October 28, 2014

Spain, Greece, France and beyond!

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world)!

And we’re off to the races! We have been planning our backpacking trip to Europe ever since our bosses gave us the go-ahead. No one would ever believe that we would lug all our possessions in backpacks, but we sure did!

First stop… Chicago for a 9 hour layover. We took the L into the city and explored Millennium Park in our matching uniforms (totally unplanned by the way).  After making our way through 100% humidity, we got back to O’hare with plenty of time to spare before our flight to Madrid. We arrived in Madrid at 6AM local time, but our room wasn’t ready until 1PM. We grabbed a map (and free wifi) and proceeded down Madrid’s most famous thoroughfare, El Gran Via. We stumbled upon a deliciously classic Spanish breakfast (torta, toast, and of course jamón). Our first taste of jamón was salty and delicious and we couldn’t get enough of it.

Tea Travels

When out and about in Madrid, we always ended up at Puerta del Sol. Some way, somehow we always ended up in this massive Spanish square that’s hustling and bustling with people at all hours of the day and night. After getting lost trying to look for the world famous San Gines churros, we finally found them down a deserted alley. It was definitely worth the puddle splashing! This churro isn’t like the typical American amusement park churro with cinnamon sugar coating, but plain fried dough that’s begging for the thick melted chocolate lava.  continue reading

October 23, 2014

Passport to Baby Bliss + MiniME

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Carrie, the mighty force behind Baby Bliss (and miniME!) in Texas.

Tea is proud to announce that Baby Bliss is one of our first ambassador stores. Ambassador stores are the ultimate Tea experience, offering the biggest in-store selection of products. You can think of them as your personal Tea storytellers and count on them as your neighborhood place for the widest assortment of sizes and Tea Collection styles.

baby bliss

How (and how long ago) did Tea find its way into your life?
9 years ago! I Instantly fell in love with the brand.

Describe how Tea resonates with your customers.
My clients love the line (little ones and moms!) for the fashion, comfort and longevity.

How has this new experience effected your Tea space?
My customers can’t seem to get enough! And, they know I carry the entire line (hence the space) so they come to be for the hands on experience. They all walk in with catalogs though!

Thus far, which Tea destination has been your favorite?
I loved Morocco… in fact I’m going there in 2015!

Favorite outfit from the current season… Go!
My absolute favorite is the Heidelberg sweatshirt dress, I cannot get enough. It’s so comfy and chic. The Stuttgart flannel dress is another favorite, as well as the Chriselda top paired with the pink velvet piper pants. Throw some cowboy boots on with any of these and little girl is ready to conquer the world!

Your best friend is visiting Dallas for the first time and only has 24 hours to explore – what would you tell them to do?
Dallas has come a long way in the last few years in regards to restaurants and the arts. I’d probably start off with brunch at Savor. The restaurant is an all glass building that sits right on Klyde Warren Park (our new park that connects uptown to downtown). Great food (gotta have mexican in Texas, so order the Chilaquiles!) and fun location/view overlooking the park, Arts District and downtown Dallas. From there you can walk to the fairly new Arts District and get lost for hours! Museums, live music, shopping will keep you busy all day. For dinner, I’d head to Smoke, can’t miss BBQ in Texas!! Afterwards I’d hop on over to the Belmont Hotel next door for drinks on the patio (let’s have a margarita here!) and an awesome view of downtown Dallas all lit up at night, live music if you’re lucky. I’m tired by now, she must leave!

What types of events and promotions do you run in your boutique?
We follow the Tea promotional calendar, but other than that we just focus on customer service. We have a loyal clientele and lots of grandmothers that shop with us. My staff is just amazing! I also have a dedicated employee now that focuses on Tea… remerchandising weekly, restocking, reordering, etc. It’s been fantastic!

What is one thing your customers would be surprised to learn about you?
I love yoga. Started when I was pregnant with my son 11 years ago. It centers me, challenges me and makes me feel great! I’m kind of an open book and don’t have a lot of surprises. But I’m going to work on that, ha!

October 22, 2014

Celebrating Diwali

Tyson Wong

Family

Diwali [dih-vah-lee] is the Hindu festival of lights and one of their most important holidays. It celebrates the return of lord Rama from exile and the victory of good over evil. When Rama returned, they welcomed him by lighting “diyas” (lamps and candles). To celebrate, families have feasts, eat sweets, play games, give gifts and light fireworks.

To pass this great tradition down to our kids  continue reading

October 20, 2014

Fall Outfits + Festivities

Fall Activities in Tea

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Fishman for Orbit Baby

The beginning of Fall is a busy time for families everywhere. Kids start school, weekends are filled with shuffling kids off to dance classes and sports and catching up on chores. Before you know it, the holidays are here. We have made it easy and rounded up 3 great fall activities to do with your family and very Tea outfits to do them in!

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October 15, 2014

Sweet Treats from Around The World

German Sweets

Did you know that Trick-or-Treating is a customary Halloween tradition that began in the late 1940s? The act of going door to door receiving food existed in Great Britain and Ireland where it was known as “souling”. Children (and often the poor) would sing and say prayers for the dead and in return receive cakes.

We thought we’d use this holiday as an opportunity to introduce to you a few sweet German treats. Perhaps you’ll be able to expand your selection of candy for the big day!

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October 9, 2014

Jiuqian Music & Arts Center – The Global Fund for Children Grantee

Leigh Rawdon

We’d heard that the Jiuqian Music & Arts Center was just 15 minutes from our Shanghai hotel. But the Chinese-speaking driver just kept driving and driving… An hour passed and we were officially very, very far from the urban, international city of skyrises.

The driver slowed down, checked his map, then pointed out at a field, and looked at me with a very puzzled look. “I’m beginning to think this is a wild goose chase.” Adam, my 7 year old son asked, “What’s a wild goose chase?”  I assured myself that this would be a story to tell for years to come. But I also couldn’t stop thinking about how much my family needed a bathroom after a long day out and about in Shanghai. We turned around, nearly giving up but then we saw the address posted on a small gate into a set of four industrial buildings. I’m pretty sure the driver was disappointed we weren’t headed back to Shanghai, & that he was stuck with us out in the middle of nowhere.

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September 30, 2014

Our Trip Down the German Alps

At Tea, we believe in a healthy sense of adventure – the kind that gets you up and out and exploring. So when we visited Germany, of course we had to hit the slopes! We strapped on skis in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a Bavarian town just north of Zugapitze, Germany’s highest mountain.

We discovered so much that inspired our winter collection: the sporty style of German skiers and snowboarders, vintage ski posters and the towering snow-covered Alps themselves! Here are a few of our favorite photos from our day on the slopes. Have you ever skied the German Alps?German Alps German Alps German Alps German Alps

 

September 29, 2014

Collaboration with Blink Blink

Anna Niestroj - blink blink

“My way of working represents an artistic creative process: irrational, intuitive, inquiring and interwoven. As a designer, however, I reserve the right to always keep the goal in mind and seek for solutions to existing problems. I test, scour, question and reject methods and in the best case new is discovered this way – always challenging the innovation in consideration of the real customers needs.”

Anna Niestroj founded BLINKBLINK in 2012 as an open interactive design studio.

blink blink fabric dressBlink-Blink-Tea-Collection-Dress

We collaborated with the talented pattern designer Anna Neistroj for our Germany Collection. Here is a little interview with our favorite guest artist.

Where do you live now?  In Berlin!

Favorite destination in Germany?  Berlin… and surroundings. And any old town in the country.

Favorite destination worldwide?  Seasides, Riversides, Lakesides! I wouldn’t prefer a specific place.

Did you always want to be an artist? As a child what career did you want?  As a 5 year old: violinist. Soon I wanted to be an entrepreneur: doing things and selling it to people. As my father was an artist I considered myself even so ;)

Favorite Color?  Turquoise

Where do you get your inspiration?  From materials, printed matter, the internet, travels and the city I live in (+ people that live here.).

We were thrilled to discover your work while we were researching for our Germany collection. Your collages feel like a contemporary evolution of the Bauhaus artists. Is Bauhaus a strong influence on your work?  It makes me happy to read this! I actually didn’t think of bauhaus while I created the collages but I think it still came to me via ‘zeitgeist’ ;)Blink-Blink-Gunta-Stolzl-1

left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Gunta Stölzl, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink

Blink-Blink-Kandinksy

left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Wassily Kandinsky, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink

Who are some of your favorite contemporary German artists?  David Schnell, Katharina Grosse, …David-Schnell--Katharina-Grosse

left: artwork by David Schnell, right: artwork by Katharina Grosse

Will you send us a picture of your studio and tell us a little about your typical work day?  There is no typical work day, except for being in the studio a lot (experimenting, printing, etc.), using the computer a lot (designing, communications, etc.) and welcoming all sorts of people. I have a fiew clients that I work for repeatingly. But the most jobs I do are on project-base and singular.

anna neistroj blink blink studio workspace

some shots of Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink’s inspiring workspace

Emily Meyer visiting Blink Blink's Berlin Studio

Emily and Anna in Anna’s Studio/ Anna standing in the doorway to her studio space.

Do you have a cause or charity that is important to you?  I think that the place I choose for my studio is a special form of charity. I’m ‘donating’ some color and joy to a pretty rough area / neighborhood. Also I think that ‘Think global, act local.’ is a good leitmotif.

Tea will be making a donation in honor of Anna to himmelbeet, an intercultural community garden in Berlin that focus on organic farming. Here people of all ages come together to garden, build with recycled materials, cook and participate in environmental education workshops.

September 24, 2014

Paris for a Month

To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world)!

Ready to really experience life somewhere else, Kelly Poper and I set off to Paris for a FULL month! With much planning we were able to find a wonderful apartment in the Montmartre neighborhood with WiFi and all the amenities that we needed to be able to continue to work from home. Only difference, we would be in a foreign country!

It didn’t take long for us to fall in love. This city is AMAZING! We tackled it the way any OCD, Type-A gals would: with a map and a daily list. Each day we would pick a different neighborhood of Paris, hop the Metro, and spend the morning exploring. It was my personal goal to try a Kir (Parisian wine cocktail) in each neighborhood. Goal achieved! We left no stone unturned! When the day was over, we would head back to our cozy Parisian apartment, turn on our computers, and work into the early hours of morning (San Francisco time!). This sounds tiring, but it really was ideal for getting to explore Paris in daylight!

A full month of wondering by foot and subway through this city and I’m going to admit something that you probably already guessed: a month isn’t enough!!