Author Archives: Priscilla Wong

February 28, 2013

Fun in the sun (Part 1)

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).
Emilynne, our excel whiz , traveled to her home away from home to the sunny and humid group of islands in the Pacific.

Last October/November I took a short hike halfway across the world to visit my sister for her semester break in the Philippines. A lot of the school holidays in the Philippines do fall,slightly suspiciously, during major Catholic Feast Days. This means that the Triduum of All Hallows, Christmas, and Holy Week are all holidays that the children may observe with family.

Traveling pictures in the airport.

Look at the handwritten plane ticket.

Once I heard about this break, I jumped at the opportunity to visit my mom and my sister, travel a bit of my parents’ home-country, and (most importantly) soak in some sun and warmth!

We did a small amount of traveling, but kept it relatively simple for this go-around as two of my friends (pretty much my sisters by everything but blood) were flying in and out of Manila via slightly different itineraries. My friend Radhika and I got in one evening and our first stop was Taal Vista Resort in Tagaytay, about an hour south of Manila. The resort has a stunning view of the Taal Volcano.

Taal Volcano in the distance

Look closely and Taal Volcano is the island in the middle of the lake.

Yes, that is an active volcano. In fact, people are not allowed to settle on the island, and even the resort we were staying in is technically within the danger zone. It’s hard to believe that this is an active volcano, which had quite a bit of activity as recently as July 2011, when you look at all the lush foliage surrounding it.

February 15, 2013

Key Layering Pieces

Take key pieces from winter into spring.  Make them work extra time by mixing and matching.  Double up on layers for the colder months and when it starts to get warmer, leave the long layer at home.
Here is one of our favorite layered girls outfits:

Girls Layered Look

Flower Petal Sunset Outfit

Polokwane Hoodie
Flower Petal Top
Sunset Stripe Twirl Skort
Saltwater Sandals in Yellow

For the little guy in your life, shop our Rhinos and Stripes boys outfit:

 

Boys layered outfit

Rhino and Stripes Outfit

Sharp Sharp Chinos
Grazing Rhino Polo
Ubuntu Stripe Hoodie in Cayenne
Vans Authentic Checkboard

February 8, 2013

Passport to Rocky Mountain Kids

Each month Studio T features one of our retailers.  This month we chatted with Stephanie from Rocky Mountain Kids.  We invite you to learn about the mother-daughter duo that are here for their customers day in and day out in their 3500 square foot store.  Come learn about Rocky Mountain kids!

Behind the scenes at Rocky Mountain Kids

Tea: How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store? How long has your store been in business?
Stephanie: How does anyone get into their own business?  Big ideas, a leap of faith, and a wing and a prayer.  The chance to be your own boss?  Yes, please!  We’ve been in business for 15 years- all in one location. We have been carrying Tea since the days when the entire line consisted of maybe a dozen pieces.  Lily (our daughter/granddaughter who has been raised with our family at Rocky Mountain Kids) is now 9 and has been a wearing Tea since she was a newborn (pink footie with red trim — anyone remember that?) and every season since.
Tea: She’s an original little citizen.

Tea: What is something that your customers would be surprised to learn about you?
Stephanie: We (mother and daughter) get to work together every day and we still like to hang out together outside of work.  A lot!  (Although I don’t know if that would really surprise any of our customers).

Tea: What is your favorite part of your day at the store?
Stephanie: Receiving new shipments.  It’s like Christmas every day.  Putting new, exciting product out on the floor is like having chosen the perfect gift for a friend.  You can’t wait for them to open it.

Tea: What is the biggest trend you see right now in either shopping or kid’s fashion? What are people coming in for?
Stephanie: Well, Tea is now its own trend.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery right?  We see other brands trying to imitate the Tea look and style as their own.  The trend is quality, fashion, color, and affordability all with a story.

Tea: What do you do in your “spare” time?
Stephanie: Family, friends, and a couple of cocktails on Friday nights.   When we’re lucky and Cristy is in town, a visit to Zolo Grill and an ice cream cone.

Tea: How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us?
Stephanie: Balance?  Even if things are balanced, would they ever really feel that way?  You’re at the store, you feel like you should be at home.  You’re at home, your thinking about the store.  Home is work, work is home.  But that is why we love it.  Right?  My best advice- Love what you do, love who you are, love who you’re with (family, friends, staff).

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Visit Rocky Mountain Kids at 2525 Araphoe, H12a in Boulder, CO 80302.

 

January 25, 2013

The best sights to see in London and Wales

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).

Sandra, our data guru, shares her travel highlights in the unexplored parts of London and Wales.

Stonehenge

L- R. Stonehenge, the White Hare in Llandudno, Titern Abbey, and Bath.

My brother and I traveled to the UK at the end of December to sight-see and visit our grandma and
uncle in the south of Wales. Since we’ve both been to London before, we skipped the standard tourist
stuff and took a lot of day trips before heading to Wales. Here are a few highlights from our trip:

London. Royal Ballet, one of the top ballet companies in the world, is a must see if you’re a ballet fan
or appreciate grace mixed with athleticism. Try to catch a performance with principal dancer Alina
Cojocaru.

Sightseeing tip: If you’ve been to London before and London Pass isn’t economical, Days Out Guide
offers 2 for 1 promotions with a valid travelcard from a rail station (must have the National Rail logo;
travelcards from London Underground won’t work) and it includes some attractions, such as the London
Eye, that aren’t covered by London Pass: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

Stonehenge. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and on my bucket list of things to see. The henge is roped
off so you can’t touch or wander among the stones unless you sign up for a special dawn/dusk viewing.
It was very cold and windy there so make sure to wear lots of layers if you visit in the winter!

Bath. Who doesn’t want to see the city where Jane Austen’s characters go to recuperate? Ok maybe
just me. The city of Bath is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the only hot springs in the UK.
We took a tour of the Bath Abbey Towers (hilarious yet informative tour of the history of the abbey),
explored the Roman Baths, sampled the spring water at the Pump Room (tastes like warm iron, gross),
and ended the day soaking in the thermal waters at Thermae Bath Spa.

Tintern Abbey. Tintern Abbey is the first Cisterian monestary in Wales and inspired William
Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” and Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s
poem “Tears, Idle Tears.” The surrounding Wye Valley has beautiful scenic walks along the River Wye; a
perfect diversion while waiting for the next bus back to Chepstow!

Llandudno. Llandudno is the largest seaside resort in Wales and has a Victorian promenade and the
longest pier in Wales. The town has loose ties to Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland as Alice Liddell, the
“real Alice,” spent her summers there. Most attractions are closed in the winter, so after walking along
the promenade and pier, we searched for Alice in Wonderland statues scattered around the town (there
are four: Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and Queen of Hearts).

January 23, 2013

Behind the Design: Boys’ Graphic Tees

Leopard, elephant, Kruger National ParkOur design team loved visiting Kruger National Park so much that they just couldn’t help but design a collection of boys tees inspired by Kruger.  Kruger is Africa’s largest game reserve and it spans over 7,500 square miles.  That’s six times the size of Rhode Island!  Kruger was created in 1926 to protect the diminishing number of safari animals.  If you ask anyone in Africa what the ‘Big 5′ is, they will tell you that the ‘Big 5′ are the five most difficult animals to hunt on foot-  the lion, leopard, African elephant, Cape Buffalo, and the rhinoceros.

Did you know:
-despite the African Elephants large size, they can hide in the tall grass
-the leopard is a nocturnal animal, which means it does the majority of its hunting from sunset to sunrise

Check out our boys new arrivals to find the  hottest spring looks!

January 21, 2013

A Call to Serve

Martin Luther King Jr and his daughter.

A softer side of MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr once proclaimed, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”  So, how are your honoring MLK Jr and his legacy?  Twenty-seven years ago President Reagan signed MLK Jr Day into existence and catapulted a ‘can do’ and ‘will help’ attitude into the American radar.  This willingness to lend a hand has been celebrated in South Africa for many decades, centuries even.  Ubuntu is the idea that we are all interconnected and what happens to you happens to me.  Desmond Tutu defined it as when a human knows “that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated… the essence of being human.” We can’t live without each other and we need to help one another out.

The idea of generosity and the call to serve has struck a special chord in Tadatoshi Akiba’s heart (Mayor of Hiroshima from 1999-2011).  He loved the call to action so much that he declared MLK Jr Day a holiday.  This really is a global celebration.  How will your honor MLK Jr?  Share with us on Facebook.  Remember every day can be a day of service to your community.

Check out Tea School Days- a no brainer to raise money for your child’s school.

*Image courtesy of Family Goes Strong.

January 20, 2013

Explore London with Brooke

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).

Brooke, our amazing Store Marketing guru, took a getaway trip to London with her husband.

Big Ben in London.

You can’t miss Big Ben when visiting London.

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:

A happy couple in London.

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.

Tower of London on a cold December day

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.

House of Fraser decked in holiday cheer.

We loved how the House of Fraser went all out to deck the halls.

January 17, 2013

Behind the Design: Vilakazi Henley

Vilakazi Street sign in Soweto.

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.

Boy in Vilakazi inspired henley

Get your little citizen suited up in stripes.

Image courtesy of SouthAfrica.net.

January 11, 2013

DIY Safety Pin Bracelet

diy safety pin bracelet steps

Make your own safety pin bracelet!

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.

Two girls in South African inspired clothes.

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.