Today marks Holi, otherwise known as the Festival of Colors. This vibrant festival is one of the most important holidays in India, and welcomes the arrival of spring after winter.
On this festive day, people play with colors, meet and greet one another, and create new beginnings. The holiday also signifies the victory of good over evil and is celebrated as a day of spreading love and happiness.
Our 2015 spring collection was inspired by the beautiful geography and culture of India. To celebrate Holi, we created a printable coloring page of one of our very own prints from our India collection! Download it here and show us your final creations using #TeaCollection and #Teamakesfriends on Instagram.
Olá and welcome all curious little citizens of the world! We travel the globe to bring the beauty of different cultures to you and your kids. Today, we’re excited to share the beauty of Portugal in a whole new way: introducing the Portugal Coloring Book.
This printable coloring book is the perfect way to stay connected not only with each other, but also to the world! Inside, you’ll find coloring pages based on our original designs of important Portuguese icons. From sea and land critters to fruits and florals, they’ll be creating masterpieces in no time!
Today is International Women’s Day, a day to recognize the achievements of women everywhere. To celebrate, we sat down with Alexandria Scott, founder of Ditto Kids Magazine, and Shun Moore, founder of Marlo Bea, to learn more about their businesses and impart the advice they had for us.
Alexandria is a mom of three. Her business, Ditto Kids Magazine, is an anti-racist magazine for kids ages 3-12.
Shun is also a mom of three. Her business, Marlo Bee, is a head wrap and hair accessories company that aims to promote cultural diversity for all.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Alexandria: “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial side of me, but after college, I ended up working in the nonprofit world for quite some time and loved it. I eventually got married and had three kids. I wanted to get involved in something that felt meaningful to me, like my previous work.
I actually had a business prior to Ditto Kids that was focused around family-style language learning and immersive cultural activities. I loved it and it was so fun, but eventually I had to step away from it because it took too much time away from my kids. As time passed, I had a few experiences that made me realize I needed to do more anti-racism work with my kids. I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t find any resources that were caregiver-accessible, so I started writing out my own curriculum. I realized that if I as a Black woman with my own experiences was struggling to find the resources I needed for myself and my kids, other parents must also be struggling to find what they needed.”
Shun: “My girls ultimately were the inspiration behind my company, but I wanted to create a business where all of my inspirations in life met or became aligned. I have always been a creative that loves color, culture, and community. When manifesting ideas and ways to celebrate those three things, I started thinking about head wraps and products that would empower my girls. My family is a blended family—my children are all black, but one is also White, another Asian/Pacific Islander, and the other Mexican. I wanted to create a company that celebrated their individual cultures and inspired their unity—not just for my girls, but all girls and families alike.
Before launching my business, I did a little research and also tapped into a lot of the hair accessory lines on Instagram and the like. I realized there wasn’t a lot of representation out there—not just in terms of prints and styles, but also in the faces I’d see. As I was planning, I wanted to make sure my company was more than just a cute accessory line. I wanted to be the company that was inclusive and made me feel like I did as a child celebrating all of the different cultures, holidays, and faces.”
What’s the most rewarding part about owning your own business?
Alexandria: “Hearing about people using my resources—it honestly makes me want to cry! I want to give kids what I didn’t have. It’s very special for me to hear from people who have brought the magazine into their home or school.”
Shun: “The community it’s created and the different families that find connection with being blended in different ways.”
What’s one thing you wish you could tell your younger self?
Alexandria: “Not to be afraid to lean into my strengths. For example, I always wanted to be a writer ever since I was in elementary school. I put myself on that track in some ways with school activities and initially pursuing a major in journalism, but my fears got the best of me for a time.”
Shun: “I actually think about this a lot. If there was one thing I could tell my younger self, it would be to slow down a little and stick with it. Commitment and consistency will be your best skill set.”
Any advice for women or moms aspiring to start their own business?
Alexandria: “The biggest advice I could give is to know what you’re willing to put into it financially. Be smart about what you can DIY and what you need to pay people for. People give you grace at the beginning, but it’s important to recognize where to push and pull.”
Shun: “I would tell all women and especially moms (because there’s no denying the added workload for moms) the same thing I would tell my younger self: slow down; it’s not a race. Find something that you can commit to and stay consistent with. I would also advise that before you do anything, make sure you have passion. Having a business is a lot like motherhood: there are some really good days and some super low days that make you question it all. That passion is what will keep you going and the woman inside will keep that fire lit.”
What’s one word you would use to describe yourself besides a mom?
Alexandria: “Appropriate risk-taker.”
What trip are you dreaming about? Where would you like to visit first once the world opens up again?
Alexandria: “When I was a kid, my parents always got National Geographic magazines and one particular issue featured the underground churches in Ethiopia (Lalibela). I’ve always wanted to go, and after this year, I would just love to be in awe of something!”
Shun: “My first thought is Disneyland because it’s tradition to go once our children turn two years old and Mar’s is officially two! However, I really dream of our first real family trip to Hawaii. My husband and I have gone together and I’ve traveled with the kids alone, but we haven’t gone anywhere together as a family due to work and all things life. Our plan is to go to Maui or Kauai in May 2022 and I am very excited.”
You may remember our friends Taryn, Martin, and their globe-trotting kids Tilly, Viggo, and Francis from last year’s Mediterranean collection. They’re the well-traveled family behind Quartier Collective, and this season, they helped bring our new Portugal collection to life. Having stayed in Lisbon, they know a thing or two about where to go and what to do while traveling through this charming city. We’re sharing some of their tips, tricks, and favorite places to play and eat, so sit back, relax, and come with us on a virtual tour through Lisbon!
What do you love about Lisbon?
Lisbon is charming beyond belief. The tiles, the trams, the elderly Portuguese making their way slowly down the cobbled streets, stopping to pinch your kids’ cheeks or chatter at you in Portuguese. It’s a proper European capital with history, art, and a buzzing cafe culture. It’s also a great value for travelers—the airport is only 15 minutes from the center of the city and the seaside is just a stone’s throw away. What really makes it for us is the wonderful people we’ve met there. Since our first visit to Lisbon in 2018, we’ve been welcomed by wonderful families, Portuguese and expat, who’ve helped us understand the magic of family life in this incredible city.
What are three “must see” places in Lisbon?
A walk down Rua Garrett will take you through Chiado’s busy pedestrian shopping street. The people-watching is great here (a bearded Wonder Woman roller skate dancing to Britney Spears anybody?). You can take a coffee to la Brasilia and visit some great shops. Turn left at Fnac department store and walk down to the Elevador Santa Justa, Lisbon’s neo-gothic free standing elevator.
Tram 28! It’s iconic for a reason. Board after a visit to the Miradouro de Graca for a solid and scenic trip.
Fiera da Ladraor, or the “market of thieves,” is the coolest flea market in Lisbon. Perfect for unique souvenirs, vintage playmobil, and, if you pay attention, a unique window into authentic Lisboan culture. This market has been running for over 800 years!
We had to do four! Take a tuk tuk—they’re so fun and typically the drivers are excellent guides. They’re also a great way to manage the hills with kids.
What are three spots for children to play?
Principe Real Park. There’s a small playground, a cafe with cold beer and snacks, and a legendary juniper tree whose branches have been pruned and splayed across an elevated lattice to make a circular, natural roof. There’s often something going on under this storied tree like music or a craft market. If all is quiet, at least there’s shade!
Estrela garden. This garden has a huge playground and loads of beautiful, exotic trees. Kids are welcome to run across the whole park and play in the great exposed roots of the buttress trees. In winter, the smoke from the roasted chestnut sellers filters through the palm fronds and feels wonderfully exotic.
The Miradouro de Sao Pedro de alcantara has a magnificent view of the castle plus enough space to kick a soccer ball or play by the great fountain. There’s a funicular tram that trundles down the hill from the southern end of the park, though you may want to save the ride for when you’re coming UP the hill.
What are three spots to eat in Lisbon?
Copenhagen Coffee Lab. The coffee is wonderfully consistent, salads are healthy and hearty, and (not that you want to pretend you’re anywhere besides Lisbon) the cardamom buns will have you shouting, “Tak tak tak!”
Manteigaria. This spot in Chiado serves the best version of Portugal’s national pastry that we have ever found (and we’ve taken this hunt very, very seriously). It’s popular with tourists and locals, but the line moves fast and is worth the wait. The iconic Tram 28 passes in front of the shop. Grab a glass of port with your natas and take them across the street to the Luis de Camoes square to eat in the sun and chase pigeons.
Senhor Uva, or “Mister Grape,” is a lovely restaurant close to the Estrela garden. It’s small and focused with caring service and natural wines. This is a fantastic date night spot. (DM us if you need a babysitter; we know some great ones!)
Flores de Pampa (I know this is four again, but hey, we couldn’t help ourselves). This quirky spot on the charming Praca das Flores serves delicious food that’s also great for kids: dips and spreads, legumes, and occasionally noodles. With great music and hip and friendly people, this is a neighbourhood spot with a ton of personality.
Save this guide for your next trip to Portugal (we all hope it can be very soon!), and let us know in the comments some of your favorite spots in Lisbon! For more inspiring stories like this, be sure to follow @quartiercollective to stay up-to-date on all of their travels and adventures. And, don’t forget to check out our new Portugal-inspired collection here.
It’s not everyday that you get to meet a multi-talented kid like Sofia Sanchez. An actress, model, and diversity advocate, Sofia modeled for our Spring 2021 Portugal collection and is now about to release her third and beautifully inspiring book, You Are Enough. To celebrate the release of Sofia’s new book, we sat down with her and her mom (virtually!) to ask a few questions about the book, the inspiration behind it, the Sanchez Six family dynamic, and a whole lot more!
You Are Enough is a new children’s book inspired by your daughter, Sofia. Tell us how the idea for the book came about.
This is our third book, but our first fully illustrated hardcover book through Scholastic. We wanted to share Sofia’s message with a broader audience and in a beautiful, colorful and engaging way. We know the world (and especially the children in the world) need a positive message that they are enough just the way they are. Our world is made beautiful by everyone and their differences—there is beauty in being uniquely you! What better messenger than Sofia, who is so proud of who she is.
What message do you hope readers will take away from the book?
That we all have a place in this world. We all belong. Everyone has value and we need to love and support one another. It’s also about being a friend…one that accepts you just as you are. We hope that everyone can find themselves in this book. We wanted it to be fully inclusive and full of diversity just like the world we live in!
Can you tell us a bit about your family?
We call ourselves the Sanchez Six because when we adopted Sofia back in 2010, we felt she just completed our family! Sofia has three older brothers: Diego, Mateo and Joaquin. Joaquin was born with Down Syndrome, and he opened our eyes to the world of disability. He is the main reason we ended up adopting Sofia, who was abandoned at birth due to her disability. We felt we could give a home and loving family to Sofia, and in return, give Joaquin a sibling that shared the common bond of having DS. Sofia and Joaquin are the BEST of friends.
If you could give any advice to kids your age, what would it be?
Be kind, brave and helpful to others. Be a good friend and have lots of dance parties! Be your own hero!
What is it like growing up with all brothers?
It’s awesome!! I love my brothers. My best friend is Joaquin.
Where is your dream travel destination?
My favorite place in the whole world is New York City because of the cupcakes and because I got to see Hamilton. I also love Hawaii, but really want to visit Austin, Texas one day.
What is your favorite hobby?
I like to bake and make things. I want to be a baker when I grow up. I also like to paint, read books, and play with dolls. I also love to run!
What is your go-to outfit that makes you feel your best?
I always love to wear dresses! They make me feel beautiful and pretty! I love to twirl in them. I also love anything with rainbows on it. Rainbow is my favorite color!
Thank you to Sofia and Jennifer for sharing their story with us. To learn more about Sofia’s book and where you can find it, check out the Sanchez Six’s Instagram @thesanchezsix.
Welcome to the year of the Ox! February 12th, 2021 marks the start of the Lunar New Year, a holiday that is considered the most important of the year to Chinese and other Asian communities around the world.
The Ox is the second out of twelve zodiac signs. The years of the Ox in the Chinese horoscope include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021.
In Chinese astrology, the Ox symbolizes confidence, power, stability, and determination. During ancient times, the Ox was an integral part of agricultural society. As such, those born in the year of the Ox are said to be hardworking, strong, and reliable individuals.
To celebrate the Lunar New Year, we created a printable coloring page of our very own Ox (you may recognize it from our 2018 USA collection). Download it here and show us your final creations using #TeaCollection and #Teamakesfriends on Instagram!
Go anywhere in Portugal and you’re bound to see a wide array of ceramic glazed tiles (or “azulejos” in Portuguese). In Lisbon, they cover everything from the walls of train stations to restaurants and churches. Read on to learn more about these breathtaking works of art that inspired our latest styles.
The term azulejos originated from the Arabic term for a small, smooth, polished stone – alijulej or azulej – and evolved into the Portuguese word azulejo (ah-zoo-le-joo). Dating back to the 13th century, azulejos were originally used to protect walls from the damp and cold. They were also used to tell stories of Portuguese history, religion, and culture.
Today, these tiles serve more as decoration and line the cities of Portugal in artful designs and patterns.
Inspired by the traditional blue and white color palettes of azulejos, our designers painted dozens of their own tiles while concepting our Portugal collection over a year ago. While not every design made it into our final collection, we think each and every one of these hand-painted tiles tells its own story of Portuguese life, just like their IRL counterparts once did.
Check out our Instagram for more behind-the-scenes and stories like this, and be sure to check out our latest collection at teacollection.com.