We love meeting new people and learning about their families. At the launch of our Studio Tea space, we had the pleasure of meeting Amy Kimoto-Kahn, mom, wife, cook, traveler and author of the cook book Simply Ramen + the blog easypeasyjapanesey. Amy is a lovely woman who has a successful and interesting life raising three little ones and sharing Japanese-American recipes via her blog and cookbook, among other things! It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of ramen (any noodle really) so we were thrilled to flip through her cook book. Read on to see our recent interview with Amy and get her recipe for mochi!
Every time we travel, whether it’s across the street or across the globe, we strive to step outside of our comfort zone, meet new people and learn new things. When our designers travel to gather inspiration for next season’s styles, they go off the beaten path, meet with local craftsmen and eat the local cuisine. When they come back to San Francisco to design, their experiences are translated into beautifully designed prints and graphics. Take a look at our style descriptions and you’ll learn the inspiration behind the design of each piece.
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 a blog post to share their adventures with all of us (and the world)! Diana, Tea’s Director of Production & Sourcing, extended her work travel to become a personal vacation in Peru. Here she shares stories of a trip that will forever live in their hearts.
Meet Denise Zimmer, who lived in Guatemala with her family for nearly five years. As a Tea Foreign Correspondent, before they moved back to the United States, Denise and her family embarked on weekend trips and came back to share her stories with us at Studio Tea. Follow along!
My husband and I had the privilege of living in Guatemala for almost five years, but when the time came to repatriate to the USA we realized there was still so much of the diverse country we hadn’t shared with our girls, who were born there. We set the intention to soak in as much as possible and here we share some of those last special moments.
Festival de Barriletes
Locals and tourist alike gather in the cemetery of Santiago to watch the construction of gigante barriletes (gigantic kites). This coincides with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a holiday to remember and honor the spirits of the dead.
In Japan, it’s tradition to write your prayers or wishes on small wooden plaques and place them outside the Shinto shrines around Japan. These wooden plaques are called ema. You may also see paper fortunes tied to tree branches. These are called omikuji. When we visited the shrines in Japan, we loved seeing all of ema plaques and omikuji fortunes hanging outside. We even had a chance to write our own wishes for Tea on an ema. Learn more about the tradition of the ema and omikuji and see our special Tea ema!
A puzzling design of layered thread, temari balls have been a traditional Japanese craft for over one thousand years and are still popular today. When we traveled to Japan, we saw beautiful temari balls in markets and museums, further proving the point that this handicraft has indeed been around for many years, but lives on in modern day. Temari balls are created by making a core base and wrapping layers of yarn, thread, paper or fabric around it to create a round shaped ball. Each temari ball is different, but typical patterns you can find are geometric and symmetrical. A lot of designs will also include some element of nature, which is a popular focus in Japanese tradition and culture. Temari are traditionally given as a gifts, and symbolize friendship, loyalty and good luck. It’s traditional for a mother to make her daughter a ball as a New Year’s gift. We loved this tradition and after speaking with some moms in the office, we realized that this craft lives on in the U.S. too. One Tea mom makes something very similar to a temari ball, for gifts for her little citizen, called surprise balls. After doing some digging we found out it is really popular! Here we’re sharing an activity perfect for gifts for the holidays, inspired by the temari balls. If you want to learn and try your hand at making a traditional temari ball, head on over to TemariKai.com where you can find step-by-step instructions.
Saju wears our Chie Graphic Dress and Tenley wears our Tankuki Teapot Graphic Tee.
The Japanese city of Kanazawa is known for it’s production of gold leaf and use of it in many traditional and modern handicrafts. Artisans and craftsmen throughout Kanazawa have practiced gold leafing for hundreds of years. We saw many artifacts throughout museums and adorning ancient temples and buildings in this magical city. Gold leaf is also extremely popular in crafting and housewares today, throughout the world. You can even see a hint of gold on the logo of our holiday catalog front cover. When we traveled to Japan to shoot our holiday catalog, we took our new friends Tenley and Saju, to try their hand at gold leafing. Learn how you can do it too, right at home!