Category: Across the Street

Small Business Saturday: Celebrating The Boutiques of Tea

Small Business Saturday

It’s Small Business Saturday! To celebrate, we wanted to take the time to highlight a few of the boutiques that help bring Tea to you. From California to North Carolina, these tiny but mighty businesses help bring the magic and meaning of Tea to life. Read on to hear more from each store owner about what Small Business Saturday means to them, their holiday tips, tricks, and wishes, and what they recommend from Tea this gifting season.

 

Baby Bliss (Dallas, TX)

Baby Bliss

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

Bringing recognition and support to the local stores whose owners live in and contribute to your community.

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

I have learned to buy early or things get sold out! In general, I have no tricks. I just love the season… The decorations, the music, and the feeling of buying for others!

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

I’m dreaming of some very expensive tennis shoes that I won’t buy for myself… Really, I just want to be surrounded by my people in peace and happiness. And a day off of work where I don’t have to worry about emails and phone calls!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

We love all things Tea! For the babies, we go for easy rompers. For girls, fun dresses paired with leggings is a no brainer. And for the boys, we love the tees that can pair with any of the Tea pants!

Follow Baby Bliss @shopbabybliss and @shopminimedallas.

 

Little (Portland, ME)

Little

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

Small Business Saturday is really important to Little. It’s a day where small, local shops are recognized and people take a break from the big-box retailers. It’s also a day where we get to celebrate our customers! They’re the reason we’re here and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their support.

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

If you love it, buy it! This is especially true if you shop small. These stores spend a lot of time curating their selection. And with a lot of these items being made by hand and in small batches, once it’s gone, it won’t be back for awhile. Shopping this way also makes gift giving that much more special.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

To travel… To anywhere new!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

Matching Family Plaid outfits! Match with siblings, cousins, best friends… Whoever! It’s so cute! But if you’re looking for something for a newborn, anything from the sherpa collection would be great to snuggle in this winter.

Follow Little @boutiquelittle.

 

Mockingbird (Charlestown, MA)

Mockingbird

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

Small Business Saturday means community. Living and owning a store in the same neighborhood, I love the chance to get to know my customers and neighbors and learn what they want and need. It’s a joy to watch families begin and expand.

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

I always ask store owners for their advice based on my friends and family’s style and interests. They always have the best suggestions!

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

I hope to find a Breville Espresso Maker under my tree. I need the strong stuff owning a small business and raising two girls!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

My two daughters and I are loving the Earth Red velour pieces. We’re having a hard time deciding which pieces to bring home!

Follow Mockingbird @mockingbirdstore.

 

Fox + Kit (Mashpee, MA)

Fox + Kit

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

I’m glad that Small Business Saturday serves as a day to remind everyone that small businesses are important, especially during the busy holiday shopping season. Shopping small supports families and communities. For me, when people shop at Fox + Kit, they are also supporting my dream. Small Business Saturday is a day for us to celebrate the power of shopping small. And since many small businesses have websites, you might not even need to leave your couch!

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

Shop early if there’s something you know you want. Manufacturers and retailers try to anticipate how much stock they might need for the holiday season, but oftentimes, products do sell out. Also, don’t underestimate the power of price matching. While small businesses are frequently thought of as more expensive, more often than not, their prices are the same as (or lower than!) online competitors. Don’t be afraid to ask your local shop to price match if you do find something online for a lower price.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

A vacation 😂 After months of working 6-7 days a week, I could use one!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

My 3-year-old daughter would say velour joggers and leggings, for sure! She loves running her hands up and down her “soft pants.” The joggers also have pockets, which are imperative for collecting rocks.

I personally am loving the Baby Yeti Storytelling Tee and the Glow-In-The-Dark Leopard tee. And anything with a fox 🦊 Give me all the cute critters!

Follow Fox + Kit @fox.and.kit.

 

The Spotted Goose (Cincinnati, OH)

The Spotted Goose

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

Small Business Saturday is a special day for our team. Not only are we a small business, but many of our team members’ families own and operate small businesses. It’s really nice to have a day to encourage folks to shop small and support your neighbors!

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

Go with your heart – thoughtful gifts always make the biggest impression.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

A trip to the beach – I need some sunshine in my life!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

We love the little leopard tunic paired with a fun legging, as well as the boys sweatpants with a plaid button up worn open with a t-shirt underneath!

Follow The Spotted Goose @thespottedgoose.

 

Polliwogs (Greensboro, NC)

Polliwogs

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

Start early! Take pictures of everything you buy and keep a list. It’s very easy to lose track of what you have and have not purchased!

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

I love anything that my kids make. It’s just so sweet to see that they took the time to create something special. Jewelry is never a bad gift either!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with pajamas. Tea PJs have always been a personal favorite in our home. They are very cozy and have the best prints! I am particularly fond of the boy’s Yeti Raglan pajamas this season.

Follow Polliwogs @polliwogsonline.

 

Keedo Kids (Oklahoma City, OK)

Keedo Kids

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

Small Business Saturday is a chance for people to slow down and get to know their local shops. We can’t do the big box discounts that you’ll see on Black Friday, but we can offer customer service that you’ll only find in smaller shops!

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

The best tip I can give is know your sizes when you head out to shop. All 3 year olds don’t wear the same size, and a picture doesn’t always help us. With shoes, you can trace the child’s foot and cut it out! Shoe brands don’t always run the same.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

I want TIME for Christmas. My kids are all grown and busy with their own lives. I miss Sunday Family dinners! Time with friends also gets harder as we all start having grandkids.

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

Tea is such a great brand – you can’t go wrong! I love doing matching big and little sister. The Full Skirt Wrap Neck Dress for girl and Metallic Ruffled Romper for little girl in Golden Sun are my favorites! I love the blue with the pop of gold. For boys, I like to layer a button-up flannel over a t-shirt. My favorite is the Everest Glow-In-The-Dark Tee with the Hooded Bold Blue Plaid Button Up Shirt.

Follow Keedo @keedokids.

 

Kissui (Redlands, CA)

Kissui

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

I love small business Saturday more than any other day of the year! It’s when I get to see all of our most loyal customers. It gives us a day to show how much we appreciate them and their support throughout the year.

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

Holiday shopping can be overwhelming to say the least. I have always been a fan of the mantra: less is more. I try to purchase fewer items and instead focus on quality. I love the idea of giving gifts that I know will last.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

If anyone would like to send me on vacation, I will gladly accept!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

As a mom to 3 girls, I am loving the velour options. They are SO soft and have just the right amount of stretch. For the boys, I would pick the Himalyan Ski romper or tee.

Follow Kissui @kissui.

 

Magical Child (Encinitas, CA)

Magical Child

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

It’s a way to gain exposure for our store and promote shopping small! Small businesses are known for exceptional customer service because we always try to do the most for everyone that walks in. Small businesses offer a more personalized experience, something we greatly value. Customers are our #1 priority, and we love the opportunity to highlight our specialized way of shopping!

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

Don’t wait for the last minute to get all your shopping done! Get your holiday shopping done as early as possible – a small sale isn’t worth your peace of mind!

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

A surprise flight to a fun destination!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

Tea pajamas are always a great gift – so warm and cozy! Also, the boys t-shirts are always very cute!

Follow Magical Child @magical.child.encinitas.

 

Sweet Pea (Traverse City, MI)

Sweet Pea

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

Small Business Saturday is a chance to show that we value our local customers!

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

Provide the best customer service possible! Become a personal shopper for each customer. Offer free gift wrap and make it personal; remember customers’ names and stories.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

The greatest gift is time with family and friends!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

Dresses and leggings for the girls, and rompers are a must for infants!

Follow Sweet Pea @sweetpeatc.

 

Maya Papaya and Tony (Evanston, IL)

Maya Papaya and Tony

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

It means good old fashioned shopping. Set the phone aside. Shop with your senses. See, touch, and smell instead of clicking.

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

“The item you saw today and want to think about tonight will be sold later today to someone who saw it yesterday and thought about it last night.”

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

As corny as it sounds, I would love some peace on earth. The world has become very convoluted.

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

For girls, the Golden Sun print dress or romper; it has just the right amount of sparkle and twirl. You can dress it up or down as occasion calls. For boys, the Dueling Dragons popover – very unique with the dragon print along the sleeves!

 

Check out Maya Papaya and Tony at maya-tony.com.

 

Clothes Pony (Fort Collins, CO)

Clothes Pony

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate our community. We are so grateful for all the folks who come and play with us all year long. We know everyone has choices of where to buy their holiday gifts, but we believe in the power of meeting your neighbors, greeting travelers, and hearing each other’s stories; laughing together, crying together, admiring each other’s children, and making friends. Combine all of that with the process of going to market and finding the products that bring you the most joy and best meet your family’s needs. Our kid-friendly store is founded on our core values of fun, open-heartedness, and unique high-quality products. Every time someone walks in our door, we have a potential new friend!

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

We tell anyone shopping this holiday season to focus on clothes and toys that can be enjoyed for years and handed down to other little ones. Quality over quantity. Revel in your family and friends this year and focus on each other rather than the perfect holiday. This year more than ever, look for companies that reflect the values that are important to you.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

Our dream gift this year is to spend Christmas day (ALL DAY) singing karaoke with our families – that and a cashmere travel wrap!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

You really can’t go wrong with the Tea brand. Kids love the comfy fit and colorful prints, while parents love that Tea washes and wears beautifully and is made by a company that cares about the world. Our current favorite is the Dragon Zip Hoodie that is perfect for Colorado winters and turns any kiddo into a fiery dragon. We also adore the Metallic Wind Horse Dress because we love seeing our horse crazy girls layer that dress over a funky pair of leggings and wear it from school to the playground to The Nutcracker.

Follow Clothes Pony @clothesponyanddandeliontoys.

 

Dungeness Kids (Sequim, WA)

Dungeness Kids

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

I love that it celebrates small businesses that work so hard for their communities.

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

I always appreciate the unique, quality gifts. Grab things when you see them throughout the year so they’re not gone when you’re looking for them during the holidays.

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

I’d love a trip to Hawaii!

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

I’m a boy mom, so my favorite picks this season are the Bear Snack Graphic Tee and the Forest Fleece Joggers.

Follow Dungeness Kids @dungenesskids.

 

Fiddlesticks (San Francisco, CA)

Fiddlesticks

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?

 

It’s a marketing moment that reminds people to shop local. There can never be enough reminders to support the local community. Jump off your devices and visit your local stores! #shoplocal

 

Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?

 

Shop early and avoid the weekends if you can. Get that list compiled now and start crossing it off early. Just think: the sooner you finish, the more time you have for baking and nog. #hayesvalley

 

What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?

 

The best gift I could ever get is TIME with my family. Experiences together are golden. As my kids continue to get older, time with them becomes more valuable.

 

For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?

 

We adore the Himalayan Ski print! It’s available in boy, girl, and baby, so it can be for everyone. It’s such a lovely print that captures the fun of winter! Dress the adults in denim and navy, and you have a great family photo opportunity.

Follow Fiddlesticks @fiddlesticks_sf.

From all of us here at Tea, we can’t thank these boutiques enough! You can find your local Tea retailer here. Are you a boutique owner interested in carrying Tea? Send our Wholesale team a note at wholesaleteam@teacollection.com!

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.