Happy Mother’s Day to every mom around the world! Our CEO + Co-Founder Leigh, our HMIC ( head mom in charge) wanted to reach out with a special note to all of you today.
Mothering is, and always has been a bonding experience. It starts slowly—commiserating about pregnancy, brainstorming about names, gathering at baby showers. Then when the baby arrives, you’re instantly inducted into The Village: there are mommy groups, neighborhood stroller walks, coffee (or wine!) sessions in comfy clothes.
We don’t mother alone. We mother together. Even now while we are apart.
During Shelter-in-Place, I’ve leaned on other moms more than before. First and foremost—my own mom! But also my neighbors who, like me, are trying to figure out how to work from home while keeping the family sane. I continue to turn to Whatsapp, Tik Tok, you name it to stay connected, get resources, or for a quick escape. And thanks to group texts, my college crew chats more than we have in twenty years! These connections have been invaluable.
Speaking of important connections, I’m also checking in with the Tea team, especially mamas who are trying to figure out how to multitask like crazy. I mean, how do you design a new print while entertaining a toddler?! And while we aren’t seeing each other in person, we’re seeing each other’s whole person. Kids pop into video calls and babies cry in the background, These rare (and raw!) glimpses into each others’ lives connect us even more. Mothering from home when you’re working from home isn’t pretty—but it is real.
These days, I continue to be inspired by all the multitasking mamas out there. Mothers are nothing if not adaptable. We excel at “figuring things out.” We figure out how to make a meal out of five random ingredients. We figure out how to homeschool our kids. We even figure out a way to throw an in-home prom so that our teenager can still wear her prom dress.
We are rising to the occasion and we are doing it together—as we always have and always will.
If you know a special mama who deserves some kudos, let us know! Comment on Instagram or send us a DM and tell us why she deserves to be recognized. We’ll be giving out shoutouts and surprise gifts all month long because one day of celebration is never enough.
While we are physically distant, there’s nothing distant about the way we mother. The Village is alive and well—and together, we can “figure out” anything.
Welcome to the second edition of Activi-Tea’s! This week we are all about using our creativity and color for projects at home. Our dear friend Emiko has shared a fun new activity with us and now we get to share with all of you. It’s amazing what a little imagination and some paper can do!
We all recall ( if we are old enough) how fun paper dolls used to be. Best of all, it is an activity you can share with children of today, teaching them manual dexterity, history, fashion, and art while you have great fun together. Once you begin collecting paper dolls, they can become one of life’s great passions. Our friend Emiko and her two daughters have come up with the modern-day- Tea catalog- version of paper dolls. Here she has shown us just how to make your own paper dolls with really any reading material you have! Grab any magazine, any catalog, and create your own worlds right there- extra points if you have a Tea catalog lying around :). The only tools you need are scissors, cardboard, glue sticks, scotch tape, and any background of your choosing. We can see below that Emiko chose to make a clothesline out of her paper dolls, but anything goes and imagination is key! Let the creativity run wild and most of all have fun.
Please find the step-by-step below!
Step 1. Pick your catalog or magazine to cut from
Step 2. Using cardboard, cut out the style of clothing you would like to create. A skirt, dress, jacket, maybe a swimsuit. This helps to trace over the paper and get the shape you want. You will use the cardboard cutout as the backing for your cutout.
Step 3. Cut out your shapes
Step 4. Glue your paper cutouts to your cardboard shapes
Step 6. Prep your background or scene for your dolls. Here Emiko and her kids chose to make a laundry line, how fun!
Step 7. Layout your scene before you glue down ( in case you change your mind )
Step 8. Glue your scene together and ta-da! A fun little world!
You can choose to not glue them down and use them for more worlds you create!
We can’t wait to see what you create! 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!
Don’t forget, we have our activity/coloring book from all of our global destinations that you can download and print right in your own home!
Why minimizing our impact on the planet is more important than ever and the ways we’re making positive change together.
Being a globally-inspired brand, Tea has always been committed to lessening our impact on the planet. And during this unprecedented time, there’s never been a better time to think about how behavior affects it. Now that we’ve slowed down and made some sacrifices for the common good, it’s good to know that we can do this. In fact, we ARE doing this—and being rewarded with clearer skies, cleaner water, and curious wildlife. Which begs the question: Will we eventually go back to the way things were? Or can we—will we—make small changes that make a big difference? From our commitment to ethical sourcing practices to sweet hand-me-down stories, discover what Tea and friends are doing to make this a reality. The state of our planet (and the future of our little citizens) are in our hands. Let’s do this!
What We’re Doing: Sourcing Ethically
Respect for all people in all cultures is a cornerstone of our company, whether we’re traveling the world in search of inspiration or hiring a manufacturing partner to produce our clothing. Tea is mindful of our presence in the world and our duty to those around us. Because we embrace social responsibility and fair trade, our sourcing partners must follow our high standards for good working conditions and reducing environmental impact. We have zero-tolerance for anything unlawful or even slightly questionable. And although we can’t be in every factory all the time, we’re incredibly diligent to ensure that our partners around the globe share—and practice—our values.
Tea pieces don’t just get passed from one sibling to the next, but often between total strangers. Our Customer Care Team was thrilled to receive a message from Tea customer, Serena Erenburg, who shared a heartwarming story about our Santa Teresa dress (2009 Brazil collection). As Serena explains: “It ‘travels’ across our online community for shipping cost only. It has passed through 40 homes since May 2018 and is well on its way to at least 20 others who have signed up to receive it next so they can wear a bit of Tea history.”
What Our Partners Are Doing: Fashion For Future Generations
Tea is proud to be an official member of the Kidizen REWEAR™ COLLECTIVE which supports the creation and reuse of high-quality goods—encouraging consumers to purchase products that last well beyond the use of just one family when shopping ‘new.”
Are you making small changes to make a big difference? Or celebrating Earth Day in some special way? Tell us! Tag us! Inspire us! Email us pics, share stories, or tag us on IG using #teamakesfriends. Happy Earth Day, everyone!
What do we do when we feel a sense of duty and responsibility to step up, contribute and give back? We listen to our gut and go for it! That’s exactly what our Director of Design, Marjorie Tan, and her daughter Sukyi did. With dire shortages of masks for healthcare workers on the frontlines, Marjorie and her daughter wanted to spend a weekend doing good from the safety of their own home. With little sewing skills and some spare Tea fabric, they were able to make over 20 masks that they then donated to their local hospital.
We’re here to share a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own masks. With this downloadable guide and a few hours to spare, you and your kids can help every healthcare worker in need around the country. To find out if any hospitals near you are taking masks, check this handy tool from https://www.deaconess.com/. If you don’t have extra fabric lying around like us, no worries! You can use old garments of clothes that you might have been thinking of giving to Goodwill, or that shirt that you just never wear anymore.
Why are homemade masks still helpful?
While homemade masks do not replace medical-grade N95 masks, they do act as a barrier for reducing the spread of respiratory droplets.
Wearing a mask helps protect you and those around you for when you leave the house for any and all necessary errands.
They help keep you from touching your face! We recommend also wearing gloves whenever possible to help keep you even safer. Maybe we should try our hand at gloves next – what do you think?
We hope you enjoy our little tutorial and would love to see you make some masks! Please share with us anything you create, either on Instagram by tagging us @teacollection or emailing us at email@example.com with pictures! Let’s continue to be kind and do all that we can to help those around us safely and compassionately. Happy sewing!
Download the step-by-step guide HERE. Download the pattern for the masks HERE.
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!
Like you, we are facing the weeks ahead with cancellations, closures and travel bans. There is uncertainty all around us and yet, we must stay calm, especially as parents whose kids are looking to us for guidance. We are learning (and quickly) from the experts who know better than we do about what is best during a pandemic – what is best not only for our own family but also for the larger community.
Our brand and company are all about connection and curiosity about the world. The Corona Virus will put Tea to the test of figuring out how we can stay connected to the world in our own backyard (literally). We can and we must. We are afraid of the virus spreading, and we are afraid of the impact on relationships and connections to (and with) the world. We must resist sadness, fear and isolation while we are hunkered down. We must stay connected and curious – caring for the greater community all around the globe.
We are collecting and sharing ideas for how families can use this time ahead at home with our families to connect with each other and to the world around us. We will share ideas on Instagram and on our blog. We are following the CDC and WHO guidelines including (and especially) “social distancing” which means working from home, staying at least six feet from other people and not traveling.
Believe me, this is not easy for a group of people who really love working together – and travel! Our community means everything to us. We love working with our small but mighty Tea team and we really love connecting with our customers. We treasure engaging in the world – and understand that this will look and feel different to us during this time. We’re focused on staying connected and curious.
Please stay connected with us. We love hearing from you.
Being a female-run and founded company, it’s a big priority at Tea to take every opportunity to inspire, uplift, and support the further empowerment of women. This month we celebrate women who have inspired us from all different backgrounds and walks of life. We asked seven of these women our pressing questions about life and empowerment.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Anna, Lila Ruby King: Fake it, till you make, is totally a thing. The adults are doing it, all the time.
Kristin Guy: It’s okay to say no…and don’t burn your candle from both ends.
Mitzi Rivas: 1. Honor your intuition: If the path that is presented to you doesn’t feel true to you, step off of the well-manicured path and into the unpaved terrain where the wildflowers grow and the thickets are untamed. 2. Realize that we are interdependent: don’t undermine your talent but don’t believe your achievements stemmed from you alone. We stand on the shoulders of so many- acknowledging this truth is critical to achieving great heights.3. Practice self-compassion. I learned this skill in my 40’s (I wish it had been sooner) and it makes the delicate balance of giving and receiving an act of ease.
Miranda Anderson: I tell my current self the same thing I would tell my younger self and it is this: You have plenty of time. You don’t have to be in a hurry. Take it slow. Enjoy each moment. Breathe deeply. Embrace the present with gratitude.
Rebecca Gross: I would probably advise my younger self to look within and not outwardlyfor comparison and approval. It is, of course, easier said than done, but in this season of my life I am slowly learning to live by this, and I think it would have been helpful understanding it on a deeper level earlier in life.
Calli Kelsay: There are no boxes that you need to fit in so do you for you. Don’t worry quite as much because things will still work out one way or another. Failure is just another way of saying I haven’t figured it out yet, but there are a million and one ways that I can try again. Then get up and try again. Having self-compassion will pull you through all of the things life will throw at you. All of the hardships that will happen are opportunities to grow stronger. Never shy away from giving to others when you can and where you can. Try new things, often. Use your talents and strengths for the greater good. It’s okay to stand alone when you’re standing for what you know is right.
Leigh Rawdon: I would like to send a message to my younger self before I had kids: make the most of your weekends! You think you are so busy, but you have so. Much. Time. Exercise, sleep late, linger over coffee with friends, spend hours in the kitchen mastering a recipe, travel, re-learn how to play the piano, organize your house, read a million books! (I should probably remember to give my older self this advice when my kids go off to college!)
What do you hope for your kids’ futures—both boys and girls—and their approach towards equality between genders?
Mitzi Rivas: My hope for my beloved children, Luca and Maya, is that they proudly stand on their father, Carlos’ shoulder and mine. May they deeply appreciate the blend of the masculine and feminine and realize the harmonious impact for good that arises when both are given expression.
Leigh Rawdon:I always wanted to have a daughter so I could help her develop into a strong, kind, and independent woman. That didn’t happen! I have two incredible sons. So instead I am raising my boys to be good men—men who grow up seeing and believing that women are leaders and CEOs. They are surrounded by women who are confident and compassionate. They read books and watch movies with female protagonists without thinking twice. I might not get the chance to raise my own daughter, but I’m doing my part to nurture two sons who will respect and value women’s perspectives and equal participation.
How do you navigate motherhood and career goals?
Kristin Guy: When I was very new to the working mom role, I made the decision to leave a senior-level corporate position over six years ago to go freelance and start my own business. I wanted the opportunity to have flexible hours and the potential to work from home. Now as a self-employed working mother, I am grateful for that decision because[…]it is very important for me to have the ability to control that balance of time spent between my family and my career. It was initially a terrifying leap into the unknown, but looking back I don’t regret a thing because I’m able to do what I love while being more creative than ever and still spend quality time with my family.
I decided to consider my children my greatest asset in my career. They naturally create scheduling boundaries that I have to navigate, which means more efficiency, creativity, and flexibility. They are so imaginative and wonderful examples of living in the present an
Miranda Anderson: Years ago enjoying the moment. I truly believe that one of the best gifts I can give them is a mother who is fully living into her dreams, which for me has meant writing a book, traveling to speaking engagements, and hosting workshops all over the country. I show them, by example, how to live their own best lives to the fullest.
Besides finding a work-life balance, what was the most difficult thing you experienced in your career as a woman and how did you overcome it?
Rebecca Gross: The most difficult thing for me was working under bosses/a company that did not value or appreciate me or my artistry. I had a constant feeling of why have they even hired me if they won’t let me have a voice? Why am I here? Comfort and familiarity will keep you stagnant for as long as you let it. As much as leaving that situation was uncomfortable there was no opportunity for growth in a space where I wasn’t valued. I think women oftentimes feel undervalued but I can tell you, I have THRIVED when I have demanded my place in spaces where I felt I belonged.
Mitzi Rivas: Over the years I have chosen to honor my own voice instead of bowing down to the more dominant and imposing voices in society. Being a Salvadoran woman, it is sometimes hard to depict the source of the challenge. It has taken much of my life to find the courage to step forward with my perspective, passion, and talents amongst the undercurrent of unspoken messages designed to keep me in place. The struggle is real, but so is freedom and opportunity to infuse my truth and purpose into my daily life and work.
What qualities make a great leader?
Leigh Rawdon: Curiosity. Great leaders know that the key is to search for and discover the right answer, not to have the right answer.Believing that every person has something important to contribute—and helping them find it and embrace it.
Kalli Kelsay: Empathy, kindness, compassion, passion, connection, vulnerability, strength and love. I have seen, first hand, what happens when we acknowledge and honor the feelings of others[…it] creates a stronger and more powerful community.
Lila Ruby King: When I think of the leaders I really admire, probably the quality that stands out the most is empathy. I think that when our leaders display things like empathy, kindness, thoughtfulness, it filters down into the environment in which we live in or work in.
Kristin Guy: Transparency and trust in others.
Mitzi Rivas: Being able to lead with authenticity is the greatest strength of my leadership.
We appreciate all of these women for passing along their words of wisdom and will continue to admire the innovation and inspiration that they poignantly demonstrate through their work and within their life.