Author: Tea Collection

Jessie tweets & chats her days away working in the social media and public relations departments of Tea. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Jessie moved to New York after college to work in the fashion industry. Still new to San Francisco, she's constantly discovering new sushi spots and hidden boutiques. She's still dreaming of her last trip to the Caribbean and hopes one day soon she can play on the beaches of Thailand.

Giving Tuesday: Help Us Fill A Library

Since our founding, Tea has been committed to giving back to make the world a better place for kids everywhere. In addition to our ongoing contributions to the Global Fund for Children, we strive to make an impact in the destinations our seasonal collections are inspired by. This season, we partnered with Kusi Kawsay to help make a difference for kids in Peru.

Kusi Kawsay is a school near Cusco, Peru that provides low-income, indigenous children with a high-quality education. Earlier this season, we announced we would help build them a library. Now, we need your help filling that library! Donate $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 towards purchasing books for the Kusi Kawsay library. And for this Giving Tuesday (December 1st), we’ll match your donation!*

Together, we’ll create a better (book-filled!) world for kids everywhere.

*Up to $2.5k for a total of $5k.

Small Business Saturday: Celebrating the Boutiques of Tea

It’s Small Business Saturday! Did you know Tea is carried in hundreds of boutiques around the country? This year more than ever, these small businesses need your support. Today, we’re highlighting some of our boutiques who work tirelessly to bring you the best children’s clothing. Read on to learn more about each of them.

Brook and Main

Where are you located?

Cohasset, MA

When did you open your store and why did you want to open a retail store?

I opened in June, 2020(!!!!!!), right as Massachusetts began easing off its shelter-in-place orders. It has always been a dream of mine to own and operate a retail shop; I love the process of culling through collections to curate what I feel to be the “stand out” pieces that will appeal to my customer base. I also thrive on in-person interaction and customer service, which really cannot be replicated with online shopping (though I do realize online has its place and value, too!). Mostly, I wanted to create an inclusive and fun loving environment for parents and children that will hopefully grow to be viewed as a true asset to our community.

What do you love most about your job?

Selecting products for the shop and interacting with customers!

What’s your favorite Tea piece(s) this season?

The Sherpa Trucker Jacket, Rainbow Mountain Ruffle Hem Swing Dress, Road Trip Graphic Tee, and Printed Baby Joggers!

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Greece!

What is your next dream travel destination?

Morocco!

What shopping advice would you give to your customers this season?

Shop small when at all possible and make comfortable selections for children’s apparel that are still fun and tidy!

You can support Brook and Main at shopbrookandmain.com and follow them on Instagram @shopbrookandmain.

My Urban Toddler

Where are you located?

Ann Arbor, MI

When did you open your store and why did you want to open a retail store?

I opened in 2006 after recognizing the need for a different type of retail store, one focused on fashionable yet tasteful kids clothing and accessories. I believed there existed a market gap for “destination shopping,” or the desire for a consumer to discover, evaluate and purchase in-person specialty and more unique items for themselves and family members. I dreamed of developing a neighborhood gathering spot where customers could both enjoy shopping and find many well-curated products and clothing for the newborn to age 12 set.

What do you love most about your job?

Staying connected with my community by providing a way to give joy.

What’s your favorite Tea piece(s) this season?

Knit sweater overall dress – feels very nostalgic!

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Peru!

What is your next dream travel destination?

Hawaii

What shopping advice would you give to your customers this season?

Find joy in everything.

You can support My Urban Toddler at myurbantoddler.com and follow them on Instagram @myurbantoddler.

Itty Bitty Bella

Where are you located?

Collierville, Tennessee

When did you open your store and why did you want to open a retail store?

Our family just celebrated our 1 year anniversary of owning Itty Bitty Bella! It has definitely been a whirlwind of a year, but it has always been a dream of ours to own a retail store and it has been SO worth it.

What do you love most about your job?

Getting the opportunity to meet all of our Registered Moms, their friends and family has been the best part of the job for sure! We have been beyond blessed with our Itty Bitty Community, whether they be near or far.

What’s your favorite Tea piece(s) this season?

The Sherpa Trucker Jacket. It is the COOLEST (but also the warmest)!

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Egypt

What is your next dream travel destination?

Egypt!

What shopping advice would you give to your customers this season?

Go for comfort for your kiddos! They can be stylish but cozy too.

You can support Itty Bitty Bella at shopittybittybella.com and follow them on Instagram @shopittybittybella.

Mockingbird Baby & Kids

Where are you located?

Charlestown, MA

When did you open your store and why did you want to open a retail store?

Mockingbird Baby & Kids opened on March 29, 2019. After years in corporate life, I saw an opportunity to be more engaged with my girls and wanted a way to give back to the neighborhood. My girls now come to work with me, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting neighbors, and have been able to partner with our local community center on backpack, hat and mitten drives.

What do you love most about your job?

Knowing so many people in my community and watching their families grow.

What’s your favorite Tea piece(s) this season?

The Montana Printed Popover… can I make a plea for adult sizes??

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Portugal! My girlfriends and I did a road trip through Portugal in 2008 and I long for the day I can return.

What is your next dream travel destination?

London. I used to live there and can’t wait to introduce my daughters to everything I loved about London… and take them on a hunt for Mary Poppins, Peppa and Paddington!

What shopping advice would you give to your customers this season?

Comfort is key! We’re believers in all day pajamas, owning too many sweatshirts, and wearing leggings with dresses because no one wants to lose their twirl 🙂

You can support Mockingbird Baby & Kids at mockingbirdbabyandkids.com and follow them on Instagram @mockingbirdbabyandkids.

Fiddlesticks

Where are you located?

San Francisco, CA

When did you open your store and why did you want to open a retail store?

I opened in 2003 and was one of the first who carried Tea Collection. I opened a retail store because in my heart of hearts, it’s what I had always wanted to do and ultimately be: a retail store owner.

What do you love most about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is being the buyer. I love putting together themes and merchandising different collections together. Ultimately, collections have a trend and if you plan it right, they can all come together and make a wonderful story.

What’s your favorite Tea piece(s) this season?

That’s tough, but easy to say that we always love the pieces that easily mix and match together to make great outfits. We adore a coordinated family! We love how easy it is to work with families to coordinate photoshoots with the patterns and colors that Tea Collection offers.

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Japan. I feel as though that’s where Tea Collection started and where its roots took hold.

What is your next dream travel destination?

Italy. We visited 2 years ago as a family and fell in love. 2020 has made me think maybe you don’t need to always go to new places. Maybe you revisit those you have loved and see them again through a different lens.

What shopping advice would you give to your customers this season?

It’s tough to give anyone advice right now in the constant changing pandemic world we live in, but if there were just one, it would be go with your heart and get what you love. If there is a style or print you love, go for it. We need moments of happiness, and in shopping for your littles, order up the happiness!

You can support Fiddlesticks at shopfiddlesticks.com and follow them on Instagram @fiddlesticks_sf.

Want to support more boutiques who carry Tea? See our Store Locator to find a retailer near you.

Election Day 2020: Get Out & Vote

Credit: @girldad_diaries

 

Your voice matters. It’s a simple yet profound idea, and voting is one of the most important ways we can make our voices heard. Whether you already voted or plan to head to the polls today, we hope you exercise your right to vote—democracy works best when we all participate.

As parents ourselves, we want to set an example for our kids and inspire the next generation of voters. That’s why we’re making today a company holiday to encourage our employees to use their voices at the polls.

We’re also supporting broader get-out-and-vote initiatives. Last month, we announced a partnership with I am a voter.® to create a limited edition set of vote-themed buttons. 100% of proceeds will benefit I am a voter’s mission to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement.

Today, more than ever, it’s important we make our voices heard and do our part to make the world a better place for kids everywhere.

In Good Taste: Classic Peruvian Empanadas

Our author and chef friend Emiko Davies is back with another Peruvian-inspired recipe. She and her two daughters, Mariù (8) and Luna (2), show us how to make classic Peruvian empanadas, inspired by Peruvian chef and food writer, Nico Vera. Read on to get the exclusive recipe.

Peruvian Beef Empanadas

 

I have to admit I am not very familiar with Peruvian food, so I had to do a little research to try to find something fun that the girls could make with me. My girls in particular love making things with pastry, so when I found these beef empanadas, I knew they would be perfect for the kids. They get to roll, cut out shapes, and snack on the ingredients along the way (pro tip: if making this recipe with kids, prepare extra!).

I ended up following the directions for Peruvian empanadas by a Peruvian chef and food writer, Nico Vera (aka @piscotrail). In the words of Nico himself, “Empanadas are a vehicle for almost every savory Peruvian dish. If this is your first time making empanadas, you need to start with the classic — ground beef with olives and hard boiled eggs.” He very kindly gave me permission to share the recipe (and a promise to give me his best food tips for when I do make them in Peru one day!).

Note: We did not have currants on hand, so I left them out as I saw some other recipes leave them out. We also used whole, pitted olives for each empanada rather than slices.

Makes 12 empanadas

 

For the beef filling (sofrito):

 

3/4 lb ground beef
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup currants
1 bay leaf
3 pitted Kalamata olives, cut in quarters
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into eight pieces

 

For the dough:

 

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (optional)
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup flour for rolling the dough

 

For the glaze:

 

1 egg
1 tablespoon cold water

 

To prepare the filling:

 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Prepare sofrito by sautéing onions and garlic in a skillet with oil over medium to high heat. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and sauté until onions are translucent. Mix in ground beef, stir, and continue to sauté until the beef begins to brown. Add 1/2 of the beef stock, currants, and bay leaf, and simmer until liquid is reduced. Add remaining beef stock, then continue to simmer until the liquid is reduced further. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and set aside to let cool.

 

To prepare the dough:

 

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the salt, butter, white wine vinegar (if using), egg yolks, and mix well by hand. Add 5 tablespoons cold water and continue to mix and shape the dough. Add another 4 tablespoons cold water and continue to shape the dough until it forms a firm ball (add more water or flour if needed in order to obtain a dough that you can roll without being too sticky or dry). Let the ball rest (chill in fridge if it’s a warm day) for at least 15 minutes.

Transfer the ball of dough to a well-floured working surface. Roll the dough to about 1/10 of an inch, adding flour as needed. Cut 12 circles with a 6” round dough cutter.

 

Assembling and cooking the empanadas:

 

Scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling to the center of each dough circle. Add 1/8 of a hardboiled egg and 1/4 of an olive to each filling (we used whole olives).

Brush the edge of each dough circle with water. Fold the dough circle in half, then seal the edge by pressing firmly with your fingers and a fork (alternatively, you can fold the edge over in sections, pressing down each time). Assemble the empanadas in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick the top of each empanada with a fork, and brush each empanada with egg glaze.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Follow @emikodavies on Instagram for more recipes like this, and be sure to check out our new fall collection inspired by Peru.

Giving Back to Kids in Peru

Photo credit Matt Dayka

 

Since our founding, Tea has been committed to making the world a better place for kids everywhere. This season, we wanted to make an impact in the destination that inspired our fall collection. Together with Kusi Kawsay, we’re helping build a library for indigenous kids in Peru.

Kusi Kawsay is an independent nonprofit aimed at providing an inclusive, dignified, and quality education to the indigenous children of Pisac, located in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Indigenous children have unique needs that are oftentimes not met by the public education system in Peru. Public schools in Pisac are overcrowded, and students often do not receive the individual attention they may need. Many of these kids also face discrimination and poverty, and struggle with self-esteem.

Kusi Kawsay serves children from kindergarten through 11th grade. In addition to teaching subjects like math, literature, reading, and science, Kusi Kawsay also provides workshops in weaving, Andean masonry, Quechua language, music, dance, art, nutrition, and agriculture.

Thanks to you, we’re able to help kids in Pisac receive the resources they need. The library is set to be completed in 2021, so follow along for updates and more ways we’re helping give back abroad. If you would like to donate directly to Kusi Kawsay, consider donating to the Ayni Scholarship Fund to help a child attend Kusi Kawsay or making a direct donation through their website at kusikawsay.org.

Tea x Wallshoppe: New Wallpaper Prints

Here at Tea, we know a thing or two about unique prints. That’s why we teamed up with Wallshoppe, a purveyor of hip, sustainable wallpaper, to create a limited-edition collaboration that brings our beloved prints to life.

To celebrate our newest Tea x Wallshoppe prints, we sat down with renowned LA-based interior designer, Nathan Turner, to get the inside scoop on his design process and tips on how to make the most of your space.

Introduce yourself and tell us about Wallshoppe and your role as Creative Director.

I’m Nathan Turner. I’m a decorator, author and the Creative Director at Wallshoppe. Bringing my interior design background into the design process at Wallshoppe helps to give our customer a very informed final product. As a decorator, I’m very well versed on color, pattern and the best way to use them, making Wallshoppe wallpapers ready for the consumer.

What are some of your favorite prints from the Tea x WS collection?

I love them all! But if I had to pick… My top 5 favorite prints from the Tea x WS Collection are “Tigers,” “Chubby Bear,” “Watermelon,” “Crocodile,” and “Rainbows.”

Any design tips for parents thinking about adding wallpaper to a nursery or kids room?

For the apprehensive, removable wallpaper is always a great option. Especially for children as their interests and taste change so quickly. Other than that, I’m a go-for-it kind of guy, so I say a kid’s room is the one room in the house to really be playful. Why not go big and choose a fun, colorful print?

There are so many great print and color options! How do you go about narrowing down wallpaper prints for a design project?

It all depends on the client and who the person is. I like to decorate last, so it’s really about who’s living in the room, how they live, what their tastes are, and choosing the right color and pattern combination for them.

Are there other creative ways to use wallpaper besides putting it on the wall?

Yes of course! Installing on the ceiling is great. I love to pick complementary patterns and do a wall in one pattern, the ceiling in another, and an adjoining bathroom in a 3rd pattern. The removable wallpaper panels are great for the back of bookcases and installing on inexpensive furniture or for lining drawers. I also put wallpaper on lampshades. Those are just a few examples!

You can shop the entire Tea x Wallshoppe collection here. Want to show off your new Tea walls? Tag us on social @teacollection and @wallshoppeofficial!

The Rainbow Connection

You may remember author and chef @emikodavies, and her two daughters, Mariù (8) and Luna (2) from our Mediterranean collection. We forged a fast friendship in Greece and asked Emiko to photograph her girls at home in Florence. Not only did the girls chase rainbows in their own backyard—but also whipped some up in their kitchen! Read on to get her exclusive rainbow pancake recipe.

Rainbow Pancakes

Pancakes are usually our weekend treat, but I turned this into an afternoon activity that kept the girls busy playing with their food for hours! We experimented with natural colors – Luna loved swirling the colored batter together, which resulted in a few multi-colored pancakes towards the end.

Ingredients for the pancake batter:

1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons of melted butter (or ricotta)
1 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (optional)

For the colors:

Pink – Raspberry puree made by cooking 1 cup raspberries with a splash of orange juice (blood orange is even better if you have it!) for 5 minutes, then strain.

Orange-yellow – a teaspoon (or as needed) of turmeric powder.

Green – a teaspoon (or as needed) of matcha powder.

Blue-green – 3 teaspoons (or as needed) of spirulina powder.

Purple – 1 cup each of blackberries and blueberries, cooked together with a splash of water then strained. Keep the leftover fruit pulp to mix with icing sugar for the berry sauce to go on top!

Additional ingredients for decorations (optional):

Rainbow sprinkles or colorful fruit
3-4 tablespoons of icing sugar for berry sauce or maple syrup

Make the batter by placing the egg, half the milk, and the butter in a bowl; whisk until combined well. Add the flour and baking powder and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the milk and the vanilla until it becomes a smooth fluid. Separate the batter into 5 bowls. Add the colors a teaspoon at a time to see how strong they are. Add more color if you like (see important tips below on turmeric and matcha).

Using a non-stick pan over very low heat, cook small pancakes (about 3 tablespoons or so of batter) for a few minutes or until it lifts easily from the pan. Flip and cook the other side for about 30 seconds. You are looking for a pale pancake so that the color comes through nicely.

Stack and decorate the pancakes with sprinkles or colorful fruit. Finish by topping with berry sauce if using or maple syrup!

Important tips: Leaving sugar out of the batter will ensure a paler pancake that allows the natural colors to come through. Cook them over very low heat for the same reason. Being generous with baking powder (or the addition of a couple blobs of ricotta) to add some lift and fluffiness to the pancakes will let you see the color come through the sides, which is really where you get the best rainbow effect. Note that the turmeric and matcha have very strong, bitter flavors, so you may like to use less of them. While they may be more pale in color, they won’t be as strong in flavor. I personally love them (they would go down well as savory pancakes), but the kids didn’t! The berry and spirulina pancakes were a hit though!

Follow @emikodavies on Instagram for more recipes like this, and be sure to check out our new fall collection for equally colorful styles.