sunsets and fluffy clouds mixing in and combining with each other, creating and exploring different tones and colors—an almost dreamlike landscape.

Some of the shapes in my designs are taken from typical Scottish rainy and cloudy weather and my interpretation of the Scottish thistle as a nod to our National Flower. My main source of inspiration was the Skyline of Edinburgh Castle. When the sun is setting over the city a warm shadow glazes over the castle leaving only a shadow of its shape.

Claudia Veneroni Book SpreadWhat did you enjoy most about the Tea x Glasgow collaboration experience? 
My favorite part about the collaboration was seeing my designs in full form on the kids in the catalog. They are so cute! It is such an amazing opportunity to see your designs not only being worn, but also knowing that people are going to buy them! So crazy, especially for a young designer—it was such an amazing chance to show what I could do in terms of design and working to a specific brief. Thank you so much Tea for this experience!

Interested in seeing more of Claudia’s work? Follow her Instagram @claudualc or check out her final student show in Glasgow next summer!

 

Now it’s your turn to get creative! We’ve created Scotland-inspired coloring activities for the whole family to enjoy. Download them here, and tag us on Facebook and Instagram to share your little citizen’s works of art!

Scotland: A Land of Wonder | Coloring Activities for Little Citizens

Tea Little Citizens

At Tea, we strive to make learning about different cultures FUN for children.

Each season, we create engaging activities for you and your little citizens to do at home. We’re really excited about our new Scotland coloring activities and wanted to share them here with you so you can print them out to enjoy again and again. So grab your favorite pens, pencils, paints or markers and dive in with the whole family!

Color in Scotland – a land of rolling green hills, deep blue lakes and some very cool stone castles!

Scotland Kids Coloring Map

Bring Scottish folklore to life:

Scotland Kids Coloring Activity

download here

Head on over to our post about Scotland to get a behind-the-scenes look at all the fantastic places we went! There’s more to come in the months ahead, so be on the lookout!

We Go There: Back To School in Scotland

Scotland Green Mountain Ranges

Scotland sets the backdrop for our back-to-school collection. It’s a magical land of breathtaking landscapes and mythical creatures, with a story as colorful as iconic Fair Isle patterns. Come along with us as we trek from highlands to islands, exploring every corner of this charming country.

Henry The Wee Piper

Henry the Piper

10-year-old Henry from Ratho, Scotland is a lot like other kids his age. He loves to watch TV, horse around with his friends, and play sports. Quite an impressive list of sports, actually: cricket, football (soccer), tennis, rugby, swimming, diving, gymnastics.

Oh yes, and the young Scottish lad also plays the bagpipes. Really, really well.

Meet Bridger | 2017 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Meet Bridger, from Richfield, Utah. Even though he doesn’t speak, this smiling 4-year-old teaches everyone he meets the value of life. He is deaf and his vision is impaired, yet he always carries on with a smile. He can’t walk, sit or crawl, but has moved mountains with the light he radiates. He has changed the world around him for the better, showing you don’t need words to make a big impact. And what lesson is more valuable than that?

Bridger Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

From his sweet nature to his unwavering positivity in the face of adversity, we can all learn a thing or two from Bridger. So we asked his parents to dig a little deeper into his story.

Tell us a bit about Bridger…when did you first discover he was hearing and visually impaired?
When Bridger was born, we had no idea the disabilities he was facing. He appeared as healthy as could be. The only red flag from the beginning was his failed hearing screening. As he grew, we started to notice many red flags. By the time he was four months old, the flags were so red, we knew there was something wrong. After seeing a pediatric neurologist and an audiologist at Primary Childen’s hospital, Bridger had some testing done, which included an MRI, an ABR and blood work.

The ABR results were instant, and the audiologist told us Bridger had ‘profound’ hearing loss. This news left us numb and completely devastated. As for the MRI results, I received a call from the doctor with the results on February 14, 2014, while walking into the elementary school to help with my sons Valentine’s class party. I remember the doctor saying, “I wish I was calling with good news, but I’m not. What we found is not what we wanted to see….” I felt my heart break into a million pieces as he explained the results. Bridger was lacking myelin (white matter) in his brain. From his MRI, he was diagnosed with PMD (Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease). Since then, we have had countless genetic testing done to confirm this P.M.D.  diagnosis and haven’t been able to confirm that he has this disease. We have also tested for all other types of diseases to try to pinpoint a diagnosis and have been unsuccessful.  At this point, he is now listed as having undiagnosed leukodystrophy.

That’s not all—when Bridger was about 8 months old we took him to see an ophthalmologist. It was then we found out he had cataracts forming on both eyes. One cataract needed to be surgically removed immediately; the other has been progressively forming and he has surgery scheduled for this August.

Bridger already has cochlear implants, a surgery he had when he was a mere 16 months old. He has now had his implant for 2 and a half years and it’s still very debatable what he hears. Bridger is also fed through a G-J tube 24/7. 

So how does Bridger express himself, and at what age did he learn to do so?
Communication has been a huge area of concern for us. With Bridger’s condition, sign language hasn’t been something that has worked for communication. To make a long story short, at this point, we have two gestures that we have been able to get Bridger to do to communicate with us. He started to use these gestures at the age of 3. If he wants more of something he will lift or raise one hand. When he is done with something he will put one arm across his chest. He does this well, but not 100% of the time.

How have physical limitations impacted life for Bridger, and what do you hope to do with this donation to make his life richer and the world more inclusive?

Bridger’s life has been impacted in countless ways due to his disabilities. He can’t see further than 5-6 feet away, he cannot run, walk, talk, eat by mouth, sit on his own, etc. We want him to enjoy as much of a ‘normal’ childhood as humanly possible. 

He adores playing with his big brother and sister, and one activity we love is going to the park. But sadly, there aren’t any adaptive swings or any other activities there that Bridger can enjoy. He is left to hang with us on the sidelines as his siblings play. The same goes for at school – when Bridger goes to recess, there isn’t any adaptive equipment there either.

With your support and Tea’s contribution, Bridger’s family plans to install an adaptive swing or other adaptive play equipment for their local park and/or school. This would be life-changing for all local children with disabilities, allowing them to engage in play with other kids rather than be forced to the sidelines to watch.

Head to TeaCollection.com and shop through August 3rd to help make our playgrounds a more inclusive place for Bridger and other kids like him!


“Bridger is one in a million. He teaches without words, and leads without taking a single step. His daily physical battles are intense, yet he takes it all in stride. Just spend some time with a child like Bridger, and you’ll walk away a better person, appreciating the simple things in life, like the gift of sight, the gift of legs that work, the gift to speak, the gift to see, and so much more.”

 

Bridger Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist