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.

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.

Made In Peru

Did you know a lot of our clothing is made in Peru? During their trip, our designers visited our factory in Lima and got an inside look into how Tea is made.

Our factory partners at ASA Textile Sourcing are responsible for producing all of our graphic tees and many of the dresses you know and love. They do everything from spinning and knitting the fabrics to packaging and washing the finished product.

Nicole posing with one of our graphics at the factory.

 

ASA employs over a thousand workers and follows strict guidelines for fair and safe worker conditions. Having worked with ASA for almost five years, we’re proud to call them a trusted partner in our manufacturing process.

The factory floor of ASA Textile Sourcing.

 

You can see the full line of Peruvian-inspired clothing they helped create here. For more information on our ethical sourcing practices, visit our website at www.teacollection.com/about/ethical-sourcing.

Destination: Peru

Hola! Every year, our designers travel the world to bring back inspiration for our seasonal collections. This fall, we’re headed to South America to explore the peaks and valleys of The Andes. Our newest collection specifically highlights the beauty of Peru, so sit back and relax as we take you through this colorful section of the globe.

From San Francisco, our designers traveled to the Sacred Valley of Peru. They were originally drawn to the region because of its bright colors and fascinating history. Textbooks and copious Google searches made it clear that Peru had no shortage of vibrancy; real life proved to be no exception. 

Tucked between Cusco and Urubamba is the small, rustic town of Chinchero. Wandering through its bustling Sunday market, our designers were greeted with textiles in every shade and fruits and vegetables in every hue.

Pictured here is a weaver we met in Cusco at the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco. She dyes alpaca wool using natural methods (bugs mixed with lime juice, to be exact!).

According to local mythology, Chinchero is believed to be the birthplace of the rainbow. The rainbow soon became a focal point of the designer’s trip – and eventually our collection. Just like the vast range of colors that line everything from the mountains to the marketplaces, our collection is filled with rainbows in every shape, way, and form.

Peru’s Rainbow Mountain served as inspiration for one of the key prints in our latest collection. Photo credit: McKayla Crump courtesy of Unsplash

Another theme that arose from the designers’ trip was the abundance of animal friends. The most memorable were the fuzzy llamas and alpacas. The difference? Llamas are bigger, which make them great for transportation. On the other hand, alpacas are smaller and have softer wool. 

Pictured here is an alpaca (not a llama!) grazing at a farm our designers visited.

Of course, our designers couldn’t travel to Peru without visiting one of its most famous landmarks: Machu Picchu. Dubbed the “City of Clouds,” our designers quickly learned how the historical site got its name. After reaching the top, they were met with a magical (but slightly overcast) view of the ancient Incan citadel. 

Instagram is a bit different than reality. Ponchos and all, our designers made it to the top of iconic Machu Picchu.  

We hope you enjoy everything our new Peruvian collection has to offer. Shop new arrivals, and follow along on Instagram @teacollection for more fun and adventures. 

Father’s Day with Bradley Hasemeyer

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. “

 

 

 

Tea Stands Against Racial Injustice: We’re working to be better and do better.

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, 

Leigh

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

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance from Embrace Race

Support Black-owned businesses:

Support Black-Owned Restaurants in your Community

Black-Owned Natural Skincare, Beauty, Home & More on BLK+GRN

Buy from Black-owned business via Refinery29

Donate:

Conscious Kid

Facing History

Color of Change

NAACP

ACLU

Black Lives Matter

Vote

A Letter from our CEO and Co-Founder, Leigh Rawdon 

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,

Leigh

 

Happy Mother’s Day, From Us to You!

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!

Leigh