Author Archives: Jessie

About Jessie

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.

April 9, 2014

Going to Asia: Family Travel Tips from the Founders of Petunia Pickle Bottom

When we were getting started with Tea, we met Braden & DeNai Jones, the founders of Petunia Pickle Bottom, at a New York trade show. We connected instantly – fellow entrepreneurs building great products for mamas. Emily and I returned to our office in San Francisco to find a (surprise) floral arrangement from our new friends at Petunia! The crush was mutual.

Our paths continued to parallel not only through building our businesses, but also in building our families. Braden & DeNai also have two boys: Sutton (8) and Miller (6); just a year ahead of my two boys! I have enjoyed keeping up with their families these past few years – especially when they packed up their kids and took them to visit their vendor partners in Asia.

Now, it is my turn! Once each year, I travel with a few members of our production team to visit our partners abroad. It just so happened that my husband’s calendar opened up around the time of this year’s trip, so we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a family vacation! Our boys are very excited about an extra long spring break.

As soon as we started planning the trip, the first call I made was to Braden & DeNai for advice, which was beyond helpful. I felt selfish keeping their suggestions to myself, so read on for the full details of my conversation with the Jones’ and get tips for your own kid-friendly trip abroad.

Leigh: David & I are concerned about jetlag for the kids. It’s one thing for adults because we can just push through as long as we have an extra coffee. But that doesn’t work for kids!
Braden: I try and put the family on a sleep schedule during takeoff to give us a jump on the time zone we are traveling to, before we arrive. That tactic seems to help the boys with jetlag.

Fun things to do in Hong Kong when you aren’t working?
Braden: There are some great activities we do to get the boy’s legs moving; we like the Tian Tan Buddha, we visit the HK Zoo or ride The Peak Tram up the hillside. Ocean Park was a big hit with the boys too. Most of the time we just enjoy walking the streets, exploring temples, and browsing markets and other nook and crannies of the city.

How about the food? My kids like some Asian food, but they tend to rely on their go-to favorites like Pad See Ew and avocado sushi – does that even count as Asian food or sushi for that matter?
DeNai: Our boys usually enjoy trying new foods, but for those times when they aren’t feeling as adventurous, Cup Noodles is always an option. You can get these just about anywhere or bring them with you. I also like to bring granola bars wherever we go as back-up. When I can find western grocery stores, I’ll stock up there on things I know the kids will like.

I’m excited to take our 7-year-old to our factory outside of Bangkok. I can’t wait to show him how clothes are made! Plus, we have known our partners and their families there since Adam was born. I think it will feel like a family reunion! Our partners in Hong Kong have invited my family to join for dinners too. It will be a pretty amazing “take-your-kids-to-work-day”! Any tips?
Braden: Honestly, it’s an amazing experience for everyone. We first brought our boys along so that we could work for several solid weeks without having to be away from them for too long. It’s a very family centric culture, so bringing our kids really enhanced our relationships with our colleagues, friends, factories and staff. The boys join us for work, dinner and entertainment, and our partners love to see Miller and Sutton grow over the years. As hard as it is for them sometimes, I will tip my hat to my boys for being along for the ride and being great sports about it.

The Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Shanghai airports are a lot bigger than San Francisco… Not to mention the number of people and languages! Do you have any practical tips?
Braden: A time saver I suggest, is to grab a stack of Customs Cards (Arrival or Departure forms) and fill them out before you are in the customs line. It’s much easier to focus on keeping the family together when you’re not fumbling with the papers and passports. I also memorized all of the passport numbers, saves time for border access and if you lose a passport.

How about hotel recommendations? Any specific kid-friendly, designer-y hotels? You two always seem to find the perfect stylish hotels!
Braden: Finding a room with multiple beds in HK is hard, but it can be done. Most websites only allow you to add one child (not two) when you make your reservations. I suggest making the reservation with one child and then explaining (with a smile) that you need a hide-a-bed for your second or third child once you arrive. On the Kowloon side we tend to stay at the ICON Hotel. It’s new, modern, has every amenity for a great price. On the Hong Kong side we have stayed at the Hotel LKF right above LAN Kwai Fong. At this hotel you are right on top of the party street, restaurants and activities. Other child-friendly hotels we have visited in Asia are: The Racha Hotel in Phuket, Thailand, the Osaka Hilton in Japan, the Lotte World Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, and the Hotel Majestic in Vietnam.

Tips for packing? We’re gone for more than two weeks and I can’t bear the thought of packing enough clothes for such a long stretch! I’m not worried about clothes for the kids because Tea has that covered! Always easy to mix & match, comfortable and great looking. Next time you go, promise me you will call so I can send some Tea for your boys – I would love to see your Instagram pics with your beautiful sons in some Tea!
DeNai: We always pack a lot of black and gray clothes for the kids because they hide the messes and can easily dress up or down. We tend to bring about four to five days of clothes and use the laundry service at hotels to refresh the selection. We’d love to dress Miller and Sutton in Tea next time!

How about emergency kits? And I mean all types of emergency: medical, long layovers, sleepless nights….
DeNai: I usually pack my Petunia Pickle Bottom Wistful Weekender for traveling. It has plenty of storage space and I have a handful of emergency-type items stored inside for the boys: everything from a thermometer and Dermabond (liquid stitches), to small toys and a travel art set to fight boredom. Oh and Cleanwell hand spray is the best germ spray out there!

You are amazing! Thank you! Such practical, helpful tips. I couldn’t be more excited. Keep an eye on my Instragram! I hope to have lots of pictures to capture what will undoubtedly be a crazy & beautiful trip.
Note: Tea is currently hosting a fun baby sweepstakes, which includes our friends Petunia Pickle Bottom. Please sign up for a chance to win over $3,000 in prizes. Perfect for new mamas!

April 6, 2014

DIY Tassel

DIY Tassel

From decorative garlands to decorative pillows, tassels seem to be hanging everywhere we look. We came across tassels of every size in Morocco and you’ll see them all throughout our catalog. Now, you can make your own tassels!

To get started you’ll need embroidery thread, a 2 x 2 inch piece of cardboard and a pair of scissors. If you’d like to have bigger tassels, the size of your cardboard should be increased.

DIY Tassel

Wrap your embroidery thread around the cardboard 35-45 times. The more you wrap, the thicker your tassel will be.

DIY Tassel

Take a 5 inch piece of thread and loop it through the top. Tie a tight knot – This will help you attach your tassel in your final project.

DIY Tassel

Cut the opposite end’s loop and set cardboard aside.

DIY Tassel

Take an 8 inch piece of thread and knot it around the top of your tassel. Wrap the top of the tassel with the remaining length of thread on either side, knotting once more when you’ve come to the end.

DIY Tassel

Trim and enjoy!

April 4, 2014

How Do You Wear Tea?

We were thrilled when San Francisco photographer, Carol Vaziri, reached out to Tea about working together on a photo shoot. Her “natural and curious” style of photography captured Tea perfectly. The idea behind the shoot — “How Do You Wear Tea?”. Dressed up or dressed down, kids are constantly climbing, running, jumping and Tea is right there with them. We love seeing Tea in action, keeping children comfortable and stylish while they experience everyday magic. So, how does your little one wear Tea? Share your photos with us… they could end up on teacollection.com!

*Thank you Carol for sharing your beautiful photos with Tea!

April 3, 2014

Dress Your Little One In Red Carpet Style

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons SAG Awards 2014

Not too long ago, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Lily from Modern Family) was walking the Emmy red carpet in custom Tea. While the exact dress will not be available for purchase, the dress that was the inspiration behind Aubrey’s custom creation can now be yours!

Swiss Dot Ruffle Dress Tea Collection

Not only does it come in Aubrey size – it comes in baby size too! This beautiful deep orchid color was found all through out the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech. It’s one of our favorites this spring and it’s perfect for all occasions!

April 1, 2014

DIY Pom Pom

DIY Pom Pom

Pom Pom: A loose, fluffy, decorative ball or tuft of fibrous material.

With this DIY tutorial, you’ll have handcrafted pom poms in no time! All you need is yarn, a pair of scissors and a fork to get started.

DIY Pom Pom

Begin by wrapping your yarn around the middle of the fork a few times.

Then wrap the yarn around the entire fork about 45 times. The more you wrap the yarn, the more dense your pom pom will be.

Take a 4 inch piece of yarn and wrap it around the middle of your wrapped yarn. Pull tight and tie in a knot.

DIY Pom Pom

Carefully pull the wrapped yarn off of the fork.

Cut each loop around the bundle.

Give your pom pom a haircut, making each piece of yarn the same length. Fluff up your pom pom and enjoy!

DIY Pom Pom

March 28, 2014

Friday Round Up

Morocco

This photo was taken during our stay in Morocco. Dried fruit and nuts filled markets in almost every city we visited.

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

These maps might not be the most accurate, but made from signature regional foods, we found them to be quite lovely!

You may have seen fireflies in your backyard, but have you seen them like this?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sleep in an ice hotel? Nadia from Child Mode shares her experience with the Hotel de Glace in Quebec.

Completed in 2012, The Megaro Project was the largest mural in London. Are you familiar with the Agents of Change?

We love following fellow mamas on Instagram, so we were delighted to find Bloesem Kids roundup of Instagram Mommies – What a great bunch!