To help everyone at Tea “go there,” we make a yearly contribution to each employee for international travel and exploration. Upon their return, our Tea travelers write blog posts to share their adventures with all of us (and the world).
It’s been at least 2 and ½ years since we’ve had couple time for longer than a couple of hours…alone..no kids…no diapers…no nap schedules to work around. It was time to get away and for us to be kids again. We have two girls and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law generously volunteered their weekends. We definitely owe them one or maybe two.
Honestly we could have gone anyway (even into Boston), but it was magical to be across the pond (on an island of sorts) and somewhere my husband Josh had never been – London, England.
After hopping the overnight flight, we arrived to a rainy, cold day…this picture pretty much sums it up:
Notice the grey skies in the background.
Instead of wallowing or going to take naps (which would have been a treat all in itself!), we hit the department stores because they are such a wonder overseas. I definitely recommend popping into Harrods, House of Fraser, and Topshop. They have food halls, amazing displays and the hippest fashions – things that will be popular here in a year or so!
This was also the perfect day for a bus tour around the city – both to get oriented and to take a rest, and also stay out of the rain. The guide was great and super enthusiastic. We got to see all things quintessential London, and also got to stop for some fish and chips (with mashed peas of course!) and then on the Tate Modern museum.
The Tower of London has been standing since the 11th century.
The mix of super historic (Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral) with the modern city of London really was striking, and on top of it all – the city was all dressed up for Christmas.
We loved how the House of Fraser went all out to deck the halls.
Vilakazi Street- where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived.
Here’s a history lesson that not only is short and sweet but fun to say. We bet you didn’t know that our Vilakazi Henley was named after the only street to once have housed two Nobel Prize winners. Nelson Mandela, one of the most famous anti-apartheid activists and President of South Africa, lived at 8115 Vilakazi. Mandela’s former home is now the Mandela House- a museum that preserves his story as he fought for equality. Just down the street, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu still lives with his wife. Desmond as he is fondly known aided to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. During his quest to bring the fall of apartheid, he coined the term ‘Rainbow Nation,’ when speaking about his beloved South Africa and its ethnic diversity. It is said that Desmond can still be seen strolling down Vilakazi.
Our designers were so inspired by their trip to Vilakazi Street that they wanted to share it with you. Bring a piece of our experience home with you, shop from our boys’ tees.
Step 1: Start beading your safety pins. We put 5 seed beads (size 6/0) onto each small safety pin. As you are beading start to envision a desirable pattern or make it completely random for a kaleidoscope effect.
*Please note since sharp objects are involved, this craft is for children 8 years and up.
Step 2: Make sure you use needle nose pliers to clamp each safety pin permanently closed. No booboos here!
Step 3: Cut two pieces of elastic 5 inches longer than the circumference of your child’s wrist.
Step 4: Tie a knot with the two pieces of elastic. Start stringing your safety pins in the desirable pattern. We did all the tops on the top string and all the bottoms on the other.
Step 5: When you are done beading, tie a knot on each elastic cord (top and bottom separately). Then knot with the other side to create a full circle.
Wear our Rosebank Mini Dress and Mtititi Floral Tunic Top withyour safety pin bracelet.
Wear your safety pin bracelet with any of our girls dresses or girls tops. We really liked how the yellow beads complimented the yellow accents in our Rosebank Mini Dress. Get creative with your bracelet patterns and girls outfits and share with us on our Facebook.
Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we chatted with Kyle from Style Child. We invite you to discover Style Child, an innovative children’s boutique nestled in sunny San Diego. Maybe you know Kyle and all of her friendly staff but we bet you didn’t know she was once a Captain in the Air Force.
Meet Kyle, owner of Style Child.
Tea: How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store?
Kyle: Style Child has been open 6 years. I was formerly an engineer for 10 years, and after having a baby, I found I gravitated to all things baby: cute clothes, toys, furniture, decor. It was a combination of needing a career change, plus my changing interests, plus a lack of children’s clothing opportunities in San Diego that led me to the idea of opening up a boutique myself.
Tea: What is your favorite part of your day at the store?
Kyle: When I do the buying! I am always so excited to find new and amazing fashions, or cool toys.
Tea: What makes your store unique?
Kyle: We like to be on the cutting edge of design and fashion and we have a sophisticated flair. We are very different from traditional baby stores. We carry hardworking pieces whether it is toys, clothing, or furniture.
Style Child’s abundant Tea selection.
Tea: At Tea, we “Go There”, how do you share in that mission in your life?
Kyle: I love learning new languages and have been known to play Russian language tapes while commuting in my car! I have French and Spanish and English toys in the store. We even have German products and Canadian products, by having a global influence in your selection you guarantee an interesting and thoughtful mix of your products. It helps broaden the horizons of your customers too!
Tea: We love that you really bring the world home for your customers.
Tea: How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us?
Kyle: I like the Kaizen Principle. It’s about making small steps forward instead of trying to do too much all at once. And it’s about streamlining.
Tea: That is a great tip for all of us who need to keep our New Year’s resolutions.
Visit Style Child on your next trip to San Diego! Find Kyle and her team at 1070 University Avenue, J-101 San Diego, CA 92103.
Who doesn’t love a word search? We added a South Africa spin to this one. Take a minute to solve the puzzle and then read the definition aloud. Once you’re done, draw what the word means to you in the background. We can’t wait to see what you create!
Once you’re done coloring, submit your creation to [email protected] for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win! Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!
Our cozy boys’ hoodie was named after Chester Williams who was famously dubbed ‘The Black Pearl.’ During the 1995 Rugby World Cup games, Chester was the only black player on the Springbok Team from South Africa. He became the poster boy (literally) of the end of apartheid in South Africa; his face was plastered on the sides of planes and on billboards. Many South African children idolized him which eventually helped bring an end to the racial injustice in South Africa. If you are curious about Chester and the rest of the Springboks, watch Invictus.
Nceka cloth from our South Africa inspiration trip.
On our trip to the Limpopo Region, our designers were struck by the beautiful beading and embroidery on Nceka cloths. The Nceka cloth is a traditional cloth worn over the upper body by Tsonga and Shangaan women. Oftentimes it is an indigo dyed fabric embellished with beads and safety pins by the wearer herself. Intricately embroidered Nceka cloths are saved for special occasions like weddings.
We loved the colorful and unique detail of Nceka cloths so much that we created the Mtititi Floral Tunic. You can bring home a piece of South Africa too from our girls’ tops! The over-dyed floral indigo fabric is embellished to look like the beads from traditional Nceka cloths.
Our Mtititi Floral Tunic inspired by the Nceka cloth.
Watch the Mtititi Magic video to see beading in action and learn about how Mtititi has changed the lives of women in the Limpopo Region. Video courtesy of WatchKubasa via Youtube.