Category: Behind the Scenes

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.


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

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:

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).

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… 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.

Vi Ses Senare Scandinavia!

Highlights from Nordic 2012

It’s that time of year again to say goodbye to our cozy home we have found in destination Nordic.  Thank you for all the wonderful memories, bright colors, and lessons on biking.  We’ve learned a lot from our trip and hope you have too! Finland, Sweden, and Denmark have taught us to notice the beauty in everything from nature, furniture, to the stars shining in the night sky.

DIY: Wintery Scarf

Tea model in diy wintery scarf

Learn how to make this wintery scarf.

Did you see the scarf on page 4 of our Holiday 2012 Catalog and wonder where you could find one of your own? Our prop designer created ours by shredding a rug and twisting the strips together.  You can make one yourself following the steps below.  We bought thick gauge acyclic yarn and used scissors to craft our own scarf.

Skein of Yarn and scissors.

Easiest diy scarf.

1. Unwind the yarn to desired length.  Ours was around 6.5 ft to 7.5 ft long.  We used the entire skein of yarn and had exercise weights as an extra set of hands.  See the picture below.

Yarn measuring using weights.

We used weights to help measure the precise length of yarn.

2. Snip the yarn at half length (where the weight is positioned).
3. Divide the half into 2 even sections.  Start twisting to one side.  Then twist the other half  to the same side (both in or both out).  Then twist both previously twisted sides together.  Tie a knot at the end.

Two hands twisting a scarf.

Twist the halves in the same direction.

4. Repeat for the other side.
5. Twist the 2 twisted halves together and knot it at the end.  Knot where you want the tassels to begin.

A finished twisted scarf.

Our final product- a warm and cozy twisted scarf.

Look how easy it was to twist your own scarf.

*Please note that this activity should be for kids 3 years and up.

Happy twisting!


Tea and the Global Fund for Children in action

Kids in Tea clothes in China

GFC distributing Tea clothes in Feng County.

Over the past few years, Tea has worked hand in hand with the Global Fund for Children (GFC) to donate money and resources to grassroots organizations that transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.  This past summer Tea sent clothes to GFC to donate in China’s Feng County.  Many children in this area of rural China are considered “invisible” because they are neglected by the government and unaccounted for.  It takes dedicated grassroots organizations to find and help these forgotten kids.

Boy in donated Tea clothes.

One reason we keep giving. Do your part today.

You too can help GFC reach more needy children.  Every holiday season, Tea and GFC collaborate and create the Little Citizens Holiday Pajamas.    All proceeds from the purchase of these pajamas go towards the Global Fund for Children, so they can help children around the world learn, grow, and thrive.

Tea Collection's Little Citizen Pajamas

Dress your little citizen up for the holidays!


Lily at the Emmy’s in Tea!

The following is written by Emily Meyer, Tea Collection’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer.

How awesome is Modern Family the TV show?!  It’s so funny and I just love the weave of contemporary themes and some of the most socially relevant story telling. It turns out that the actress that plays Lily, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, is a huge Tea fan!

I met Aubrey’s mother, Amy Anderson Emmons, at the Mom 2.0 bloggers conference in May … she was super friendly and spoke about managing the social media audience for Aubrey’s fan base.  I introduced myself and she said they knew Tea, that Aubrey even had a couple of pieces … I mentioned that we would LOVE to dress Aubrey for any special occasions.

Well … I was travelling overseas just a few weeks ago and received an email from Amy – she says Aubrey is going to the Emmy’s and asked if we would be interested in dressing her?  Of course!!  What an awesome project and it would be an honor for us!

Marjorie, our designer, was traveling with me – we immediately started brainstorming in the courtyard of our hotel at 12:30am!! Marjorie sketched.  We started with our iconic wrap neckline styling and created a bubble in the skirt for fun, matching Aubrey’s playful personality.  Then we added a sash similar to one we had seen on the traditional Korean costume, called a hanbok.

Lily from Modern Family Wears Tea Collection to Emmys

Our amazing Technical Design team drafted the pattern and made a prototype before we returned home from the trip.  We found beautiful silk taffeta fabric at Britex in downtown San Francisco.  And then I went to LA to visit Aubrey in person to try on the dress.  The sash captivated Aubrey and the wrap neckline was gorgeous on her – elegant and youthful.

Lily from Modern Family wears Tea to Emmy's

Ana, Tea's photographer, with Aubrey as she tries on her Emmy's dress for the first time.

Marjorie traveled to LA herself to help Aubrey get dressed, including final touches, for the big event.

Marjorie helping Aubrey pick out the perfect shoe.

I am so proud of our team for making this happen so fast and so beautifully.  It’s literally the art of couture, globally-inspired, made with heart and soul.


How the (yarn) ball got rolling…


First Tea Collection Pima Cotton Sweaters

First Tea Collection Pima Cotton Sweaters

Who knew three Pima Cotton baby sweaters could launch a company?  Emily and Leigh knew that this no fuss style would keep babies warm and stylish.  For ten years, we’ve been traveling the world but still remain true to our roots with our Chinese Baby Sweater.  Get your little one bundled up in style and see where the world takes this little citizen.