Small Business Saturday: Celebrating The Boutiques of Tea

Small Business Saturday

It’s Small Business Saturday! To celebrate, we wanted to take the time to highlight a few of the boutiques that help bring Tea to you. From California to North Carolina, these tiny but mighty businesses help bring the magic and meaning of Tea to life. Read on to hear more from each store owner about what Small Business Saturday means to them, their holiday tips, tricks, and wishes, and what they recommend from Tea this gifting season.


Baby Bliss (Dallas, TX)

Baby Bliss

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


Bringing recognition and support to the local stores whose owners live in and contribute to your community.


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


I have learned to buy early or things get sold out! In general, I have no tricks. I just love the season… The decorations, the music, and the feeling of buying for others!


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


I’m dreaming of some very expensive tennis shoes that I won’t buy for myself… Really, I just want to be surrounded by my people in peace and happiness. And a day off of work where I don’t have to worry about emails and phone calls!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


We love all things Tea! For the babies, we go for easy rompers. For girls, fun dresses paired with leggings is a no brainer. And for the boys, we love the tees that can pair with any of the Tea pants!

Follow Baby Bliss @shopbabybliss and @shopminimedallas.


Little (Portland, ME)


What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


Small Business Saturday is really important to Little. It’s a day where small, local shops are recognized and people take a break from the big-box retailers. It’s also a day where we get to celebrate our customers! They’re the reason we’re here and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their support.


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


If you love it, buy it! This is especially true if you shop small. These stores spend a lot of time curating their selection. And with a lot of these items being made by hand and in small batches, once it’s gone, it won’t be back for awhile. Shopping this way also makes gift giving that much more special.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


To travel… To anywhere new!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


Matching Family Plaid outfits! Match with siblings, cousins, best friends… Whoever! It’s so cute! But if you’re looking for something for a newborn, anything from the sherpa collection would be great to snuggle in this winter.

Follow Little @boutiquelittle.


Mockingbird (Charlestown, MA)


What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


Small Business Saturday means community. Living and owning a store in the same neighborhood, I love the chance to get to know my customers and neighbors and learn what they want and need. It’s a joy to watch families begin and expand.


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


I always ask store owners for their advice based on my friends and family’s style and interests. They always have the best suggestions!


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


I hope to find a Breville Espresso Maker under my tree. I need the strong stuff owning a small business and raising two girls!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


My two daughters and I are loving the Earth Red velour pieces. We’re having a hard time deciding which pieces to bring home!

Follow Mockingbird @mockingbirdstore.


Fox + Kit (Mashpee, MA)

Fox + Kit

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


I’m glad that Small Business Saturday serves as a day to remind everyone that small businesses are important, especially during the busy holiday shopping season. Shopping small supports families and communities. For me, when people shop at Fox + Kit, they are also supporting my dream. Small Business Saturday is a day for us to celebrate the power of shopping small. And since many small businesses have websites, you might not even need to leave your couch!


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


Shop early if there’s something you know you want. Manufacturers and retailers try to anticipate how much stock they might need for the holiday season, but oftentimes, products do sell out. Also, don’t underestimate the power of price matching. While small businesses are frequently thought of as more expensive, more often than not, their prices are the same as (or lower than!) online competitors. Don’t be afraid to ask your local shop to price match if you do find something online for a lower price.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


A vacation ? After months of working 6-7 days a week, I could use one!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


My 3-year-old daughter would say velour joggers and leggings, for sure! She loves running her hands up and down her “soft pants.” The joggers also have pockets, which are imperative for collecting rocks.

I personally am loving the Baby Yeti Storytelling Tee and the Glow-In-The-Dark Leopard tee. And anything with a fox ? Give me all the cute critters!

Follow Fox + Kit @fox.and.kit.


The Spotted Goose (Cincinnati, OH)

The Spotted Goose

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


Small Business Saturday is a special day for our team. Not only are we a small business, but many of our team members’ families own and operate small businesses. It’s really nice to have a day to encourage folks to shop small and support your neighbors!


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


Go with your heart – thoughtful gifts always make the biggest impression.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


A trip to the beach – I need some sunshine in my life!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


We love the little leopard tunic paired with a fun legging, as well as the boys sweatpants with a plaid button up worn open with a t-shirt underneath!

Follow The Spotted Goose @thespottedgoose.


Polliwogs (Greensboro, NC)


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


Start early! Take pictures of everything you buy and keep a list. It’s very easy to lose track of what you have and have not purchased!


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


I love anything that my kids make. It’s just so sweet to see that they took the time to create something special. Jewelry is never a bad gift either!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


I don’t think you can ever go wrong with pajamas. Tea PJs have always been a personal favorite in our home. They are very cozy and have the best prints! I am particularly fond of the boy’s Yeti Raglan pajamas this season.

Follow Polliwogs @polliwogsonline.


Keedo Kids (Oklahoma City, OK)

Keedo Kids

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


Small Business Saturday is a chance for people to slow down and get to know their local shops. We can’t do the big box discounts that you’ll see on Black Friday, but we can offer customer service that you’ll only find in smaller shops!


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


The best tip I can give is know your sizes when you head out to shop. All 3 year olds don’t wear the same size, and a picture doesn’t always help us. With shoes, you can trace the child’s foot and cut it out! Shoe brands don’t always run the same.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


I want TIME for Christmas. My kids are all grown and busy with their own lives. I miss Sunday Family dinners! Time with friends also gets harder as we all start having grandkids.


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


Tea is such a great brand – you can’t go wrong! I love doing matching big and little sister. The Full Skirt Wrap Neck Dress for girl and Metallic Ruffled Romper for little girl in Golden Sun are my favorites! I love the blue with the pop of gold. For boys, I like to layer a button-up flannel over a t-shirt. My favorite is the Everest Glow-In-The-Dark Tee with the Hooded Bold Blue Plaid Button Up Shirt.

Follow Keedo @keedokids.


Kissui (Redlands, CA)


What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


I love small business Saturday more than any other day of the year! It’s when I get to see all of our most loyal customers. It gives us a day to show how much we appreciate them and their support throughout the year.


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


Holiday shopping can be overwhelming to say the least. I have always been a fan of the mantra: less is more. I try to purchase fewer items and instead focus on quality. I love the idea of giving gifts that I know will last.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


If anyone would like to send me on vacation, I will gladly accept!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


As a mom to 3 girls, I am loving the velour options. They are SO soft and have just the right amount of stretch. For the boys, I would pick the Himalyan Ski romper or tee.

Follow Kissui @kissui.


Magical Child (Encinitas, CA)

Magical Child

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


It’s a way to gain exposure for our store and promote shopping small! Small businesses are known for exceptional customer service because we always try to do the most for everyone that walks in. Small businesses offer a more personalized experience, something we greatly value. Customers are our #1 priority, and we love the opportunity to highlight our specialized way of shopping!


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


Don’t wait for the last minute to get all your shopping done! Get your holiday shopping done as early as possible – a small sale isn’t worth your peace of mind!


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


A surprise flight to a fun destination!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


Tea pajamas are always a great gift – so warm and cozy! Also, the boys t-shirts are always very cute!

Follow Magical Child @magical.child.encinitas.


Sweet Pea (Traverse City, MI)

Sweet Pea

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


Small Business Saturday is a chance to show that we value our local customers!


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


Provide the best customer service possible! Become a personal shopper for each customer. Offer free gift wrap and make it personal; remember customers’ names and stories.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


The greatest gift is time with family and friends!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


Dresses and leggings for the girls, and rompers are a must for infants!

Follow Sweet Pea @sweetpeatc.


Maya Papaya and Tony (Evanston, IL)

Maya Papaya and Tony

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


It means good old fashioned shopping. Set the phone aside. Shop with your senses. See, touch, and smell instead of clicking.


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


“The item you saw today and want to think about tonight will be sold later today to someone who saw it yesterday and thought about it last night.”


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


As corny as it sounds, I would love some peace on earth. The world has become very convoluted.


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


For girls, the Golden Sun print dress or romper; it has just the right amount of sparkle and twirl. You can dress it up or down as occasion calls. For boys, the Dueling Dragons popover – very unique with the dragon print along the sleeves!


Check out Maya Papaya and Tony at


Clothes Pony (Fort Collins, CO)

Clothes Pony

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate our community. We are so grateful for all the folks who come and play with us all year long. We know everyone has choices of where to buy their holiday gifts, but we believe in the power of meeting your neighbors, greeting travelers, and hearing each other’s stories; laughing together, crying together, admiring each other’s children, and making friends. Combine all of that with the process of going to market and finding the products that bring you the most joy and best meet your family’s needs. Our kid-friendly store is founded on our core values of fun, open-heartedness, and unique high-quality products. Every time someone walks in our door, we have a potential new friend!


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


We tell anyone shopping this holiday season to focus on clothes and toys that can be enjoyed for years and handed down to other little ones. Quality over quantity. Revel in your family and friends this year and focus on each other rather than the perfect holiday. This year more than ever, look for companies that reflect the values that are important to you.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


Our dream gift this year is to spend Christmas day (ALL DAY) singing karaoke with our families – that and a cashmere travel wrap!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


You really can’t go wrong with the Tea brand. Kids love the comfy fit and colorful prints, while parents love that Tea washes and wears beautifully and is made by a company that cares about the world. Our current favorite is the Dragon Zip Hoodie that is perfect for Colorado winters and turns any kiddo into a fiery dragon. We also adore the Metallic Wind Horse Dress because we love seeing our horse crazy girls layer that dress over a funky pair of leggings and wear it from school to the playground to The Nutcracker.

Follow Clothes Pony @clothesponyanddandeliontoys.


Dungeness Kids (Sequim, WA)

Dungeness Kids

What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


I love that it celebrates small businesses that work so hard for their communities.


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


I always appreciate the unique, quality gifts. Grab things when you see them throughout the year so they’re not gone when you’re looking for them during the holidays.


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


I’d love a trip to Hawaii!


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


I’m a boy mom, so my favorite picks this season are the Bear Snack Graphic Tee and the Forest Fleece Joggers.

Follow Dungeness Kids @dungenesskids.


Fiddlesticks (San Francisco, CA)


What does Small Business Saturday mean to you?


It’s a marketing moment that reminds people to shop local. There can never be enough reminders to support the local community. Jump off your devices and visit your local stores! #shoplocal


Holiday shopping tips and tricks as an industry insider?


Shop early and avoid the weekends if you can. Get that list compiled now and start crossing it off early. Just think: the sooner you finish, the more time you have for baking and nog. #hayesvalley


What is YOUR dream gift this holiday season?


The best gift I could ever get is TIME with my family. Experiences together are golden. As my kids continue to get older, time with them becomes more valuable.


For the gift giver looking at Tea – what are your picks?


We adore the Himalayan Ski print! It’s available in boy, girl, and baby, so it can be for everyone. It’s such a lovely print that captures the fun of winter! Dress the adults in denim and navy, and you have a great family photo opportunity.

Follow Fiddlesticks @fiddlesticks_sf.

From all of us here at Tea, we can’t thank these boutiques enough! You can find your local Tea retailer here. Are you a boutique owner interested in carrying Tea? Send our Wholesale team a note at!

Tea Travels: Visting Colorful Oaxaca


Jordan, our Assistant Textile Designer, in Oaxaca

Travel has always been at the heart of Tea. It’s what drives the inspiration behind each and every design we create. As such, it’s only appropriate that we give our hardworking employees time off to go on their own worldly adventures. We offer them an annual international travel stipend to help offset costs. Upon their return, they write a blog post to share their trip with all of us (and all of you). Today, we’re highlighting our Assistant Textile Designer, Jordan, who recently went to Oaxaca, Mexico. She’s been to Mexico many times, but only recently went to the very colorful state of Oaxaca. Read on to learn more about her trip.

As you may have seen in our Instagram stories, I recently went to Oaxaca, Mexico. Although I have been to Mexico many times, this was my first time traveling to the southern state of Oaxaca. My husband and I chose to go there because of its colorful and vibrant art scene, as well as its world-famous cuisine (both of which did not disappoint).


Oaxacan art

A relic of an ancient pyramid now integrated into the side of a church


In Oaxaca, art is everywhere. Just by walking down a quiet street, you can run into an artist’s workshop or gallery. I would recommend not only visiting the city’s countless museums, but also going to artist collectives. They allow you to see, firsthand, the artist’s process and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces. One of the best parts of my trip was visiting an artisan in their space.

During our trip, we went to the small village of Teotitlán de Valle. Only recently has this town been opened to tourists (previously, you could only get to the village via a mountainous path). Once we arrived, I met an artist named Josefina and her family at their home. There, they showed me their craft of organic dyeing and weaving.

Oaxaca artisans

The process of organic dyeing and weaving


Josefina demonstrated how to create dyes from the natural materials found in the family’s backyard, including roots, seeds, and the cochineal insect that grows on cactus paddles. When squished, the bug releases a bright magenta hue and shows up vibrantly in wool designs. Everyone in the family helps out, including Josefina’s children. They clean, comb, and spin the wool. Josefina’s husband then uses the dyed wool at the loom to weave rugs. He creates traditional patterns that date back hundreds of years and reflect the natural elements that surround him (seeds, water, land, etc.).

Oaxacan art

Left: Oaxacan Painted Pottery. Right: Oaxacan Embroidery at the Textile Museum


Finding and meeting a family-owned handicraft business like Josefina’s made visiting Teotitlán de Valle even more special. Weaving is only one example of a handicraft Oaxaca is known for. Traveling to different parts will lead you to villages specializing in pottery, embroidery, and many other crafts. With the help of a guide, getting around the surrounding parts of Oaxaca is easy and accessible.

Oaxacan tortillas

Freshly made blue corn tortillas

In addition to handicraft, Oaxaca is known for its unique dishes that wonderfully fuse its indigenous roots with a modern, elevated restaurant scene. From the Oaxacan string cheese to the more interesting chapulines (fried crickets), Oaxacans love to blend flavors and textures. Surprisingly, one of the best food experiences we had in Oaxaca was eating a quesadilla. It sounds simple, but the Oaxacans have really nailed the art of making the perfect quesadilla. We ate at a restaurant called Intanoni, which is known for its corn. All of it is organic and stone ground on the premises. From there, the chefs make delicious tortillas by hand, stuff them with strands of Oaxacan cheese, then cook the quesadillas on top of a comal (Mexican stove) until the tortilla edges are crispy and the cheese inside is perfectly melted. Wash it all down with an ice cold limónañada and you have, in my opinion, the perfect lunch.

I would go back to Oaxaca in a heartbeat. The only thing I would do differently is stay longer than five days. I would love to visit all of the handicraft villages surrounding Oaxaca to discover even more of the colorful art that makes visiting Mexico so special.

Feel inspired? Check out more stories like this on our Instagram @teacollection.

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 Every contribution – big and small – makes a difference in a mother’s life.

Boutique of the Month: Fiddlesticks


Every month, we highlight one of the three hundred boutiques across the country that help bring Tea to your local communities. This month, we’re featuring Fiddlesticks, a boutique based right here in our own backyard in San Francisco, CA. After working for big companies like Coca-Cola, Fiddlesticks’ owner, Elizabeth, decided to pursue her own passions. Read on to learn more about her story.


What inspired you to open your boutique? How long has it been open?


I started my career at Coca-Cola in their Marketing department, and from there jumped into several Tech companies. It wasn’t the right fit for me, and soon I found myself on a path to open my own retail store. I believe I was always meant to be an entrepreneur. I have been doing this for over 15 years now, and to me it’s a lifestyle that I continue to really enjoy.

What makes your store special?


I believe it’s the combination of our curation and merchandising. Design is really important to me when I head out on my buying trips. I look high and low to make sure the brand Fiddlesticks remains consistent in design and quality. And once in store, placement really matters – especially when mixed with toys and books.

I also believe our boys section is really special, and at times lately heavier than our girls side. The girls can’t always get all the attention. 😉

What was your favorite Tea destination and why?


We have been with Tea since the very beginning – back when there were just a handful of designs. So we have seen many destinations in the last 15 years. My favorite destination will always be Japan. I see it as a return to the brand’s roots, plus the designs are always beautiful.

What was the last trip you & your family took together, and what made it special?


This past summer we meandered our way through the Midwest for several weeks. My husband and I grew up in the Midwest, so this was familiar travel. We played with family and friends, and found ourselves in many known adventures. But we also tossed in a great deal of new to it all, which is what made it very special. Familiar travel with a mix of new was the right choice for us this summer. Plus, getting out of San Francisco during our freezing summers is always welcome!

Who inspires you (alive or not) and why?


My children! They are always schooling me in current lingo, wearing (or rejecting) the current trends, and always teaching me to be a better person. They are my light at the end of the day, and the force that keeps me inspired in this world that seems so dark right now.

What is one thing you think customers should know about the store that they may not be aware of?


We have an incredible Giveback program! We support local schools through our “It’s In The Bag” program. When San Francisco introduced a mandated 10 cent shopping bag fee in 2013, we saw an opportunity to bring together our customers and our local school community. We now charge 50 cents per bag, and all the funds generated from shopping bag sales within a two-week period are matched by Fiddlesticks, sealed with a kiss, and donated to a local school.

You’re a new addition in the crayon color box. What color are you?


In the world of Fiddlesticks, definitely Porange. Our brand colors are blue and orange, but we love to toss in pink here and there. Our favorite ribbon combo on our wrapping is white, pink & orange – PORANGE!


Be sure to check out Fiddlesticks if you’re in San Francisco, CA. Not in the Bay? You can support Fiddlesticks by shopping online at Want to see more stories like this? Be sure to follow Tea Collection on Instagram @teacollection.

The Story Behind Tea’s New Look


Hi, I’m Leigh – fellow parent and co-founder of Tea.

So much thought and emotion went into selecting an updated look for Tea. For me, the brown square with the hand-written tea script is full of meaning. Spotting the little brown square on kids clothes in playgrounds, airports, and schools is a thrill every time. The little brown square stands for quality, and we have poured our hearts and imaginations into fulfilling the promise of that little brown square: to inspire global connection and curiosity.

Back in 2002, brown was not the obvious choice for a kids brand. But we loved it because it was different and reminded us of the reason we named ourselves Tea. Sharing a cup of tea (the drink) is the best way to meet someone new, and almost every culture and country has their own long-held traditions and rituals around tea. For me, sharing tea means being curious, open, and fully present.

Old Tea Logo                                       New Tea logo

If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the new logo is not a font. It is hand-drawn by an artist. Tea cares about the hand of the artist, and we embrace the unique, wabi-sabi (perfectly imperfect) soul that designers bring to our clothing, patterns, and graphics. The personal touch or “hand” is part of everything we do.

Inspired by the updated look of our brand, I spent time reflecting on what Tea stands for and how far we’ve come. Here’s what I want you to know about Tea:


Tea Believes In Cultivating Cultural Awareness


Tea in Nepal      Tea in Nepal

Tea believes that we are all citizens of a big, beautiful, interesting world. Travel is our opportunity to understand how people, different from ourselves, think, feel and live. We seek out relationships with people we meet in the places we go. We draw inspiration from art, music, natural wonders, architecture, textiles, packaging of potato chips, phone booths, and the people we befriend. Their stories, beliefs, and style bring the world closer together. This is what we mean when we say:


You want to give your child the world. So do we.


Tea in Nepal

When we create clothing for kids, we think about how they play, move, kick, twirl, cuddle, and nap. We design clothing that is the most comfortable, easy and stylish to wear for adventures big and small. We want kids to feel confident exploring and growing. We love when our prints and patterns inspire curiosity about the big, beautiful world we all share. My dream is to raise the next generation to be curious and open to connect. We’re not just celebrating childhood; we are celebrating our world and being a child in it.


Tea Believes In Giving Back


Leigh with Little Sisters Fund Founder Usha Acharya

Tea donated 1,000 uniforms to school girls in Nepal

Since the beginning, before Tea even had an office, we had a partnership with the Global Fund for Children. We are committed to giving back to grassroots organizations around the world to ensure a better world for children everywhere. The GFC finds, funds, and nurtures organizations that are led by social entrepreneurs that know their local community needs. We partner with the GFC to support these organizations that have real social impact at a local level. We are now committed to giving back 10% of our profits.


Bringing It All Together


It is my hope and intention that Tea brings people together through our journeys, stories and collections. And we LOVE connecting with you. So, please keep sending us photos of your little ones in Tea! Join us on Facebook, pin us, follow and DM us on Instagram. And of course, don’t forget to stop by to see all the latest styles. You and your kids are the reason we do what we do.

Tea Gives 1,000 Uniforms to School Girls in Nepal through Little Sisters Fund

Tea donates 10 percent of its profits to grassroots organizations working toward a better world for kids everywhere. This fall, Tea partnered with Little Sisters Fund of Nepal.

About Little Sisters Fund


Founded in 1998, Little Sisters Fund fights injustice and poverty by educating girls and empowering them to become leaders. In Nepal, where almost half of the population lives below the poverty line, school can be prohibitively expensive for many families. Little Sisters Fund provides long-term scholarships to economically disadvantaged girls, and protects them from the dangers of child sex trafficking, child marriage, and child labor.


Why Educating Girls Matters


Educated women marry later, have fewer and healthier children, earn more, and invest more of their earnings in their families and communities. When a girl gets an education, it impacts her family, her community, and future generations.


Tea Gives


Tea is excited to support Little Sisters Fund by providing 1,000 new uniforms to 1,000 girls so they can go to school.


Tea with Little Sisters founder Usha Acharya




We met Usha Acharya, co-founder of Little Sisters Fund, in the lobby of our hotel on our first full day in Nepal. We recognized her right away from her photo online, gave her a big hug hello, and sat down in the courtyard for a cup of tea. Our company is named Tea because all over the world, people connect with each other by sharing a cup of tea. So we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to meet Usha, who told us that welcoming visitors with a cup of tea is a long-standing tradition in Nepal.

Over the next few days, we drove with Usha to visit Little Sister Fund’s partner schools and meet girls who are getting an education thanks to Usha and her organization’s supporters. To the 2,700 girls attending 80 different schools in 20 districts in Nepal, Usha is a mentor, mother, big sister, and beacon of hope. She is living proof that an education can transform a girl’s life. Born in a small village to illiterate parents, Usha was sent at age 6 to live with relatives far from home. Through luck and perseverance, she was able to go to school. That experience opened her mind and changed her life. Usha went on to earn two master’s degrees and has made educating girls in Nepal her lifelong mission.

It’s easy to see her passion. She’s incredibly humble and curious. She takes a personal interest in the backgrounds and stories of every girl in the program. She listens with interest, asks lots of questions, and pays close attention to the world around her. At one point, we were walking through a field of wheat and oats near a school. Usha identified which stalks were wheat and which were oats, then pulled them together to look for the similarities and differences between them. Her curiosity got everyone to stop and think. It’s clear that her calling is to be an educator!


According to Usha, education is more important than anything else you can give a person. “If I could have three wishes, it would be education, education, education,” she said to us, as our car bounced along dirt roads. We didn’t see a single traffic light on our two hour ride to Lele, a village in Bagmati Province. We talked the whole way—about Usha’s life, her quest for an education, her father’s death, her marriage to the Nepali ambassador to the UN, her Ivy-League-educated sons, and her passion for her work. She is funny and quick and open and totally plugged into the news of the world. We talked about how the communists were elected to government in Nepal, how families are tricked into giving away their daughters to human traffickers, how she worked for Save the Children before founding Little Sisters Fund, and what it’s like to run a nonprofit in Nepal.

When we got close to the village school, we realized there was a festival happening. The whole town was gathered to honor a local god. The school was officially closed! No matter—when we arrived, there were 30 uniformed girls waiting for us with braids in their hair and flowers in their hands. The sight of all the girls filled our eyes with tears. It was overwhelming and moving to see so much beauty and strength and promise.

The girls handed us flowers and smiled shyly. We went into their classroom and sat in a circle on the floor and talked—about what their life is like, what they like to do with their friends, and what they want to do when they grow up. They drew pictures, laughed, sang, and took a bunch of selfies with our phones. We gave them backpacks filled with school and health supplies they would need for the upcoming school year. Donating a backpack full of supplies costs just ten dollars, but it makes a huge difference for these girls.


Getting to know the girls and hearing about their hopes, ideas about the future, and commitment to school was a joyful experience. Later, we learned more about some of the hardships they face. By ensuring they are safe and getting an education, Usha and her team are giving these girls the power to change their lives and the lives of their future children. To witness all that possibility in a small classroom with no chairs was like watching a miracle start to unfold.

Introducing Usha and her work to the Tea community is our way of bringing the world closer together. Being a student means everything to the Little Sisters and seeing how proud the girls were to wear their new uniforms was the highlight of our trip to Nepal.

Every purchase you make at helps girls like those at Little Sisters Fund. To learn more about Little Sisters Fund, visit

Tea Makes Friends in Nepal

Tea in Nepal

You want to give your child the world. So do we.

Traveling is more than one of life’s greatest privileges—it’s an essential part of cultivating awareness of the great big, super small world we all share. Tea believes in raising a generation of open-minded kids who are ready to explore and connect with people who bring different perspectives and new ideas to the conversation. Designing incredibly cool kids clothes, inspired by the places we go, is our way of inviting you to engage with all the little citizens of the world.

This season, we’re inspired by Nepal. Our latest collection celebrates its colorful culture and the magic of the Himalayas. Read on to learn more about what inspired us during our travels.


For every trip we take, we usually have at least one connection everywhere we go. In Nepal, we met up with our friend Daphne, who recently moved to Kathmandu from the U.S. with her husband and two daughters.


The girls enjoy sel roti, a kind of Nepali doughnut. People use marigold garlands for worship and to greet visitors.

The girls took us on a kids-eye tour of Kathmandu. We learned that cows have the right of way, momo (stuffed dumplings) are a favorite snack, and cotton candy comes in the brightest pink!



We saw students of all ages learning to paint Buddha in art class. Every school requires a different uniform.


We love plaid!

Daphne and the girls introduced us to their friends from school. They all know how to speak Nepali. We loved hearing their stories and watching their daring leaps!



Tea’s back-to-school collection in action!

Photographing Tea’s back-to-school collection on location reminded us of all the colors and places that inspired our designers.



Plaid again! And so many jewel tones!

Lastly, we were treated to a musical treat from a flute master.


Handmade flutes, displayed on a flute tree.

We want to make friends everywhere we go. Friendship opens a world of ideas, customs, beliefs, and values—plus all the food, art, and music that makes the world so incredible. Connecting and making friends with people different than ourselves—that’s what Tea is all about. We bring travel-inspired style to curious kids. Shop the newest collection inspired by Nepal at