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.

A How-To on Making Your Own Masks!

 

What do we do when we feel a sense of duty and responsibility to step up, contribute and give back? We listen to our gut and go for it! That’s exactly what our Director of Design, Marjorie Tan, and her daughter Sukyi did. With dire shortages of masks for healthcare workers on the frontlines, Marjorie and her daughter wanted to spend a weekend doing good from the safety of their own home. With little sewing skills and some spare Tea fabric, they were able to make over 20 masks that they then donated to their local hospital. 

We’re here to share a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own masks. With this downloadable guide and a few hours to spare, you and your kids can help every healthcare worker in need around the country. To find out if any hospitals near you are taking masks, check this handy tool from https://www.deaconess.com/. If you don’t have extra fabric lying around like us, no worries! You can use old garments of clothes that you might have been thinking of giving to Goodwill, or that shirt that you just never wear anymore.

Why are homemade masks still helpful?

  • While homemade masks do not replace medical-grade N95 masks, they do act as a barrier for reducing the spread of respiratory droplets.
  • Wearing a mask helps protect you and those around you for when you leave the house for any and all necessary errands.
  • They help keep you from touching your face! We recommend also wearing gloves whenever possible to help keep you even safer. Maybe we should try our hand at gloves next – what do you think?

We hope you enjoy our little tutorial and would love to see you make some masks! Please share with us anything you create, either on Instagram by tagging us @teacollection or emailing us at blog@teacollection.com with pictures! Let’s continue to be kind and do all that we can to help those around us safely and compassionately. Happy sewing!

 

Download the step-by-step guide HERE. Download the pattern for the masks HERE. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activi-Teas for Curious Citizens!

 

Welcome aboard all curious little citizens of the world! This is the exciting new world of learning and exploring with us here at Tea. Each week we will bring you a list of fun, creative and educational Activi-Tea’s for you and your whole family. This is a place for us to stay not only connected to each other, but to the world! A big part of who we are is a global connection. Even though we can’t physically be in Ireland, Greece, Thailand or even a neighboring state. We can still be connected globally through so many different avenues. We have traveled the world to bring inspiration not only into our clothes but into our messaging and hopefully to each and every one of you. So, what a better way to start of our list than with an activity/coloring book combining designs and inspirations from all of our global destinations!
You can download and print right in your own home!

 Here you will find not only educational tools but games and puzzles too! Beautiful flowers, magical creatures, and scavengers hunts await! From sharks to lions, we have the whole world right at your fingertips.  

 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!

 Happy learning and happy exploring!

Download the Activity Book  here TeaCollection-ActivityBook

A message from our CEO/Co-Founder – Leigh Rawdon

To our dear friends of Tea:

Like you, we are facing the weeks ahead with cancellations, closures and travel bans.  There is uncertainty all around us and yet, we must stay calm, especially as parents whose kids are looking to us for guidance.  We are learning (and quickly) from the experts who know better than we do about what is best during a pandemic – what is best not only for our own family but also for the larger community.

Our brand and company are all about connection and curiosity about the world.  The Corona Virus will put Tea to the test of figuring out how we can stay connected to the world in our own backyard (literally).  We can and we must.  We are afraid of the virus spreading, and we are afraid of the impact on relationships and connections to (and with) the world.  We must resist sadness, fear and isolation while we are hunkered down. We must stay connected and curious – caring for the greater community all around the globe.

We are collecting and sharing ideas for how families can use this time ahead at home with our families to connect with each other and to the world around us.  We will share ideas on Instagram and on our blog.  We are following the CDC and WHO guidelines including (and especially) “social distancing”  which means working from home, staying at least six feet from other people and not traveling.

Believe me, this is not easy for a group of people who really love working together – and travel!  Our community means everything to us.  We love working with our small but mighty Tea team and we really love connecting with our customers.  We treasure engaging in the world – and understand that this will look and feel different to us during this time.  We’re focused on staying connected and curious.

Please stay connected with us.  We love hearing from you.

Leigh

International Women’s Day

Being a female-run and founded company, it’s a big priority at Tea to take every opportunity to inspire, uplift, and support the further empowerment of women. This month we celebrate women who have inspired us from all different backgrounds and walks of life. We asked seven of these women our pressing questions about life and empowerment. 

 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Anna, Lila Ruby King: Fake it, till you make, is totally a thing. The adults are doing it, all the time.

Kristin Guy: It’s okay to say no…and don’t burn your candle from both ends.

Mitzi Rivas: 1. Honor your intuition: If the path that is presented to you doesn’t feel true to you, step off of the well-manicured path and into the unpaved terrain where the wildflowers grow and the thickets are untamed. 2. Realize that we are interdependent: don’t undermine your talent but don’t believe your achievements stemmed from you alone. We stand on the shoulders of so many- acknowledging this truth is critical to achieving great heights. 3. Practice self-compassion. I learned this skill in my 40’s (I wish it had been sooner) and it makes the delicate balance of giving and receiving an act of ease.

Miranda Anderson: I tell my current self the same thing I would tell my younger self and it is this: You have plenty of time. You don’t have to be in a hurry. Take it slow. Enjoy each moment. Breathe deeply. Embrace the present with gratitude.

Rebecca Gross: I would probably advise my younger self to look within and not outwardly for comparison and approval. It is, of course, easier said than done, but in this season of my life I am slowly learning to live by this, and I think it would have been helpful understanding it on a deeper level earlier in life. 

Calli Kelsay: There are no boxes that you need to fit in so do you for you. Don’t worry quite as much because things will still work out one way or another. Failure is just another way of saying I haven’t figured it out yet, but there are a million and one ways that I can try again. Then get up and try again. Having self-compassion will pull you through all of the things life will throw at you. All of the hardships that will happen are opportunities to grow stronger. Never shy away from giving to others when you can and where you can. Try new things, often. Use your talents and strengths for the greater good. It’s okay to stand alone when you’re standing for what you know is right. 

Leigh Rawdon: I would like to send a message to my younger self before I had kids: make the most of your weekends! You think you are so busy, but you have so. Much. Time. Exercise, sleep late, linger over coffee with friends, spend hours in the kitchen mastering a recipe, travel, re-learn how to play the piano, organize your house, read a million books!  (I should probably remember to give my older self this advice when my kids go off to college!)

 

What do you hope for your kids’ futures—both boys and girls—and their approach towards equality between genders?

Mitzi Rivas: My hope for my beloved children, Luca and Maya, is that they proudly stand on their father, Carlos’ shoulder and mine. May they deeply appreciate the blend of the masculine and feminine and realize the harmonious impact for good that arises when both are given expression.

Leigh Rawdon: I always wanted to have a daughter so I could help her develop into a strong, kind, and independent woman. That didn’t happen! I have two incredible sons. So instead I am raising my boys to be good men—men who grow up seeing and believing that women are leaders and CEOs. They are surrounded by women who are confident and compassionate. They read books and watch movies with female protagonists without thinking twice. I might not get the chance to raise my own daughter, but I’m doing my part to nurture two sons who will respect and value women’s perspectives and equal participation.

 

How do you navigate motherhood and career goals? 

Kristin Guy: When I was very new to the working mom role, I made the decision to leave a senior-level corporate position over six years ago to go freelance and start my own business. I wanted the opportunity to have flexible hours and the potential to work from home. Now as a self-employed working mother, I am grateful for that decision because[…]it is very important for me to have the ability to control that balance of time spent between my family and my career. It was initially a terrifying leap into the unknown, but looking back I don’t regret a thing because I’m able to do what I love while being more creative than ever and still spend quality time with my family. 

I decided to consider my children my greatest asset in my career. They naturally create scheduling boundaries that I have to navigate, which means more efficiency, creativity, and flexibility. They are so imaginative and wonderful examples of living in the present an

Miranda Anderson: Years ago enjoying the moment. I truly believe that one of the best gifts I can give them is a mother who is fully living into her dreams, which for me has meant writing a book, traveling to speaking engagements, and hosting workshops all over the country. I show them, by example, how to live their own best lives to the fullest.

 

Besides finding a work-life balance, what was the most difficult thing you experienced in your career as a woman and how did you overcome it? 

Rebecca Gross: The most difficult thing for me was working under bosses/a company that did not value or appreciate me or my artistry. I had a constant feeling of why have they even hired me if they won’t let me have a voice? Why am I here? Comfort and familiarity will keep you stagnant for as long as you let it. As much as leaving that situation was uncomfortable there was no opportunity for growth in a space where I wasn’t valued. I think women oftentimes feel undervalued but I can tell you, I have THRIVED when I have demanded my place in spaces where I felt I belonged.

Mitzi Rivas: Over the years I have chosen to honor my own voice instead of bowing down to the more dominant and imposing voices in society. Being a Salvadoran woman, it is sometimes hard to depict the source of the challenge. It has taken much of my life to find the courage to step forward with my perspective, passion, and talents amongst the undercurrent of unspoken messages designed to keep me in place. The struggle is real, but so is freedom and opportunity to infuse my truth and purpose into my daily life and work.

 

What qualities make a great leader?

Leigh Rawdon: Curiosity. Great leaders know that the key is to search for and discover the right answer, not to have the right answer.Believing that every person has something important to contribute—and helping them find it and embrace it.

Kalli Kelsay: Empathy, kindness, compassion, passion, connection, vulnerability, strength and love. I have seen, first hand, what happens when we acknowledge and honor the feelings of others[…it] creates a stronger and more powerful community.

Lila Ruby King: When I think of the leaders I really admire, probably the quality that stands out the most is empathy. I think that when our leaders display things like empathy, kindness, thoughtfulness, it filters down into the environment in which we live in or work in.

Kristin Guy: Transparency and trust in others.

Mitzi Rivas: Being able to lead with authenticity is the greatest strength of my leadership. 

 

We appreciate all of these women for passing along their words of wisdom and will continue to admire the innovation and inspiration that they poignantly demonstrate through their work and within their life. 

 

 

Artist Feature : Lila Ruby King

Guide to Athens by our Artist Collaborator, Anna of Lila Ruby King

By Leigh Rawdon

 

Whenever we travel, we always aim to work with local artists for a number of key prints for Tea’s seasonal collections. This season, we were lucky to work with Athens-based illustrator Anna of Lila Ruby King to develop two Mediterranean-inspired designs for our Spring line (the King Sardine and the Barbary Lion).

While we were in Greece for our photoshoot, Anna was kind enough to spend her Friday afternoon walking through Athens with us, as she answered our endless questions and gave us a memorable tour of the local area. After sharing a lot of laughs, she parted ways with us to meet her mom who was visiting all the way from Australia.

In fact, our local tour guide was originally from Australia herself! She moved to Athens over a decade ago for love (she’s now married to the Greek man who got her attention all the way from down under), and in the process, she has fallen in love with  Greece as well. Anna’s love runs so deep that her drawings for Lila Ruby King are entirely meant to celebrate the country that stole her heart. Her art feels like a multi-faceted love letter to the country she now calls home.

[Two prints by Lila Ruby King featuring her favorite Greek cheese and foods]

Much of Anna’s work features Greek food. Even if she keeps her creative focus on cheese alone, she’ll likely never run out of material—unique cheese choices are neverending in Greece! 

Anna also loves sardines, and it so happens that we do as well. So much so that we featured her sardines in our Spring collection (with more coming for Summer!).

 

[In-process sketches of Lila Ruby King’s sardine print and a set of charming puffin mobiles.]

Where to eat?

After wandering through Plaka, we stopped for a bite and a drink to cool off at TAF (The Art Foundation). It’s housed in an ancient building with nooks and crannies that are all worth exploring. Enjoy a Freddo Cappuccino or a cocktail in the inner courtyard. Afterward, we walked through Plaka to have some gelato at La Greche near Syntagma Square.

 

Where to shop?

[A poster for the Museum of Greek Folk Art. Anna standing in front of Heroes with the signage that she painted.]

TAF is not just for tasty beverages, but has great shops too! After you grab a beverage, wander into the gallery upstairs or the tiny shops that feature all Greek designers. We also visited the charming Museum of Greek Folk Art, which highlights traditional Greek art and crafts.

Flâneur Souvenirs & Supplies is where Anna says you should go for more indie options, such as modern Greek pins to mark your backpack or charming prints for the home. Anna’s unique and much-loved thank-you card is sold here as well. She designed it for her cat’s pet sitter and had no idea that it would become so popular.

 

 

[Anna’s pet-sitting thank-you card and her mural at Flâneur Souvenirs & Supplies]

In fact, what motivated Anna to express her love for Greece in drawing was her need for greeting cards to send to friends back in Australia. Apparently, she had a hard time finding any cards in Greece so she just started making them herself. Then she sold them on Etsy, later to shops, and the rest is history.

In Athens, Anna’s work is also sold at Heroes and KouKoutsi.

 

What to see? 

Check out the street art! Anna recommends seeking out the talented Dreyk the Pirate. She always admired his work and encouraged him to start selling his pieces. They have a close friendship now, so much so that he came by to support her while she was painting her mural at Flâneur Souvenirs & Supplies.

 

Where else to visit in Greece? 

Well, I wish I could have pried it out of her. Anna’s relationship with Greece is private. She told us about a place up north where there are idyllic places to stay near a lake. But that’s all she would tell us. Why? Because she doesn’t want it to get crowded.

That said, she really wants people to visit Greece and to support local shops. When we asked her what she wanted people traveling to Greece to know, she said, “I want people to know how important it is to shop locally. If someone has to stay in an all-inclusive resort or on a ship, then please make a point to wander into town to buy something in a shop, even if it’s just a coffee or a snack. That one act can be what helps the shop owner break even that day.”

 

Same Favorite Styles, New True Fit

Since the very beginning of our journey to bring world-wide adventures home, Tea has created exciting, travel-inspired patterns in durable and timeless designs that outlast the seasons.

Now, our very own in-house Tech Design team has created a New True Fit that is true to size and streamlined for easy movement and a modern look. The styles you love are still here; they’ve just been updated to fit better than ever!

Our new true to size fit is streamlined for a modern look.

 

Looking sleek/up to date and ready for play in our New True Fit.

 

New True fit eliminates excess material for a more streamlined fit.

 

As we continue serving fresh looks, Tea looks forward to bringing more of our travels to you. Have you seen our latest destination? Because it’s epic. Explore it here.

Questions about sizing or our New True Fit? This chart can help you pick the right size. Or, contact our sizing experts at service@teacollection.com—they have all the answers.

Let Kids Be Kids: Meet Magda of METAdrasi

We arrived at the shelter for unaccompanied refugee children in Athens to meet Magda. Magda works full-time (and more) to look after the 14 children who live in this home away from home. Every one of these children arrived in Greece without a parent or guardian. Some will stay in Greece, while others will find their way to a relative in Europe. But for now, all of these kids are at home in Athens.

The home looks like any other home in this upscale, residential neighborhood. We sat in the backyard under green trees that let in bits of warm sunshine. A toddler from the Congo kicked a soccer ball while his tween sister talked on a cell phone with her uncle. A boy from Pakistan peered over the balcony to watch us (and occasionally toss something below to get our attention). An eight-year-old Syrian girl kept tapping on Magda’s shoulder and pointing to Magda’s phone with a very expressive voice. We didn’t need to speak Greek to recognize the universal language of: “How much longer?,” and then the grown-up’s firm response: “It will be sooner if you stop interrupting me.”

And that’s just it. Childhood should be universal. While these kids have faced the unimaginable, they are still kids. They are having universal childhood experiences of kicking balls, talking on the phone, and waiting endlessly for a grown-up to stop talking to other grown-ups.

We asked Magda, “What do you want people to know about METAdrasi’s work helping unaccompanied child refugees?”

She paused and then looked us in the eye to emphasize the importance: “Remember first and foremost: these are kids just like any other kids. Don’t look at them with pity. Don’t ask them about their past or to repeat their story. These kids need to live in the present and look forward. They are more than their refugee story.”

Our hour-long conversation went by so quickly (at least for the adults, but it was clearly interminable for children!). Much to the delight of the girl watching the clock, Magda was finally ready to walk to the nearby kiosk. The Congolese tween had finished her call with her uncle so she joined us, as did a happy, dimpled girl from Kazakhstan.

We all walked in a pack. Sometimes the girls held each other’s hands. Sometimes they grabbed Magda’s hand. One would skip ahead and then the others would jump to catch up. They zigged and zagged down the sidewalk, making jokes in Greek that we didn’t understand—and yet, in a way we did.

We arrived at the kiosk. What had the young girl been waiting not-so-patiently for? SLIME!

Indeed, Magda is doing the work that these children need most. She is enabling them to be kids.

We are happy that Tea can be a part of this important work, nurturing kids to be kids, wherever they live, however they arrived, wherever they are going next. All children deserve dignity, and it is the work of people like Magda and METAdrasi that makes that possible one sweet, slime-loving, giggly kid at a time.

About METAdrasi

 

METAdrasi – Action for Migration and Development was founded in December 2009, with the mission to cover crucial gaps in the reception and integration of refugees and migrants in Greece. METAdrasi is determined to uphold and protect the fundamental human rights of all those displaced and persecuted through innovative interventions. METAdrasi is the only NGO that retains a permanent frontline presence in all key entry points in Greece, focusing on four main axes of activities: interpretation, protection of unaccompanied children, protection of other vulnerable groups, and education and integration. For more information, please visit www.metadrasi.org.