Author Archives: lisac

October 15, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Leigh Rawdon and Women’s Initiative

Leigh, our co-founder and CEO just sent me this inspiring post:

On Tuesday, Emily and I were lucky enough to be honored as Women Entrepreneurs of the Year by Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. There were several women recognized including the talented women behind amazing brands like Peas of Mind and Minted. But the most inspiring woman of all (and I think every honoree and attendee would agree) was Nancy Charraga. So I wanted to share a little of her story:

Nancy came to the US from Chiapas, a southern state in Mexico. She wanted to preserve and share the cultures and traditions of Mexico through the products she sold. She started in flea markets but it wasn’t until she went through the training at Women’s Initiative that she developed a business plan and strategy. Like many other trainees in the program, Nancy fit the profile of high potential, low income. And like most graduates, she has been operating a successful, sustainable business for many years since.

Entrepreneurship is a passion of mine because of people like Nancy. People from all walks of life – whether students of a top business school or a recent immigrant in the Women’s Initiative training program – are able to create something from nothing. Entrepreneurship requires creativity, resourcefulness, and perseverance, and the results are independence, confidence, and a positive impact on the world around us.

Nancy Charraga now has a store, a wholesale business, and an event planning service. She employs dedicated women who are supporting their families. And she’s having a positive impact on the community around her. Every day, she fulfills her mission to Preserve & Promote Mexican Traditions through Fair Trade. She deserves last night’s award and many more for demonstrating the power and importance of entrepreneurship.

Nancy Charraga

Nancy Charraga

Learn more about Nancy and check out her store, Casa Bonampak online and if you’re ever in San Francisco’s Mission District. Emily and I are grateful to be included with Nancy and all of 2010′s Women’s Initiative honorees.

September 30, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Tea explores the food trucks of the world

We are so lucky to live in San Francisco and have many fun, tasty and global treats to explore nearby. The great food truck explosion has hit SF in a big way.

We like to think we were among the first to discover Chairman Bao, the yummy bun truck with a sense of humor. You can find them outside Economy Restaurant Fixtures on 7th and Irwin among other locales. Check their Facebook page for their whereabouts.

The Tea team is partial to the steamed buns, including Chinese Spiced Duck Confit with Mango (Josh is known to get 3) and the Crispy Garlic Tofu. Not to mention pork in all its forms. Get two to three (at least)

Here we are on one of the first days: That’s me, Josh and Jen (with Tami behind the camera).

.Chairman Bao Bun Truck

Our other Potrero find is Liba Falafel, now appearing Thursdays in Potrero at 155 De Haro.

Perfect for a sunny day, we love the falafel of course. And you’d be silly to skip the sweet potato fries (with lime!). And her tasting bar is a wonder to behold and explore. (rosemary peanuts, harissa (here’s a recipe), olive orange relish, oh my!). That’s me again on the left, Josh, Sandra (back from Phoenix) and Jeff. Leigh’s behind the lens this time thinking about how she can start her own food truck operation.

Tea Team outside Liba Falafel Truck

Liba also moves around so check her Facebook page for the latest and greatest. If you know of any new food trucks in the neighborhood, please comment on this post and keep us in the loop. I’ll be sharing other favorite neighborhood spots (without wheels too) in the weeks to come. Happy tasting!

September 15, 2010

Announcing our Bring Baby Home in Style Sweepstakes!

We know how exciting it is to welcome new babies to the world. To help you get started, Tea, Skip Hop and Tiny Prints are giving away $1,200 in sweet baby essentials to one lucky winner. Enter Our “Bring Baby Home In Style” Sweepstakes today through September 28, 2010.

FROM TEA
a stylish wardrobe of modern and consummately wearable Tea clothing for you and your baby (worth $500)

FROM SKIP*HOP
ultimate mom & baby gift basket filled with cool and essential gear to get you started
(worth $500)

FROM TINY PRINTS
personalized birth announcements to make a big impression
(worth $200)

Bring your baby home in style this Fall!

Full details are available in the Official Rules.

Enter now and don’t forget to share with your friends. Good luck!

September 14, 2010

Congrats to Adopt a Grey Wolf Winner Audrey

Congratulations to our Facebook Adopt a Grey Wolf randomly chosen winner, Audra Saleh! Her 4 year old Lily loves Crocodiles! She runs around snapping her arms wide! Audra and Lily will soon be the proud foster parents of their very own grey wolf.

We received 98 entries and they were all wild and wooly fun! Here are just a few:

Sarah Teo What an honor this would be! My 4, almost 5 yr old son has always loved the crafty fox.

Loretta Duncan My 4 year old daughter loves all animals but particularly snakes (boa constrictors) and spiders (tarantulas)! Not like her mummy!!!! We went to Costa Rica and Puerto Rico so she is obsessed with the rainforest.

Maria Colon-Mingo Roar!!! Definitely the lion but my two year old son does have a soft spot for turtles…

Nancy Austin Patterson My 6-year old loves elephants, and my 2-year old loves bears… or at least he likes to growl like a bear and then shout “Bear! Bear!”

Teresa Ross I just asked my son Julian and he said “snake.” I think the answer would be different every day ;-)

Erin Fitzgerald Ellie loves stingrays. She is especially partial to the Southern and Blue Spotted varieties :-)

Amy Phillips This is perfect, because my daughter’s favorite animal is a grey wolf! We have a book called “Grey Wolf Pup” that she reads every night, and a cuddly wolf toy to snuggle with. I think we will be adopting a wolf even if we don’t win! Thanks for sharing!

You can see all the entries on our Facebook page.

Read more about World Wildlife Fund‘s Adopt-an-Animal programs.

September 7, 2010

We [heart] travel!

Something about being back at work after the long weekend turns my thoughts to wandering. How about a post with a few random travel thoughts?

From Laura B, our resident design guru and America’s favorite dancer: If you’re in Budapest, don’t miss Gellert Baths. Here she is on the Old World Hungary Inspiration Trip with Emily (Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder). Love that taxi!

Emily and Laura B in Budapest

From Tami, graphic designer extraordinaire and recent vacation returnee: Check out Krakow, Poland, especially the nearby Wieliczka salt mine, a Unesco World Heritage Site. And definitely bring your kids.

Look for a blog post from Tami later this week, all about her fabulous European travels (including Hungary).

Who doesn’t love the idea of active travel? I’ve been wanting to go on a Backroads trip forever. I think 2011 is the year. Perhaps a little yoga, cycling, hiking, golf? Read Athleta’s blog post for a little inspiration to unleash your adventurous traveler. I think their new adventure travel clothes with an easy, athletic spin are pretty fun.

And speaking of travel clothes…our new women’s (that’s right, I said women’s) Palace Tee and Cafe Merino Henley make great lightweight, fashionable and consummately wearable traveling pieces. Add one of our new scarves and you’ll be ready to go there, wherever there is. Take them with you on your next journey, even if it’s just across the street.

Share some of your favorite journeys with us here by commenting on this blog post. Cheers!

September 2, 2010

We heart Pad See Yew

We’re in the middle of our 2nd heatwave of the summer here in SF. The heat always makes me want to sweat it out with spicy Asian food.

Our CEO, Leigh Rawdon, sent me a fun post about her sons experiencing Thai food (and she happens to be in Asia right now):

We took the boys to a great Thai restaurant in Berkeley. Our four year old falls squarely in the camp of orange/white foods only. We asked him to try everything and to find one thing he liked. He voted for Pad See Yew, a rice noodle dish. Best of all, he was so proud to tell our waitress and anyone who would listen that he loved Pad See Yew. Our one year old, on the other hand, loved everything – especially these panko fried Taro and Yams (what’s not to love).

Matthew hearts Thai food!

A perfect Tea moment complete with the Korean inspired tee shirt!

And if you’d like to try your hand at Pad See Yew, here’s a great recipe from Food and Wine. Hmm, feels like a great night for a little Pad Thai.

August 11, 2010

Favorite Childhood Travel Stories from our Facebook Fans

Happy Wednesday!

Every week as part of Tote Tuesday, we ask a different question on Facebook. You can win our Little Citizens tote.

Just wanted to share some of our Fans’ Childhood travel stories and one of my own.

From Sarah (this week’s winner): Driving to Canada to see Niagra Falls and getting watermelon flavored French gum stuck in my hair when we were laying down in the back of our station wagon!

From Priscilla: My parents used to take my sister and I to Tijuana every summer. We stayed at the same hotel every year, ate at our favorite restaurants and visited neighborhing cities like Ensenada, Rosarito and Tecate. We looked forward to our summers.

From Winnie: My family didn’t go on vacations when we were young. Our first family vacation was when I was 18 years old, a trip back to China, Macau and Hong Kong to visit family. My grandmother passed away and the family was there to take care of service arrangements. Needless to say, we didn’t get to do too many things fun. But it was great to meet all the aunts, uncles and cousins I’ve never met before. It was fun getting to know them.

From Julie: When I was 11 and my brother was 8, my parents took us to Europe. In s stop in Germany a man introduced himself to us and bought us pastries in the Kondotetei. Turns out he was the Burgermeister. This thrilled us because we knew this term from the Christmas special with the Burgermeister Meisterbuger!

From Luciana: I used to live in Brazil… so on summer vacation, we would drive from Sao Paulo to Belo Horizonte and stop on little farms for snacks and rest along the way…. I remember playing in this little farm/restaurant’s playground and near the cows…. I remember the food was great and fresh milk… great memories.

From Kaarin: Almost 15 years ago, my Great Grandmother, Grandmother, and Mother took me on a tour of the world and we stopped by South Afrika for two months. While we were on safari one day a young Lioness jumped on our jeep and stared us down for what seemed like hours (probably no more than a minute!) , and my Great Grandmother finally stood up and told her to shoo away with her cane . . . I’ll never forget it ;) 4 generations of women traveling around the world!

From LisaC (that’s me): I remember going to Miami Beach for the first time from Connecticut to visit my aunt, cousins and Grandpa Abe. My brother kept saying its not Miami it’s your ami. We got to swim in more than one pool and the ocean, hang out with our older cousins and go for brunch at The Fountainebleau Hotel. Pretty cool all around.

Discover more memories on our Facebook page. What are some of your favorite childhood travel stories?

August 3, 2010

Announcing Tea’s July Little Citizen of the Month Winner

July’s contest was all about sharing photos of your little citizens enjoying summer vacation.

Quynh Vu is July’s winner:

Our daughters Sammie and Taylor at Noguchi Gardens in Costa Mesa. They were having a fun time exploring the water fountain and climbing the rocks and out of the blue decided to show a bit of sibling affection. We love Tea clothing because of it’s unique & beautiful design and the girls love comfortable dresses that allow them to explore their world.

Heres her entry: Our daughters Sammie and Taylor at Noguchi Gardens in Costa Mesa. They were having a fun time exploring the water fountain and climbing the rocks and out of the blue decided to show a bit of sibling affection. We love Tea clothing because of its unique & beautiful design and the girls love comfortable dresses that allow them to explore their world.

Take a look at July’s honorable mentions below and read more about them on Facebook.

July Contest: Summer vacation for us involved buying a year pass to our local zoo. Ryan loves to feed the giraffes. We especially love his Gaja Gaja shirt as it suits our busy toddler perfectly. Hes always on the Go!
Whiling away a rainy summer day in our driveway. Although my daughter has many dresses to wear, she always chooses this Tea dress. She even asks for it when its in the laundry! I love Tea because my daughter loves Tea!

My 2 year old, Henrys, idea of a great staycation day. A trip to the amusement park for rides and face painting, then off to the outdoor mall for more summertime adventures. He was truly inspired the entire day by the dragon on his tea collection pants.
I love Tea for many reasons, the main one being that for such pretty clothes, they are comfortable and easy to wash! I also love the attention to detail, from where the inspiration comes to the actual stitches in the garments.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Please continue sharing your photos and experiences with us on Facebook! August’s contest will be posted here soon.

August 2, 2010

Notes on Tea’s Back-to-School Polyvore Contest

Hey everyone, we’re new to Polyvore too and trying to figure it out. A variety of questions have come up, here are some ideas and resources.

If you’re having trouble seeing your set in our group or submitting an entry to Polyvore:

  1. Make sure you’ve submitted your set to the Tea Collection group page on Polyvore.
  2. Once you’ve done that, it should be easy to submit an entry right there or submit or create a new entry on the contest page.

If you can’t seem to get your friends to vote for you:

  1. On the question of “I entered, but it won’t let me click on the “ask your friends vote for you” – not sure why it won’t work. Tried the same thing and it wouldn’t work for me either. You could point your friends to the contest page and ask them to drag your set into the “Cast your vote section” on the contest page.
  2. You have to be a polyvore member to vote and…only members who have created at least three polyvore sets are eligible to vote. So that may be why the “ask your friends to vote” link doesn’t work….

Set notes:

  1. Sets should contain six items not six styles with multiple items.
  2. You should be able to create and submit more than one set. The contest was set up to allow multiple entries.
  3. Feel free to add backdrops, words, props and other things to your contest entries. If Polyvore doesn’t except as an entry, we’ll be sure and figure out a way to include them.
  4. If there is an item on our site that you can’t find on Polyvore, use the clipper to add it. For details see: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/clipper

Polyvore help:

Here are some links on Polyvore to help sections:

http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/help.groups
http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/help.contests

We very much welcome advice and tips from anyone who’s mastered the art of Polyvore. Please share as a comment here on our blog or feel free to comment on Facebook or Polyvore.

Thanks and continued good luck!

July 30, 2010

Enter Tea’s Back-to-School Polyvore Contest and win your set

Hey everyone, are you ready to Express Your Creativity With Tea? We’re now on Polyvore, which is the leading community site for online style. Using the site’s virtual styling tool, you can create unique sets that are digital collages of clothing, accessories and lifestyle products.

Here’s how it our Back-to-School Express Your Creativity with Tea Polyvore contest works:

1. Join Polyvore if you’re not already a member (or you can sign in with your Facebook account). Then join our Polyvore group.

2. Create a set of back-to-school children’s clothes from teacollection.com. You choose, boys or girls. Or both. We’re giving away a prize for each.

3. Submit your set as an entry in our contest. It’s super easy, you just drag items into the window. Once you’ve created your set(s), you can submit your entry to our contest. The easiest way to do this is right on our contest page.

3. No more than 6 items in a set please. Only items from teacollection.com are eligible for entry. Don’t forget, to enter, you need to join our Polyvore group.

4. Spread the word. Ask your friends to vote for your set. Vote for your favorite sets. Feel free to create more sets and submit them as contest entries. The most popular sets (1 for girls and 1 for boys) will win the clothes in their set. If you win, you’ll get to name the set. Once all the votes are in, we’ll sell the two winning sets at a special price to everyone on teacollection.com. It’s just like merchandising your own mini line of Tea clothes. Pretty cool!

5. Contest ends August 11, 2010.

6. We’ll be posting entries right on our blog so don’t forget to check back here to see all the sets in the contest. And we’ll share updates on our Facebook page too.

Don’t forget to express your creativity and have fun. It’s not to soon to start thinking about your favorite names for your sets. I fancy the Lisa set myself.

We can’t wait to see your sets. Meanwhile…

Check out some of the sets some the members in our Polyvore group have already created.