Category: Across the Street

Boutique of the Month: Fiddlesticks

Fiddlesticks

Every month, we highlight one of the three hundred boutiques across the country that help bring Tea to your local communities. This month, we’re featuring Fiddlesticks, a boutique based right here in our own backyard in San Francisco, CA. After working for big companies like Coca-Cola, Fiddlesticks’ owner, Elizabeth, decided to pursue her own passions. Read on to learn more about her story.

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What inspired you to open your boutique? How long has it been open?

 

I started my career at Coca-Cola in their Marketing department, and from there jumped into several Tech companies. It wasn’t the right fit for me, and soon I found myself on a path to open my own retail store. I believe I was always meant to be an entrepreneur. I have been doing this for over 15 years now, and to me it’s a lifestyle that I continue to really enjoy.

What makes your store special?

Fiddlesticks

I believe it’s the combination of our curation and merchandising. Design is really important to me when I head out on my buying trips. I look high and low to make sure the brand Fiddlesticks remains consistent in design and quality. And once in store, placement really matters – especially when mixed with toys and books.

I also believe our boys section is really special, and at times lately heavier than our girls side. The girls can’t always get all the attention. 😉

What was your favorite Tea destination and why?

 

We have been with Tea since the very beginning – back when there were just a handful of designs. So we have seen many destinations in the last 15 years. My favorite destination will always be Japan. I see it as a return to the brand’s roots, plus the designs are always beautiful.

What was the last trip you & your family took together, and what made it special?

 

This past summer we meandered our way through the Midwest for several weeks. My husband and I grew up in the Midwest, so this was familiar travel. We played with family and friends, and found ourselves in many known adventures. But we also tossed in a great deal of new to it all, which is what made it very special. Familiar travel with a mix of new was the right choice for us this summer. Plus, getting out of San Francisco during our freezing summers is always welcome!

Who inspires you (alive or not) and why?

 

My children! They are always schooling me in current lingo, wearing (or rejecting) the current trends, and always teaching me to be a better person. They are my light at the end of the day, and the force that keeps me inspired in this world that seems so dark right now.

What is one thing you think customers should know about the store that they may not be aware of?

 

We have an incredible Giveback program! We support local schools through our “It’s In The Bag” program. When San Francisco introduced a mandated 10 cent shopping bag fee in 2013, we saw an opportunity to bring together our customers and our local school community. We now charge 50 cents per bag, and all the funds generated from shopping bag sales within a two-week period are matched by Fiddlesticks, sealed with a kiss, and donated to a local school.

You’re a new addition in the crayon color box. What color are you?

 

In the world of Fiddlesticks, definitely Porange. Our brand colors are blue and orange, but we love to toss in pink here and there. Our favorite ribbon combo on our wrapping is white, pink & orange – PORANGE!

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Be sure to check out Fiddlesticks if you’re in San Francisco, CA. Not in the Bay? You can support Fiddlesticks by shopping online at www.shopfiddlesticks.com. Want to see more stories like this? Be sure to follow Tea Collection on Instagram @teacollection.

Boutique of the Month: Ruby’s Garden

Ruby's Garden

Every month, we highlight one of the three hundred boutiques across the country that help bring Tea to your local communities. This month, we’re featuring Ruby’s Garden, a boutique in Oakland, CA. Together with her daughter Ruby, storeowner Mae has run Ruby’s Garden for thirteen years. Read on to learn more about her story.

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Mae, Storeowner of Ruby's Garden

Mae, Storeowner of Ruby’s Garden

Before I was a stay-at-home mom, I was an architect and a community organizer. All that outward career energy doesn’t just go away when we have a baby, does it? My “nesting instinct” when I was pregnant was knitting. I learned and was soon obsessed. I think the reason I was so into it was because I was creating tangible work product, in contrast to the intangibility of parenting a new baby. All that knitting was part of figuring out I needed work outside the home that I could do while mothering. So I created Ruby’s Garden to be a place I could raise Ruby alongside all the mothers in my community.

Opening a children’s store sounds like it’s about the stuff we sell. I’ve always had a pretty clear point of view in choosing products from my design background. Designing all our store layouts and product fixtures has been extra fun since it’s the fun part of architecture and interior design. But the reason I’ve loved Ruby’s Garden has always been getting to be connected with my neighbors and providing a space for neighbors to connect with each other. I especially love the sisterhood of women-owned businesses on my block and throughout Oakland. Sisters are doing it, and I love being a part of cheering us on.

Ruby and Mae

Ruby and Mae

I’m so proud to have raised Ruby in the shop these thirteen years. As a high-schooler now, Ruby has taught me a lot about youth culture and social media — all of which have impacted how I run the business. She’s an entrepreneur in the making, and I like to think she’s learned a few things from me too.

Ruby and I have been doing more traveling together these past few years. We embarked today on our first trip to Asia together: Taipei first, where my mom grew up, then Hong Kong where my late father grew up. I’m writing from our Airbnb in Taipei after night market street food adventures. Tomorrow is the Dragon Boat Festival, a national holiday in Taiwan—another adventure tomorrow!

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Be sure to check out Ruby’s Garden if you’re in Oakland, CA. Of course, you can always shop Tea at TeaCollection.com. Want to see more? Follow us on Instagram @tea_collection.

Boutique of the Month: The Spotted Goose

The Spotted Goose

Our Boutique of the Month series highlights the boutiques across the U.S. that help bring Tea to your local communities. This month, we’re featuring The Spotted Goose, a boutique based in Cincinnati, OH. We sat down with store owner Amy Fessler to learn more about her store and what makes it special.

What inspired you to open your boutique? How long has it been open?
Store Owner Amy Fessler

Store Owner Amy Fessler

 

Totally by chance. Someone else opened the Spotted Goose in 2007. I was shopping in the store one day when I overheard the owner say she was moving to China and going to sell the store. I jumped at the chance and a few months later I was the proud owner of The Spotted Goose.

What makes your store special?

 

We’re a locally owned boutique and love being a part of our neighborhood. We work in the store, get to know our clients and their families, and hand select the items we bring into our space. Our clients are the absolute best and it is so much fun getting to know them and their little families.

What was your favorite Tea destination and why?

 

I’d have to say the current collection. We have a more minimal style and the current collection’s simple patterns and sweet little stripes have definitely been a favorite of ours.

Tea in the Spotted Goose

What was the last trip you and your family took together and what made it special?

 

We went to Cabo for Spring break this year. It was the first time we took the kids out of the country. We had such an amazing time. The most special part was exposing our children to different cultures, family dynamics, and showing them how diverse and wonderful our world really is.

Who inspires you (alive or not) and why?

 

Elyse Walker – boutique owner and fashion icon! I love that she is a strong woman who empowers women. She has a wonderful team of ladies that make up that powerhouse brand. We are so fortunate to have a group of gals (The Goose Gals) in our store who are strong, smart, and our shop family.

What is one thing you think customers should know about your store that they may not be aware of?

 

We offer personal styling sessions for your little ones. Families are busy, so we do our best to make the shopping process simple. Clients call us looking for an outfit for an event or photoshoot or needing new wardrobes for the season. We ask a few questions about style, favorite brands, and size. Then, we shoot over photos/style guides for the family. If the client is out of town, we can ship items directly to them or we can set up an appointment in the store to go over selections. Life is busy. We’re happy to free up some time for our clients to spend with their loved ones!

The Spotted Goose

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

 

Tulum Teal because those beaches are beautiful! If you catch me daydreaming, I’m on those white sandy beaches soaking up the view and the sunshine.

Be sure to check out the Spotted Goose if you’re in Cincinnati, OH. Of course, you can always shop Tea at TeaCollection.com. Want to see more? Follow us on Instagram @tea_collection.

Boutique of the Month: Cotton Tails

Cotton Tails

All across the U.S., boutiques help bring Tea to your local communities. This month, we headed to Memphis, TN to meet Miki, the owner of Cotton Tails. She told us more about her store, a bit about herself, and why she was drawn to Tea. Read on to see what she had to say!

What inspired you to open your boutique? How long has it been open?

 

Tea Display in Cotton Tails

Tea Display in Cotton Tails

My store has been open for 30 years. It all started with going to a children’s store when my daughter Elizabeth was 2. The customer service was horrible. The ladies stood around chit chatting and I could not even get them to ring up my purchase. It made me sad. Picking out your children’s clothing should be a happy experience!

What makes your store special?

 

My wonderful, wonderful customers!

What was your favorite Tea destination and why?

 

My favorite Tea destination will always be Japan. That was the first country that you did.  My mother is Japanese and I was born there. I was there till I was 6. We have been back a few times to visit.

What was the last trip you and your family took together and what made it special?

 

We always like to go to the mountains. It was nice to get away and pack a picnic lunch and hike. Just us and nobody else.

Who inspires you (alive or not) and why?

 

My mother. She is the epitome of grace and wisdom. I love hearing her stories. She was a young girl during WW2. I am always amazed by how brave she was during the war. She went through so much but survived. She and her country gave me a worldly outlook on people and their cultures. It has given me such a respect for people and their differences. Tea drew me in immediately because I understood exactly what their mission was.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

 

A rainbow! I think it takes a lot of different shades to make a box.

If you happen to be in Memphis, TN, be sure to stop by Cotton Tails and say hello to Miki! Of course, you can always shop Tea at TeaCollection.com. Follow more adventures like this on our Instagram @tea_collection.

 

Boutique of the Month: Kissui

Kissui

Kissui’s Owner, Laura

Did you know you can find Tea in 300 boutiques around the U.S.? In our new Boutique of the Month series, we’re celebrating the hometown heroes who bring Tea to your community. This month, we’re featuring Kissui from Redlands, CA. We spoke to Kissui’s owner, Laura, and asked how she brings a bit of magic to her community.

What inspired you to open your boutique? How long has it been open?

 

I grew up with parents who were business owners. I always knew I wanted to own something of my own, but wasn’t sure what. I graduated with a degree in Entrepreneurship, but it wasn’t until having my first baby that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I quickly learned there were no local shops that carried the items I saw online. Just after my daughter turned 1, we opened our store in Redlands and never looked back! I feel so grateful to have spent the last 12 years loving my job.

What makes your store special?

 

Kissui

Inside the Kissui Store

Kissui is not just a store full of products. Kissui is a place where families come and lasting friendships are made. I have raised my kids in this store. Employees bring their babies to work. Customers know there is always a place for them here regardless of whether they are here to shop or just need a break. The products we offer are products we use in our own lives. To us, this is a community. As we venture into having a website, we know it will allow us to grow and have positive impacts on families outside of our small town.

What was your favorite Tea destination and why?

 

Italy! The delicate florals… The ruffles…. It was perfection.

What was the last trip you and your family took together and what made it special?

 

Our last family trip was to Tulum, Mexico. Life can be hectic with 3 kids and 2 stores. Having the opportunity to slow down and just relax as a family was so needed.

If you happen to be in Redlands, CA, be sure to stop by Kissui and say hello to Laura! Of course, you can always shop Tea at TeaCollection.com. Follow more adventures like this on our Instagram @tea_collection.

Citizenship: Time to Vote

A post from Tea Collection co-founder and CEO, Leigh Rawdon. 

This is Matthew in 2008, just about five weeks old, joining me when I voted in the 2008 Presidential election.

 

Since the founding of Tea, we have built our company for little citizens of the world.   We respect the power of the word “citizen,” understanding that with it comes a commitment to engaging in the community whether local, national, or global.  There are many ways to engage, and certainly one of the most important roles we have in our country is as voters.

I’m happy to share that Tea is officially part of the Time to Vote campaign, originally initiated by Patagonia and a group of similarly committed companies.  We want to be sure that everyone at Tea has the time to exercise our right to vote every year.  Everyone on the Tea team can take up to a half day off to vote.  We want you to have the time to take your kids with you to the polls if you can, so that children can see from the earliest ages how important it is to be an engaged citizen.

At Tea, we understand the power of images.  When we see a foreign place or language or food, it can become familiar and even a small part of us.  Similarly, when a child sees a parent voting or speaking up for what matters, the experience becomes a part of them.

As a part of our commitment to the Time to Vote campaign, we are asking our Tea community to also take the time to vote and to share pictures of your families engaged in citizenship.  We would love to see kids at polling places or with an “I voted” sticker or any other activity where they have an experience of citizenship.  We’ll select our Little Citizen of the Month for November from these images, celebrating the importance of taking the time to vote – and taking the time to include our littlest citizens when we do.

I’m the first to understand that this isn’t easy.  When it’s not a Presidential election year, it’s sometimes hard to prioritize getting to the polls or submitting your mail-in vote.  It’s not easy to study up on the California ballot measures, and it’s not easy to get home in time from work to pick up the kids and get to the polls just so they can see democracy in action.

But I hope our commitment at Tea for the Time to Vote campaign inspires each of us to make it happen.  I’ll admit that the Time to Vote commitment is the extra motivation I needed to figure out where I can take my kids with me for early voting since I’ll be visiting our factory in Thailand on Election Day.  Otherwise, I might have just mailed in my ballot without much a mention to the kids.  Instead, I’m going to jump through a few hoops to talk to them about the election and take them with me to drop off my ballot.  They might prefer Fortnite or soccer, but I have a feeling that the experience will stick with them.  They will grow up remembering going to the polls every year with their parents and understanding the importance of being a good citizen.

Tag your citizenship photos on Facebook and Instagram with #timetovote to support the nationwide campaign and #Teacollection #LCOMvote to share with our Tea community and to be eligible for our November Little Citizen of the Month contest (see more details below).  Someone will win a gift certificate for Tea, but more importantly we can all inspire each other to be role models for our kids and to be engaged citizens in our country!

To learn more about the Time to Vote campaign, click here.

To register to vote or to learn more about your polling place, click here.

Voting with Adam in 2016

 

To enter our Little Citizen of the Month program to win $100 gift certificate to Tea, follow @tea_collection on Instagram, post a photo of your kiddo wearing Tea and engaged in civic activity – volunteering, joining you to vote, etc.  Use #teacollection and #LCOMvote.  Winner will be selected and notified on 11/9/2018.