We teamed up with our friend Bradley Hasemeyer to share his story on becoming a dad and his journey through navigating fatherhood. A wearer of many hats- dad, comedian, and sometimes host. Bradley is a jack-of-all-trades and a master of dad-hood. We also hear he can get down on some hip-hop dance classes with his daughter Ellis.
“All dads know: parenting is an adventure. I say, “adventure” because there are triumphant days of reaching the top of the mountain and looking at the gorgeous view…and there are days when you take the wrong turn and end up stuck in quicksand with no obvious way out.
My adventure began when Ellis, my 7-year-old daughter was born. I was so excited to be a dad but, honestly, those first few weeks, I didn’t have that instant connection that I expected. I now know many other fathers experience this as well, but at the time I kind of felt like a failure because I wasn’t head over heels in love with this precious new life.
Thankfully, however, after a few months, things got much better. My daughter started smiling at me; we were connecting and I loved it. Something else happened, as well. I found my dad language was “doing” and thus began finding the adventure in everyday things.
With Ellis, it started as taking walks in the stroller, then running errands together or putting her in a hiking pack and hitting the mountain. Now we find time to cook, makeup scavenger hunts, and even watch Marvel movies together (I fast forward through most of them while I supplement with commentary).
Our newest family addition, Loic, has come through adoption which has been its own adventure of mountain tops and quicksand. He joins our 24-year-old foster daughter Ashley, and Ellis who already know we love to travel, laugh, and of course take an adventure.
Happy Father’s Day to all my fellow dads out there who, like myself, are living the ups and downs while trying their best to love well, be humble and make as many dad jokes as possible. “
To the Tea community:
Our country is at a turning point. We’re facing the undeniable reality that racism is woven into the fabric of our nation’s being—from our history to our government to our police practices to our everyday actions. George Floyd deserves justice on his own behalf, as well as on behalf of countless others who have died or suffered as a result of institutionalized racism.
Yet somehow I’m finding hope amongst the chaos. There’s momentum that feels pervasive and inspiring—pushing us to be better and do better. We must recognize privilege and re-examine our own biases and behaviors, even if it’s unintentional or makes us feel uncomfortable.
That includes Tea as an organization. While diversity and equality have always been a part of our core, we recognize that there’s much more we can do to promote social justice and equality and support the Black community.
While we don’t have all the solutions now, we’re in the process of looking inward and taking a critical look at our biases, our actions, and how we can improve as individuals and as a company. We’re taking the following actions:
- We’re donating $10,000 to support an organization that engages on issues of racial equity and anti-racism, especially with kids.
- We’re matching up to $2,500 in employee donations so that together, we can reach $15,000.
- We’ve asked employees to spend this Friday taking meaningful action, whether it’s through activism, education, support, or self-reflection.
- We’re starting an internal committee to source and discuss ways to address racism and be actively anti-racist.
- We’re sharing resources below, as well as on our blog. While not a comprehensive list, we hope it serves as a starting point for education, advocacy, and action. We’ll continue to update our blog with new resources as we come across them.
Stay connected and curious,
Resources for the Tea Community:
Educate yourself about race and racism:
Anti-racism Resources for Adults from Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein
Me And White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
An Antiracism Reading List from Ibram X Kendi in the New York Times
Talk to your kids about race and racism:
Talking to Kids about Racism and Justice from the Oakland Public Library
Talking Race with Young Children from NPR
Support Black-owned businesses:
Buy from Black-owned business via Refinery29
As I reflect on the past couple of months, one thing is clear – there’s no going back to “normal.” We started working from home in March and I’m honestly blown away by how quickly we adapted to the new way of working. I never thought it would be possible for a design company to be creative and productive with our teams working from home, but our incredible team is going above and beyond, as inspired and engaged as ever.
With creativity and productivity in mind as well as the priority of health and safety, we’ve made the decision to let all of our employees work from home for the foreseeable future. We’ll continue to have a creative studio space in San Francisco where we can come together when it’s safe to do so. It will be a space for us to collaborate, to connect, to come together – with our team and our customers.
As a design company, we need to see, touch and feel the clothes we are designing – it’s all part of the creative process. As a company of vibrant, engaged, and connected individuals, we need to connect as a group, in person. And we need a place to meet our partners and customers for meetings, special events (and shopping!). This new way of working allows us to keep our employees safe while creating a shared workspace where we can come together for important work that is best done in person, with the proper precautions (of course).
It’s inspiring to re-imagine what our Tea space can and should be – and how we can best nurture creativity and collaboration. No one needs a long commute and we all benefit from extra time for ourselves and our families. I’m excited to imagine how we can recruit new team members from farther afield and how we can connect more deeply with periodic company retreats. And I can’t wait for it to be safe for us to host another epic sample sale!
Tea was founded to inspire global connection and curiosity. We believe in the importance of adventure – whether traveling to a new place, tasting new foods, or learning a bit of a new language. Changing where and how we work is another new adventure that will stretch us and nourish us.
Just about everyone is re-imagining how and where we work, not just at Tea. While the world is changing, rest assured that everyone at Tea is grateful for our continued opportunity to bring a little bit of the world home to families. We want to nurture curiosity and connection. We know it matters to our customers, now more than ever. You have shown us how much you care while you have sheltered-in-place and shopped our Spring and Summer collections inspired by Greece. We can’t thank our customers enough. Your support has encouraged and inspired us more than you will ever know.
Stay connected & curious,
Happy Mother’s Day to every mom around the world! Our CEO + Co-Founder Leigh, our HMIC ( head mom in charge) wanted to reach out with a special note to all of you today.
Mothering is, and always has been a bonding experience. It starts slowly—commiserating about pregnancy, brainstorming about names, gathering at baby showers. Then when the baby arrives, you’re instantly inducted into The Village: there are mommy groups, neighborhood stroller walks, coffee (or wine!) sessions in comfy clothes.
We don’t mother alone. We mother together. Even now while we are apart.
During Shelter-in-Place, I’ve leaned on other moms more than before. First and foremost—my own mom! But also my neighbors who, like me, are trying to figure out how to work from home while keeping the family sane. I continue to turn to Whatsapp, Tik Tok, you name it to stay connected, get resources, or for a quick escape. And thanks to group texts, my college crew chats more than we have in twenty years! These connections have been invaluable.
Speaking of important connections, I’m also checking in with the Tea team, especially mamas who are trying to figure out how to multitask like crazy. I mean, how do you design a new print while entertaining a toddler?! And while we aren’t seeing each other in person, we’re seeing each other’s whole person. Kids pop into video calls and babies cry in the background, These rare (and raw!) glimpses into each others’ lives connect us even more. Mothering from home when you’re working from home isn’t pretty—but it is real.
These days, I continue to be inspired by all the multitasking mamas out there. Mothers are nothing if not adaptable. We excel at “figuring things out.” We figure out how to make a meal out of five random ingredients. We figure out how to homeschool our kids. We even figure out a way to throw an in-home prom so that our teenager can still wear her prom dress.
We are rising to the occasion and we are doing it together—as we always have and always will.
If you know a special mama who deserves some kudos, let us know! Comment on Instagram or send us a DM and tell us why she deserves to be recognized. We’ll be giving out shoutouts and surprise gifts all month long because one day of celebration is never enough.
While we are physically distant, there’s nothing distant about the way we mother. The Village is alive and well—and together, we can “figure out” anything.
Happy Mother’s Day!
The World of Paper Dolls
Welcome to the second edition of Activi-Tea’s! This week we are all about using our creativity and color for projects at home. Our dear friend Emiko has shared a fun new activity with us and now we get to share with all of you. It’s amazing what a little imagination and some paper can do!
We all recall ( if we are old enough) how fun paper dolls used to be. Best of all, it is an activity you can share with children of today, teaching them manual dexterity, history, fashion, and art while you have great fun together. Once you begin collecting paper dolls, they can become one of life’s great passions. Our friend Emiko and her two daughters have come up with the modern-day- Tea catalog- version of paper dolls. Here she has shown us just how to make your own paper dolls with really any reading material you have! Grab any magazine, any catalog, and create your own worlds right there- extra points if you have a Tea catalog lying around :). The only tools you need are scissors, cardboard, glue sticks, scotch tape, and any background of your choosing. We can see below that Emiko chose to make a clothesline out of her paper dolls, but anything goes and imagination is key! Let the creativity run wild and most of all have fun.
Please find the step-by-step below!
Step 1. Pick your catalog or magazine to cut from
Step 2. Using cardboard, cut out the style of clothing you would like to create. A skirt, dress, jacket, maybe a swimsuit. This helps to trace over the paper and get the shape you want. You will use the cardboard cutout as the backing for your cutout.
Step 3. Cut out your shapes
Step 4. Glue your paper cutouts to your cardboard shapes
Step 6. Prep your background or scene for your dolls. Here Emiko and her kids chose to make a laundry line, how fun!
Step 7. Layout your scene before you glue down ( in case you change your mind )
Step 8. Glue your scene together and ta-da! A fun little world!
You can choose to not glue them down and use them for more worlds you create!
We can’t wait to see what you create! Please share your drawings and adventures with us! We want to share with you just as much as you share with us. Please tag us on IG, email us pictures or even feel free to send us snail mail too! Use the #activiteas and #teamakesfriends to let us follow along on your journey!
Don’t forget, we have our activity/coloring book from all of our global destinations that you can download and print right in your own home!
Download the Activity Book here TeaCollection-ActivityBook
Happy learning and happy exploring!
Earth Day Every Day
Why minimizing our impact on the planet is more important than ever and the ways we’re making positive change together.
Being a globally-inspired brand, Tea has always been committed to lessening our impact on the planet. And during this unprecedented time, there’s never been a better time to think about how behavior affects it. Now that we’ve slowed down and made some sacrifices for the common good, it’s good to know that we can do this. In fact, we ARE doing this—and being rewarded with clearer skies, cleaner water, and curious wildlife. Which begs the question: Will we eventually go back to the way things were? Or can we—will we—make small changes that make a big difference? From our commitment to ethical sourcing practices to sweet hand-me-down stories, discover what Tea and friends are doing to make this a reality. The state of our planet (and the future of our little citizens) are in our hands. Let’s do this!
What We’re Doing: Sourcing Ethically
Respect for all people in all cultures is a cornerstone of our company, whether we’re traveling the world in search of inspiration or hiring a manufacturing partner to produce our clothing. Tea is mindful of our presence in the world and our duty to those around us. Because we embrace social responsibility and fair trade, our sourcing partners must follow our high standards for good working conditions and reducing environmental impact. We have zero-tolerance for anything unlawful or even slightly questionable. And although we can’t be in every factory all the time, we’re incredibly diligent to ensure that our partners around the globe share—and practice—our values.
LEARN MORE > https://www.teacollection.com/about/ethical-sourcing
What Our Customers Are Doing: Sharing & Rewearing
Tea pieces don’t just get passed from one sibling to the next, but often between total strangers. Our Customer Care Team was thrilled to receive a message from Tea customer, Serena Erenburg, who shared a heartwarming story about our Santa Teresa dress (2009 Brazil collection). As Serena explains: “It ‘travels’ across our online community for shipping cost only. It has passed through 40 homes since May 2018 and is well on its way to at least 20 others who have signed up to receive it next so they can wear a bit of Tea history.”
What Our Partners Are Doing: Fashion For Future Generations
Tea is proud to be an official member of the Kidizen REWEAR™ COLLECTIVE which supports the creation and reuse of high-quality goods—encouraging consumers to purchase products that last well beyond the use of just one family when shopping ‘new.”
LEARN MORE > https://kidizen.com/rewear-collective/
What You Are Doing: (We Want To Know!)
Are you making small changes to make a big difference? Or celebrating Earth Day in some special way? Tell us! Tag us! Inspire us! Email us pics, share stories, or tag us on IG using #teamakesfriends. Happy Earth Day, everyone!
FOLLOW US > IG @teacollection