Category: Behind the Scenes

How to Shop Tea’s Semi-Annual Sale

Tea just launched our best semi-annual sale ever, with discounts up to 60% (or more!). We wanted to provide you with some pro insider practices to getting the most out of our super clearance.  Below is our top 3 helpful tips for shopping our semi-annual sale.

1) While you shop, think about what events you have coming up and purchase your outfits on sale ahead of time.  We think our Cactus Flower Dress would make a perfect Easter dress.  Or our Corzo Chambray Tunic would be a cute Valentine’s dinner outfit for mom.  What holidays, birthday parties, or events are you anticipating needing an outfit for in 2012?  Buy a new style for each while the prices are low!









2) Buy in bulk!  Do you love how durable our boys Workwear Cargo Pants are?  Do your girls love how comfortable, yet stylish our Skinny French Terry Cargos are?  Great! Stock up on these bottoms now while they’re discounted.  Buy one in each size for your child to grow into.  When their favorite pants no longer fit, you can be the best mom in the world when you surprise them with the next size up!









3) Hurry! Urgent! Selling out!  We sometimes see these messages and ignore them.  Then when our size is gone or there is only one color option left, we’re upset.  The best way to get what you want during a semi-annual sale is to buy early and often.  Don’t wait until your favorite pair of pants is only available in one size.  Shop now!

So enjoy our sale while it lasts and happy shopping! What are your tips for shopping Tea’s semi-annual sale?


Christmas Traditions: East Meets West

This post was written by Cindy Young, the manager of technical design at Tea.

Cindy and her family

I came to the United States from China when I was 9 years old. Growing up in San Francisco, a city with diverse cultures and a large Asian population provided me with great comfort while assimilating into the new American culture. My first exposure to Christmas came through school, where we celebrated togetherness, exchanged gifts, decorated the room with lights and ornaments, listened to joyous music, and enjoyed lots of festivities and yummy treats; very similar to Chinese New Year actually. The jolly ole Saint Nick character was different though …

My family continued to celebrate Christmas to share in the experience with our American friends. Six years ago, I married my husband Brent, who is an American from Scottish/English and Greek descent.  His family is not religious and predominantly follows the American traditions for the holiday spirit.  They have a set of consistent traditions with the main focus being on family.  Generally, they aim to do fun and meaningful, but traditional, activities together such as decorating the tree, enjoying a nice formal dinner at home on Christmas Eve, going to Christmas plays or concerts, and laughing while frantically wrapping any last minute presents. On the big day, they take turns opening stockings and gifts before enjoying a hearty and delightful brunch with a delicious spread of food and Stollen (a traditional German loaf-shaped cake containing dried fruit, and covered with powdered sugar). They then call family and friends to wish them Merry Christmas, share stories from the morning, and catch up from when they last spoke.  Fully spent, everyone then takes a nap to re-energize for an evening of enjoying each other’s company while watching movies and eating popcorn at home.

So, it seems like my husband’s family traditions are not very different from my own. They are just different ways of celebrating with families and friends.  We have two toddlers now, and it wasn’t until last Christmas that I began to really dive into the meaning of Christmas. To us, Christmas is now about creating wonderful memories and fun experiences for the kids, in addition to connecting with family and friends.  It’s about doing things with the kids, helping them feel the Christmas Spirit through Santa Claus, and creating excitement and suspense about coming downstairs to find lots of presents under the tree.  To help our kids get involved with preparing for this Christmas, I created an Advent Calendar (pictured on the right) with their help. I did most of the sewing of course, but they put sticky numbers on the pockets and helped give lots of design feedback. A new twist to the classic set of ornaments, we incorporated some ornaments that reflect my Chinese heritage, such as felt crafted fortune cookie, wooden block with the brush stroke character “JOY,” a wind chime, and origami stars.  Since December 1st, my kids have been alternating in taking the ornament out of each pocket to hang on the calendar.  They get so excited to do it every morning and sometimes fight over whose turn it is to do it again.  It was a bigger project than I thought, and finding the miniature ornaments that would fit into the pockets wasn’t easy, but seeing their excitement in participation is rewarding and priceless.  I plan to recreate new editions of the calendar when they are old enough to experience more of the process in making it, and I look forward to learning and creating more traditions with my own family and teaching our kids the beauty of cultural differences and the true value of family traditions. 

Holiday Traditions

The shopping is done and presents are wrapped (hopefully!) so now it’s time to embrace the holiday spirit!  At Tea, we all have different ways that we celebrate the holidays.  Below some of our staffed shared their favorite festive traditions.  Some are funny, quirky, or sweet, but all reflect the season’s spirit of family and charitable giving.

“My Nonna would always take us to the toy store to pick out presents for children at an orphanage her church worked with. Even though I did not know these children, I remember being super concerned about whether or not they would like the presents. I put a lot of care and effort into picking out just the right toys. We’d also carefully wrap each present, which was equally as important to me. I hand colored all the wrapping paper and made sure each present looked ‘perfect’.” Katy, Designer

“Every winter my family makes Chinese Winter Balls. These are balls of dough that you eat with a cabbage broth. The production and consumption of these winter balls happens right when it starts to be winter so a Winter Solstice- like tradition. Making these balls is a huge production, you have people mixing dough and kids running around with sticky hands, but all the work is worth it. Nothing says winter like eating Winter Balls. There is also a dessert version of the balls with peanut butter or seasame paste injected inside the balls that you drink with a sweet/sugary broth.” Priscilla, Customer Service

“Every year, we arrange the little snow village up on top of the piano decked with all the tiny porcelain houses, figurines and snow covered trees as possible. My sister and I also like to watch White Christmas and sing along to it.” Isabelle, Tech Designer

“Every year we have a Mexican Feast for Christmas dinner.  We also make our own wrapping paper, either by carving and printing stamps or hand drawing it.” Amber, Textile Designer

“My family prepares a traditional Polish meal every Christmas Eve. The recipes have been handed down from generations and consist of potato and cottage cheese filled pierogi and a mushroom borscht soup which takes 2 days to prepare. Yum! I can’t wait to eat it soon.” Laura, VP of Design

“We just started to have a special brunch on Christmas, just the 3 of us, me my husband, and my son, a couple of years ago.” – Eva, Product Development and Production

“Christmas Eve we sit down with the kids and read about the meaning of Christmas and giving, read “Twas the night before Christmas” and sing carols. Then leave cookies and milk out for Santa and carrots out for the reindeer.” – Cristina, Tech Designer

“My husband’s family is from Uruguay so we make cookies called alfajores as gifts for the holiday season. Alfajores are a sweet sandwich cookie featuring a layer of dulce de leche, in the middle of two sweet biscuits and coated with chocolate or sprinkled with powdered sugar.” – Tracy, Head of Production & Technical Design

We hope you enjoyed learning about the yearly traditions that our staff cherishes.  We wish you a holiday filled with cheer, warmth, and lots of great memories.

Please share with us below, what’s your family’s favorite holiday tradition?

Tea’s Global Children’s Clothes Donation

On November 28th and 29th, Tea donated one piece of clothing to the Global Fund for Children for every order placed online or at a Tea retailer.  The Global Fund for Children is an organization that helps advance the dignity of at-risk children by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and effectively utilizing media to highlight the disparities experienced by this demographic.

Through your purchases and the help of the Global Fund for Children, Tea was able to donate over 2,500 articles of clothing to the following organizations:

  1. Jamghat- Located in New Delhi, India, Jamghat provides a safe and supportive environment for street children to enable them to evolve physically and emotionally.
  2. Baoji Xinxing-Baoji Xinxing provides rehabilitation, education, recreation, and vocational skills to street children in central China.
  3. Associação Excola-Helping children in the heart of downtown Rio de Janeiro, Associação Excola works to empower youth living on the streets to make long-term positive changes in their lives.
  4. Homeless Children’s Playtime Project-Located in the District of Columbia, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project nurtures healthy child development and reduces the effects of trauma among children living in temporary housing programs.
  5. The Associate of Children and youth with Disabilities- Based in Moldova, this organizations provides direct support for children with multiple disabilities through an annual integration summer camp.
  6. Maison de la Gare St. Louis (MDGSL)- A child-oriented organization located in Senegal that works to promote the social and economic integration of talibés, young boys who are sent by their families to urban areas to study the Qu’ran but often end up being subjected to conditions akin to slavery and forced labor


We’re thrilled that our loyal fans helped us award these organizations with such a meaningful donation. Tea Collection supports the Global Fund for Children because they also work to celebrate cultures around the world.   How do you give back? Share your thoughts about charitable giving in the comments section below.

Learn more about Tea’s work with the Global Fund for Children.  Proceeds from our Little Citizens line are donated to the Global Fund for Children.

Vacationing in Barcelona & Discovering Tea

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).

Margaret, who works in planning & operations, recently returned from a trip to Barcelona. Check out her adventures!

Usually when I go on vacation, it’s about relaxing and enjoying my time – and getting away from work for a bit! However, on my recent vacation to Spain, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Tea on a daily basis.  Everywhere I went,  I saw something that reminded me of our Catalonia Collection from last spring!

On my first morning in Barcelona, I stepped out the subway right next to La Sagrada Familia Basilica (pictured below). I recognized it immediately – cranes and all – from our Construccion Graphic Boys Tee.  I soon discovered that Gaudi’s idea of a church was much different from other cathedrals that I’ve visited in Europe. The inside reminded me of a colorful, whimsical forest, with trees holding up the roof, and light streaming in through a myriad of stained glass windows.

La Sagrada Familia BasilicaLa Sagrada Familia Basilica









This was only the beginning of a series of Gaudi masterpieces that I discovered in Barcelona.  I visited La Pedrera – a residential building built by Gaudi for a wealthy client.  In La Pedrera,  I saw the hanging chain sculpture that Gaudi used, which was featured in a picture in our Spring catalog.

I also discovered the beautiful tile work by Luis Montaner at the Palau de la Musica and the Sant Pau hospital. This tile work inspired the Montaner Flora girls top, the super popular El Palau Tile shift girls dress, and several other of the mosaic-style tops from Spring.

Palua de la Musica

On my last day in Barcelona, it was unusually warm and sunny as I visited Park Guell.  I was immediately drawn to the giant mosaic lizard at the entrance.  Again- I thought of our graphic boys tees with the mosaic-inspired animals and bright colors.

Park Guell Mosaic Lizard

It was a fantastic trip, and wish it could have lasted longer…but I eventually had to return to Fall 2011 (Mexico) and go back to work.  Thanks to Tea for helping sponsor my trip abroad!

Ich Liebe Berlin! Isabelle’s Adventures in Berlin

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).

Isabelle, who works in tech design, recently returned from a trip to Berlin. Check out her adventures!

Ich Liebe Berlin!
I knew that I would like Berlin when I got there but didn’t realize I would end up loving it so much. I had no idea that I could wind up feeling a tad jealous that my city wasn’t as cool. I didn’t know what to expect knowing its gloomy history but to my surprise it was incredibly colorful, inviting, hip, and full of tasty, not to mention inexpensive treats! It was only 22 years ago that the wall fell and the city has since then transformed itself into this Mecca for artists, designers, technology geeks  and of course Techno lovers! I felt welcome there and free to sit back, open up a container and enjoy the scenery.

Berlin Wall remnant at the East Side Gallery

So many inspiring quotes littered the city. I know I was on vacation but I couldn’t have felt more liberated there.

The walls were alive with art and graffiti everywhere I walked. Graffiti felt welcome as artistic expression more than a nuisance as it is viewed in other cities I’ve visited. From full on murals that were sky high to tiny scribbles on the wall, I don’t recall seeing much painted over.

Throngs of people show up every week at Mauer Park to get in on some Karaoke action. I wonder if anyone has ever sang a song by Berlin in Berlin?

Berlin style beer was as colorful as its people! Hanging out at a beer garden was a must while in Berlin. My favorite was the Biergarten at the Tiergarten. The pretzels were hot out of the oven and the mustard was the best I’ve ever had.

Flea Market fodder on Sundays at Mauer Park.

Photobooths were scattered everywhere in the city. The fact that I could capture a moment with my friends on a whim felt very exciting to me.

Art Gallery visit at Direktorenhaus to see a show by one of my favorite Swiss artist duos, Husmann/Tschaeni. I just happened to be there while they were in town for the weekend and met up with them for a drink on the canal. I couldn’t have been happier to meet the artists behind the art which so inspires me.

Sunset on the platform. The time has come to say Tschuss! (German for See ya!)  Don’t you worry Berlin, I plan on visiting you again.

Inside Studio T: Skull Tree Trunk

In honor of Dia de los Muertos next week check out this awesome skull someone painted on a tree trunk. This is actually just outside of Studio T, I saw it around the corner on my way to our local art store.

Friday we share a weekly behind-the-scenes photo taken in our offices at Tea. This could be anything – great employee outfits, our sources of inspiration, shots from our parties, or photos of us hard at work. For more sneak peeks behind the scenes at Tea click here.