Author Archives: Tea Collection

About Tea Collection

Jessie tweets & chats her days away working in the social media and public relations departments of Tea. Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Jessie moved to New York after college to work in the fashion industry. Still new to San Francisco, she's constantly discovering new sushi spots and hidden boutiques. She's still dreaming of her last trip to the Caribbean and hopes one day soon she can play on the beaches of Thailand.

January 30, 2014

It’s a Chinese New Year Giveaway!

Barefoot Books

In the Chinese culture, 8 is considered to be one of the luckiest numbers there is. It’s pronounced ‘Ba’ which sounds very similar to the word ‘Fa’, which means to make good fortune. Did you know that the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics began on 8/8/08 at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8 pm local time? In honor of the Lunar New Year tomorrow, we’ve partnered with Barefoot Books to give you the chance to win $88 to Tea and your choice of 8 Barefoot Books.

Which books would you choose? With such a wonderful offering, we know it’s hard to choose! One of our favorites is The Great Race; the excitement-filled story is followed by notes on the Chinese calendar, important Chinese holidays, and a chart outlining the animal signs based on birth years.

The Great Race

With this beautifully illustrated chart, you can help your little one discover which animal’s year they were born in, making the book a bit more personal. If you’re a fan of Barefoot Books, be sure to check out their Ambassador Program – they’re running a special on registration that ends January 31st!

Enter now for the chance to win $88 to Tea and 8 Barefoot Books!

January 23, 2014

Destination: Morocco

Emily Meyer in MoroccoMorocco is a land of such color and wonder, you begin to expect a bit of magic around every corner.

Amazingly intricate tiling on walls and walkways in Fes. Bold, mod-flavored fabrics hanging all over Marrakech medina. Delicately embroidered jellabas and tripod Berber wraps. Audaciously exuberant art by contemporary artists like Hassan Hajjaj.

We were completely entranced. So we brought it all home to you in pop florals, bold shapes, mod tile motifs and delightful color combinations.

Every thread of our new collection was inspired by the magic of Morocco. Go there with us!

January 20, 2014

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons in Custom Tea at Golden Globes and SAG Awards

Awards season is in full swing and we couldn’t be more excited to see Tea on the red carpet! Aubrey Anderson-Emmons attended both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards shows in one-of-a-kind custom Tea Collection dresses. Congratulations to the entire cast of Modern Family for their SAG win, ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series’, the award was much deserved. Aubrey is the youngest SAG winner and she’s now won three years in a row!

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons Golden Globes

Months ago, we sent Aubrey sketches of several different design options for the award shows. She chose her two favorites, a modern drop-waist dress in pink duchesse satin with Swarovski crystal accents and a modern shift dress in a two-tone iridescent satin in orchid with two tiers of cascading ruffles draped across the bodice. We got to work!

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons SAG Awards 2014

We were thrilled to hear the announcement of Pantone’s color of the year; Radiant Orchid. With purple as one of her favorite colors, she was ahead of the trend! Aubrey held her own on the red carpet amongst award show veterans. Congratulations again on the win, Aubrey – What an exciting two weeks!

Pantone Color of the Year - Orchid

 

January 17, 2014

You Shop. We Donate.

Spring 2014 School Days

It’s that time again! You shop and we donate. Any 501(c)(3) certified non-profit organization can participate. Last day for applications is February 13th.

Learn more here: http://bit.ly/13TU3rI

Things we found and want to share from this past week:

Have you ever tried Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs?

Let’s make being happy and healthy a priority.

An effective message with beautiful illustrations, The Sandwich Swap is new favorite bedtime book.

Go back to the basics with these wooden toys for the little ones.

We’re headed to ALT SLC next week where Emily will be speaking. Will we see you there? 

January 13, 2014

San Juan del Sur; A Beautiful Fishing Village

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).

Katy and Laura, two of our design veterans here at Tea, traveled to Nicaragua for sun, surf and sand.

We had no plans for Thanksgiving and after another summerless year in San Francisco, a tropical holiday sounded like just what we needed. We both had been hearing a lot of great things about Nicaragua so we decided why not? We planned a brief but action filled four day trip.

San Juan Del Sur

Day 1:

We arrived in Managua and drove two hours to San Juan del Sur, a beautiful fishing village forty minutes north of the Costa Rican border. The town is surrounded by lush volcanic mountains. There are several well-known surf breaks nearby.

San_Juan_Del_Sur2

We settled into our hotel, had our first rum (Flor de Cana) and coke and signed up for that evening’s sailing trip.

Sailing

Day 2:

We started our day with an early morning yoga class in a treehouse with cool breezes off the Pacific. We assumed we were in for a nice relaxing morning, but we happened upon a very challenging class that kicked our butts. After waddling back to our hotel we relaxed in one of our hotel’s three infinity pools. As we were sipping our pina coladas in our swimsuits, a Nicaraguan television reporter and crew asked us to be interviewed. Kara, Laura’s sister, gladly obliged.

Pool Side

Day 3:

We jumped into the back of a pick up truck with five other novice surfers and headed to Hermosa Beach, a long, white, sandy cove with perfect beginner waves and crystal blue water. That crystal blue, warm water also attracts many stingrays and jellyfish. Our surf instructor started our surf lesson by teaching us the “stingray shuffle” – our new favorite dance. As soon as he said stingray –Katy thought Laura would run for the hills but she braved it and landed her very first pop up!

Nicaragua Surf

After swallowing a few liters of salt water we decided to rehydrate at the beach bar where we ran into some friends we met at our hotel, including the international sea bean collecting champion. Don’t know what sea beans are? We didn’t either but we got some excellent field based learning.

sea-beans Day 4:

We hired a driver to take us inland to Mumbacho Volcano. He spoke no English, we spoke barely any Spanish but got some good practice. We had some very amusing “conversations”. We took a moderate (hard) hike through the cloud forests (literally we were in a cloud on top of a lush volcano). Everything was wet and super slippery. We ended the day with a few bruises but the monkeys, butterflies and amazing views of Lake Nicargua made it all worth it.

mumbacho_monkey

 

 

January 10, 2014

Tea in the Press

December 2013 Press Credits for Tea Collection

 Shop the Peace Stripe Cardigan on sale now!

Things we found and want to share from this past week:

Spice up your usual party mix with these Honey Roasted Moroccan Spice Cashews.

These zig-zag leggings have quickly become a fan favorite – Grab them while you can!

Explore San Francisco like a local; The tea team is sharing their favorite spots around the city.

We love Moomah’s ideas for volunteering with your children…

Do your little ones have ‘Dream Friends’?

January 8, 2014

Sayulita: Culture, Exploration and Family

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).

Cristina , who helps create beautiful product (with exceptional fit!) here at Tea, spent a week in quite Sayulita, Mexico with her family.

Our family was in need of a vacation (not having taken one since before our daughter was born). It was important to us that we went somewhere we could relax, yet share with our daughter a little culture and sense of exploration. We settled on Sayulita, Mexico an eclectic beach and surfing village with exceptional people, arts, activities and culinary offerings.

1_Countryside

A 45 minute scenic jungle drive along the Pacific coastline from the Puerto Vallarta takes you into Sayulita.   The small town consists of 3 to 4 main streets all centered on the village square with a striking church.  All destinations are within a few minutes walk to the beach.  The city is full of wildlife, especially iguanas.

Sayulita, Mexico via Tea Collection's Studio T

The landscape of the village is stunning with cobblestone roads, colorful houses and aging patina everywhere.  All of the houses had thatched roofs and palapa open air verandas.   We stayed up the hill from the city center; after one trip navigating the steep hill with our toddler we realized we needed another mode of transportation.  We rented a golf cart! The golf cart is Sayulita’s choice of transportation due to its small size and resource needs.  Our daughter loved riding on the back with her grandmother.

Sayulita, Mexico via Tea Collectino's Studio T

Our morning walks would usually take us to ChocoBanana for yogurt and granola or a smoothie.  Another favorite was El Espresso for huevos a la Mexicana, coffee and a mango smoothie.  Then off to the beach, yoga or a hike!

Sayulita, Mexico

The beaches are beautiful; you could either head out to the main beach off the city center or explore a more remote destination.  The main beach offered beach chairs with shade umbrellas from beachside restaurants which included food and drink service. This busy location provided much activity with good surf, fishing and many beach patrons.   Another nice location was Playa de Los Muertos on the south end of town and usually frequented by locals for swimming with low surf and riptides. You had to search to find it but were greeted with dramatic views and a colorful cemetery at its entrance.  We walked around awing at the beauty of the memorials.

Sayulita Beach via Tea Collection's Studio T

Sayulita has a few yoga spots but a favorite for the location, studio and talented teachers was Pariseo Yoga.  Nara the owner and the other instructors are very gifted providing challenging yet relaxing classes with modifications and tips on how to better your practice.  I highly recommend joining Nara and crew on the mat.

Yoga in Sayulita, Mexico via Tea Collection's Studio T

The village was sprinkled with shops of artisans, surf shops and small boutique clothing shops.  We came across many talented artists of different styles creating traditional Mexican clothing, jewelry, colorfully fabrics and hand crafted folk artifacts. We loved speaking with the individual artisans about their crafts and learning their process. Tallulah enjoyed watching them create and seeing the animal inspired hand crafts.

Food Stand in Sayulita, Mexico via Tea Collection's Studio T

At dusk the town square turned into a large social gathering for the locals and gave the children an opportunity to play in the cooling temperatures. The local children would bring bikes and scooters to ride around.  Our daughter enjoyed joining in on the fun and we enjoyed taking in communal feeling of the village.

Kids Centro, Mexico

On the last day we adventured by boat touring Marietas Island and other sea side attractions.  Once at the island you could either swim or kayak to the beach.  The beach was only accessible through a rock sea tunnel.  The water was crystal clear and full of sea life.  My husband and I were able to do a little snorkeling while our daughter played with grandma on the beach.

Marietas - Sayulita, Mexico via Tea Collection's Studio T

This vacation gave us the opportunity to share a little bit more of the world with our daughter and my mother.  As a family it is very important us that we broaden our perspectives together while adventuring and learning about the world we live in.  My hope is that through our travels we will all learn how to fully embrace life while on the road and home.

December 17, 2013

Foreign Correspondents: A Whirlwind Voyage

valerie

We are a family of experienced travelers – having visited more than 20 countries, from Canada to Jordan. On our far-flung jaunts, we enjoy immersing ourselves in the local culture, language and cuisine, experiencing the locals’ lives.

Our latest voyage was our longest – 3 weeks, 7 countries, from Copenhagen south to the D-Day beaches of Normandy and back again.  This time, our itinerary was carefully planned with the tastes of our 12-year-old son Michael in mind. Michael, with his zeal for ancient history, medieval weaponry, seafood, and chocolate, and strong opinions to boot, sets the tone for our activities. As always, he did not disappoint.

ghentcanal

Leaving Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport in the morning, we began our GPS-aided foray into downtown Copenhagen on an unseasonably warm day. Although temperatures hovered in the high 20s Celsius, low 80s Fahrenheit, the lack of humidity was summer time bliss for us, natives of Washington, D.C.’s  sticky suburbs.

Our first stop was Amalienborg Palace, where we enjoyed the sun-splashed morning and jostled with tourists of various nationalities as the changing of the guards unfolded. Soon, our jet lag caught up with us. We craved rest, finding welcome relaxation amidst a fountain and flower garden. Michael inspired our second wind, styling with my Tea Collection FashionABLE scarf.

After our car’s GPS led us astray a few times in the capital city and around Copenhagen’s teeming crowds of bicyclists, we found the Nationalmusset, home of the new Viking exhibition, featuring the Rothskilde 6 – the world’s longest surviving Viking ship. Michael enjoyed the exhibit’s interactive computer program, where he lived the Viking life. Not surprisingly, his pillaging, negotiating, and trading earned him the title of Viking.

lubeck1

After several wonderful days in Denmark, we headed south. Our destination was the Netherlands, through Germany via the Autobahn. While my husband Bruce enjoys life in the 130 plus km/hour lane, I take things a bit slower. After watching dozens of German drivers zip past me on the left, I wanted a break for lunch. Finding an Autobahn rest stop, we toasted each other with German bottled water, cheese, chocolate, and fruit.

The soaring cathedral, marvelous architecture, and canals of Utrecht, Netherlands, warmly welcomed us that evening. Utrecht is a university town, with its share of cyclists admirably navigating the narrow alleys and cobblestone streets. After the bicycle overload of Copenhagen, Michael noted that Utrecht’s two-wheeled denizens were much fewer in number, although no less brazen while driving through pedestrians and forcing cars to avoid them.

Our early morning Utrecht departure was marred by heavy rain. Fortunately, our rainy drive to Ghent, Belgium was short. Michael was excited about Ghent’s 12th century Gravensteen Castle, with its “Museum of Judicial Objects.”  These torture instruments, racks, handcuffs, and knives, were used to extract confessions. If no confession flowed from the persuasion, the guillotine awaited. We eyed the castle’s own guillotine, pondering its gory past. As the rain continued pelting us, we found salvation in our hotel and a bag of Belgian chocolates.

Les Andelys, France (2)

Sunshine marked the next morning when we drove to France for nine days. We all eagerly anticipated croissants, baguettes, cheese, and much more.

From our wonderful gîte in Caumont l’Evente, we drove the narrow Norman roads to the magnificent Bayeux Tapestries, cathedrals, abbeys, and chateaux, highlighted by the stunning Chateau de Carrouges and William the Conquerer’s birthplace in Falaise. Everywhere we went, monuments, flags, and markers reminded us of World Wars I and II, and of course, D-Day, June 6, 1944.

My great-uncle from Pennsylvania came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day and was killed in action. Michael wanted to know more about what his ancestor did that day so we visited D-Day beaches, inspected German fortifications, talked about the allied landings, and gazed somberly at the starkly white grave markers of the American military cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer. While walking among the American graves, Michael quietly noticed the number of soldiers killed on D-Day and those who died during the war’s final days.

We topped off our last day in Normandy with a fantastic dinner at Chateau d’Audrieu, a marvelous 18th century abode and a one-star Michelin restaurant. C’est magnifique!

marmoutiercath

Wrapping up our journey, we headed east, visiting Alsace-Lorraine. Michael enjoyed the many Roman artifacts we saw. While my husband and I marveled at the Roman Empire’s ancient reach, Michael shrugged, assuring us that this was old news to him.

Driving through Germany on the way back to Copenhagen, we stopped in Cologne. There we visited the city’s magnificent cathedral and our priority – the Schokoladenmuseum. Michael loved learning how chocolate was made, enjoying a Willy Wonka-esque sample.

Three weeks later, we returned home with great memories, wine, chocolate, jam, crackers and tea that will keep our trip alive for a long time!

December 16, 2013

A Peaceful Sanctuary in Mexico

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).

Tami, one of Tea’s creative guru’s, took a week to herself to indulge in a simple, quieter way of life.

I recently became intrigued with the idea of a yoga retreat in an exotic locale far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. My initial research came up with options in Bali, India, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Mexico.
I chose to go to a retreat center, Prana del Mar, in Baja, Mexico because of its amenities and convenience (a short 3-hour direct plane ride from San Francisco). Close to Los Cabos, Prana del Mar a far cry from the wild party scenes of Los Cabos. It’s located in the middle of the Mexican desert with the mountains to one side and the ocean with a private beach on the other. Run completely off the grid and on solar power, it’s an eco-conscious slice of heaven that doesn’t skimp on comforts.
Baja Mexico
In addition to the location, the retreat itself was really made special by the trip organizers, Alchemy Tours. Silvia was the yoga instructor, meditation guide and general life guru. Jake coordinated all the activities, assisted in yoga and was always ready for any question with a great sense of humor. The two of them eased any fears I had of traveling on my own to practice yoga with a group of strangers.
Soon enough, those strangers became friends. We got to know one another pretty quickly as we practiced 2-3 hours of daily yoga/meditation and explored Mexico on the many planned excursions. There were lots of firsts for me on this trip: first time surfing (glorious fun!), first time horseback riding (scary at the beginning but so peaceful by the end), first time ocean kayaking, first time holding a puffer fish while snorkeling (adorable–it looked like a Japanimation character!) and first time whale-spotting.
We were also able to visit a small, sleepy artist town called Todos Santos. Full of artist galleries, shops, cafes and restaurants, it was a nice chance to get a taste of Mexican culture beyond its stunning nature-inspired activities.
Baja Mexico
With the perfect balance between solo nature time and group activities, this trip was truly a relaxing and mindful experience for which I am so thankful!