Category: Our Community

Small Business Saturday: Celebrating the Boutiques of Tea

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

Brook and Main

Where are you located?

Cohasset, MA

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

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

What do you love most about your job?

Selecting products for the shop and interacting with customers!

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

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

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Greece!

What is your next dream travel destination?

Morocco!

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

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

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

My Urban Toddler

Where are you located?

Ann Arbor, MI

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

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

What do you love most about your job?

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

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

Knit sweater overall dress – feels very nostalgic!

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Peru!

What is your next dream travel destination?

Hawaii

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

Find joy in everything.

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

Itty Bitty Bella

Where are you located?

Collierville, Tennessee

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

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

What do you love most about your job?

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

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

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

What is your favorite Tea destination?

Egypt

What is your next dream travel destination?

Egypt!

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

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

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

Mockingbird Baby & Kids

Where are you located?

Charlestown, MA

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

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

What do you love most about your job?

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

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

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

What is your favorite Tea destination?

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

What is your next dream travel destination?

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

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

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

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

Fiddlesticks

Where are you located?

San Francisco, CA

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

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

What do you love most about your job?

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

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

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

What is your favorite Tea destination?

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

What is your next dream travel destination?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tea Donates 12,000 Units to the Homeless Prenatal Program

Donation to Homeless Prenatal Program

A couple of weeks ago, we held a Sample Sale at our San Francisco headquarters. The event drew Tea fans from near and far to shop styles from season’s past. While it was amazing to see so many shoppers come through our doors, we recognize that not every family has the opportunity to shop Tea. We’re committed to bettering the lives of children everywhere, including those in our own backyard. We used the remaining inventory to make a difference in our local community, donating nearly all of the leftover clothing to our neighbors at the Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP). We’re proud to say we donated 63 boxes of clothing, totaling 12,000 units!

For over 30 years, HPP has empowered low-income and homeless families, particularly mothers motivated by pregnancy and parenthood, to gain the strength and confidence they need to change their lives. HPP partners with parents to address family health and stability during the transformative stages of pregnancy to kindergarten. As a holistic family resource center, HPP supports both parents and children in order to strengthen the whole family – and our community.

You can help HPP break the cycle of family poverty. You can make a donation to HPP at http://www.homelessprenatal.org/donate. Every contribution – big and small – makes a difference in a mother’s life.

Meet Living Rosa: A Family With Pride

Living Rosa

June is Pride Month, a reminder to celebrate all people. At Tea, we believe in teaching kids to be little citizens of the world. By opening our hearts and minds to others, we set an example for our children to follow. Today, we’re featuring Living Rosa, a two-mom family with three of the cutest little citizens of the world. Over the last five years, they’ve amassed a large following on YouTube documenting their road to parenthood and everyday adventures. Read on to learn more about their lovely family!

_______

What does pride mean to you, especially as a family?

Living Rosa

Having pride in yourself is so important but even more so as a family. We always tell our kids that family is the most important and valued thing we have. Families can be made in so many different ways, but the only factor that really matters is the love within your family. Have pride in yourself, but also be proud and supportive of your family. Pride is about feeling comfortable with your true self and not letting others cover up the beauty that you are.

Have you faced challenges being a two-mom family? If so, what have they been and how have you dealt with them?

We are extremely lucky to not only have the support of each other, but also have the support and love from both of our extended families. No one within our families has ever treated us differently from anyone else. Our marriage, our children, and our lives are treated with the love and respect they deserve. We will always be grateful for that.

However, I will say a huge challenge with being a two-mom family is having to come out over and over again, multiple times a month. People never assume that we are a family. Normally, their first impression of us is that we’re sisters or friends. People ask questions like, “Whose kids are they?” Sometimes, it’s just a quick exchange at the grocery story and not a huge deal. Other times, it can be scary not knowing how a person is going to react to the news (especially when your kids are with you).

Our daughter started school this past year. We made sure to explain our family dynamic in advance to her teachers because we didn’t want our daughter feeling uncomfortable in anyway. (Starting school is already a huge experience within itself!) We had the most positive experience with not only her teachers, but also the whole class and parents within the class. It makes us proud to be a positive example of visibility within our community.

Here are Tea, we talk a lot about being open-minded. We strive to connect people to other cultures and ways of life through our clothing. How are you teaching your kids to have that view of the world?

Living Rosa

Our girls are being raised with the value that every life is important. No one person is the same, and that’s what makes everyone special. Everyone has their own story to tell — who doesn’t love learning or hearing about a new story? Above all, we love to explore with our girls. Since they are still so young, everything is new and exciting. For example: parks, playgrounds, museums, beaches, etc. Our wish for them is that they never stop exploring because this world is big and I believe you can never run out of new things to discover.

What has it been like having your journey to parenthood broadcasted to a large audience?

We started sharing our journey before we even became parents. It grew into much more than we could have ever imagined. Although it is scary at times to be viewed by such a large audience, we wouldn’t change this experience for the world. We have been able to capture such pure and real moments of growing together and as parents. It shows people that regardless of gender, our family is relatable. We work; we cook dinner; we read stories to our kids. Our norm is not any different from many other parents. Our kids are smart, happy, and beautiful people. I am honestly proud to share this family we have become.

What advice would you give to parents?

Living Rosa

Love your kids — that’s my best advice to parents. Do everything out of love. Be supportive and encouraging. Remember that your kids are not you. They are their own people. Help them to grow into the best version of themselves that they can be.

What was the last place you traveled to?

This past weekend, we took a five hour road trip with our kids to Catskills, NY. We spent the weekend disconnecting from phones and the Internet. We stayed in a family-owned log cabin exploring the nature around us. The highlight of the trip for the girls was picking wild flowers and watching deer in the woods.

What are some tips you have for traveling with kids?

Traveling with kids can be overwhelming to think about. Bring snacks as a distraction and their lovely to sleep with (if they have one). Sometimes, you just have to jump into the experience and share your excitement with them. They might surprise you!

You can see more of Living Rosa’s family on YouTube. Follow them on Instagram @livingrosa.

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.

Meet Isabella | 2018 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Inspiring Little Citizens 2018 Isabella

Meet Isabella, our Inspiring Little Citizen from North Olmsted, Ohio. Isabella was born with her heart on her sleeve, a compassionate young lady who believes passionately about the principles of kindness and inclusion. She never wants anyone to feel left out. So, when she became a big sister to Olivia who has Down syndrome, she began advocating for kids everywhere who are rocking that extra chromosome.

Now, every year, on World Down Syndrome Day, she gives presentations to her classmates on what it means to live with Down syndrome and the importance of treating children with special needs as friends and equals, and not as foreigners.

Read on to learn more about Isabella and how she’s setting out to make a difference.