Happy Lunar New Year!

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!

Behind the Design: The Tiles of Portugal

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

DESTINATION: PORTUGAL

Olá! Every season, we’re inspired by a new destination around the world. This spring, we’re headed to Portugal to soak up the sun, explore the cities filled with azulejos tiles, and search pastry shops for Pastel de nata. Our newest collection will take you on a journey throughout this seafaring country without even leaving your home.

Two years ago, our Head Designers traveled from San Francisco to Lisbon. There, they were drawn into the never ending streets lined with buildings covered in azulejos tiles, or Portuguese ceramic tiles. These tiles date back to the 15th century when the Moors ruled Portugal. They’re iconic to the country, and can be found on everything from ordinary houses to train stations and palaces.

 

Our designers then headed north to Costa Nova, where they were greeted by the bluest skies and glistening water. Costa Nova is famous for its colorful striped houses, once used by fishermen to store their materials. Many of our new styles incorporate nautical themes heavily influenced by the region’s coastal lifestyle.  

We hope you love our new collection and all that it has to offer. Shop our new arrivals here, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @teacollection to see more of our adventures in Portugal.

TEA X OLIKA Hydrating Hand Sanitizer

Here at Tea, we’re all about encouraging kids’ curiosity about the world. That’s why we partnered with OLIKA, a nature-inspired, ergonomic, hydrating hand sanitizer brand that believes in staying clean differently. Together, we’re bringing you an exclusive line of limited-edition hand sanitizers, featuring six Tea prints.

Each set includes three sustainable, hydrating, fragrance-free hand sanitizers so you can squash germs anytime, anyplace. These hand sanitizers are perfect to hook onto backpacks, key chains or slip right into your pocket!

Shop the collaboration here

 

We know during the ongoing pandemic and flu season, keeping your kids safe and germ-free are a top priority. In addition to staying clean through our new hand sanitizer bottles, here are five additional tips to keep yourself (and your kids!) healthy:

  1. Indoors – Outdoors – get moving
    • Moving your body is a great way to boost your immune system and it’s been scientifically proven time and time again that being active reduces the risk of catching colds and the flu.
  2. Eat the rainbow
    • While we all enjoy the occasional pizza night and sweet treat, it’s important to fuel your and your child’s body with all of the colors of the rainbow! Eating a range of fruits and veggies is key to a healthy body.
  3. Sleep
    • This is essential. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. Depending on your child’s age, they need anywhere from 9-14 hours of sleep per day. 
  4. Hydration
    • Water is one of the most important things to ensure your and your child’s health this flu season. If water seems boring to them, spruce it up with some crazy cups, silly straws, or throw in some fruits to keep them sipping all day!
  5. Wash your hands
    • This one is a no brainer, but how do we make sure that our children are constantly washing their hands? Make a fun song or game out of it so they don’t miss a beat when it comes to staying clean. And don’t forget—when you’re on the go, be sure to bring your Tea x OLIKA hand sanitizer!

About OLIKA

OLIKA is a nature-inspired, ergonomic, hydrating hand sanitizer brand with effective ingredients. Did you know OLIKA means differently in Swedish? They stand behind their commitment to transparency, sustainability, and natural ingredients. With ingredients that are cruelty-free, hydrating, fragrance free, and kill 99.9% of germs, OLIKA hand sanitizers are the ultimate kid friendly solution to staying clean on-the-go!

 

Shop the Tea x OLIKA collaboration here, and show off how you sanitize by sharing photos and tagging us on social media @teacollection and @olikalife.

Giving Tuesday: Help Us Fill A Library

Since our founding, Tea has been committed to giving back to make the world a better place for kids everywhere. In addition to our ongoing contributions to the Global Fund for Children, we strive to make an impact in the destinations our seasonal collections are inspired by. This season, we partnered with Kusi Kawsay to help make a difference for kids in Peru.

Kusi Kawsay is a school near Cusco, Peru that provides low-income, indigenous children with a high-quality education. Earlier this season, we announced we would help build them a library. Now, we need your help filling that library! Donate $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 towards purchasing books for the Kusi Kawsay library. And for this Giving Tuesday (December 1st), we’ll match your donation!*

Together, we’ll create a better (book-filled!) world for kids everywhere.

*Up to $2.5k for a total of $5k.

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.

Election Day 2020: Get Out & Vote

Credit: @girldad_diaries

 

Your voice matters. It’s a simple yet profound idea, and voting is one of the most important ways we can make our voices heard. Whether you already voted or plan to head to the polls today, we hope you exercise your right to vote—democracy works best when we all participate.

As parents ourselves, we want to set an example for our kids and inspire the next generation of voters. That’s why we’re making today a company holiday to encourage our employees to use their voices at the polls.

We’re also supporting broader get-out-and-vote initiatives. Last month, we announced a partnership with I am a voter.® to create a limited edition set of vote-themed buttons. 100% of proceeds will benefit I am a voter’s mission to create a cultural shift around voting and civic engagement.

Today, more than ever, it’s important we make our voices heard and do our part to make the world a better place for kids everywhere.