On our first full day in Italy, we were set to tour the Amalfi coast. Our guide picked us up from the hotel early that morning and off we went to explore Priano, Amalfi, Ravello, Marmorata, Minori, Salerno and everything in between. On our way through Positano we passed a linen shop on the top of the hill and asked the van to stop for us to run in. The linens hanging on the porch of the store were gorgeous and we wanted a closer look. The shop had everything type of linen garment you could imagine!
We walked in and were greeted by a lovely woman. She helped us navigate the store and mentioned it was a family business. Jet lag was tough and it was an early morning for everyone… As I wandered through the store, I couldn’t stop yawning. A stout man with thick rimmed glasses caught me mid-yawn and asked, “Caffè?”. Embarrassed, I politely declined. He asked again and assured me that his brew would wake me up. He introduced himself as Vito, “the owner of this store!” and insisted that I needed a caffè. How could I say no to this? I agreed to coffee and followed him to the back room of his shop.
We sipped our espressos (he wasn’t kidding… they were strong!) and talked about our travels. I told him about Tea and explained how each season of our clothing is inspired by a different destination. He smiled and told me that while we doesn’t necessarily travel the world for inspiration for his linens, he is surrounded by constant inspiration at home in Positano.
Vito walked me through their production process which is all done in the back of the shop. I learned about the different types of linens, their dyeing process and garment creation… From these giant machines to the final products. He told me that his business has always called that particular spot home and while he should probably move to a new location, he just can’t do it. Vito shared his press clips with me — everything from American fashion magazines to local shoots — and was so proud of each garment he held up for me.
This is what traveling is all about for Tea – This is what the brand is built around. To connect. To slow down and learn from one another. To share a coffee, or Tea, and be present in that moment and thankful for a genuine connection, person to person.