Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

May 18, 2011

The History of Tea’s Kimono Robe

When Tea was started 9 years ago it was with a few baby sweaters. One of these is still in production and is a Tea favorite – the Kimono Robe, now in sizes 6-12 months through 12 years! In the words of Emily, our Chief Creative Officer:

“The Kimono Robe was inspired by the distinctive lapels and minimal construction of a Japanese Kimono.  The pure function of this traditional garment is modern in principle – efficient use of materials and timeless, elegant styling.

This cardigan represents the values that Tea was created on – an interpretation of the beauty found in cultures around the globe.  Japanese aesthetics have always been highly inspiring to us – in shapes, prints and colors.  We brought it back over the last couple of years because it can be easily worn with anything, and almost any time of year (at least here in the SF climate!).

And I love that it is a bit of accessible luxury for a child’s wardrobe – cozy soft and machine washable, elevates any jeans outfit.”

We currently have the Kimono robe in Prune, Walnut, and Indigo. Summer is coming but warm layers are always needed for nights around the campfire, or on rainy afternoons!

May 9, 2011

Tea’s Stylista Finalists

Announcing Stylista Finalists! What is a Stylista, you may ask? Check back to our post a couple months ago, describing Tea’s search for a young fashion-forward 8-12 year old to show their unique sense of style using pieces from our line.  Reaching out through our stores, we asked for fashionable kids to visit their local retailer and style their own outfits using at least two pieces of Tea clothing. The winner would receive an expense-paid trip to San Francisco and a behind the scenes look at Tea’s headquarters, along with their very own photo shoot.

So how did it go? The answer is – it exceeded our expectations! We were so inspired by all the different ways to style Tea. Over 100 stylish kids participated, both girls and boys. Tea retailers went all out, many hiring professional photographers, and one even brought in a teen stylist to help organize the day’s events.  The results were astonishing, and submissions were judged by a team from Tea’s Creative Group on the kids’ creativity, visual flair and embodiment of the spirit of the Tea brand. It was incredibly difficult to choose, but we’ve narrowed it down to three finalists:

Lilieauna

From Euguene, OR, 8-year old Lilieauna likes to be called Lavender, and says she likes Tea because she can “really express myself in these clothes.” (store: Bambini Eugene, photographer: Tiffany Rosenbrock)

 

Chloe

Also from Eugene, OR, 8-year old Chloe says she likes Tea because “It’s very comfortable and cute.” (store: Bambini Eugene, photographer: Tiffany Rosenbrock)

 

Anjelica

This 9-year old from San Diego states “I like Tea because of its funky artist style and I’m a funky person.” (store: Magical Child, photographer: Corey Villicana)

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far in our first Stylista contest! And thank you to all the stores who participated – we couldn’t have done it without you. Check back on Tuesday May 17th for the announcement of our winner, and stay posted for our next Stylista contest to be launched later this summer.

May 4, 2011

Tourists in Our Own City

san francisco tourists with skyline

Last week it was too beautiful to stay inside, so a few of us snuck off for a little walk on our lunch break. It was such a nice view we asked a passer-by to take our picture.  He asked us where we were visiting from.  We told him we were from the bottom of the hill.

(pictured from left to right:  Erin, Katy, Laura)

April 18, 2011

Studio T is looking for Foreign Correspondents

Above, Tea explores Korea, Mexico, and Spain

 

At Tea we are all about bringing the world home. Each season we visit a different global destination, and share our inspiration and the stories of our travels. We are appreciative of the beauty we find and the countries we explore. We’re cultural adventurists, apparel designers and global travelers. We believe in the journey. In discovery. In caring and connection. In diving in. In experiencing life with every bit of our souls. We go there. Across the globe. And across the street.

And now we want to hear about YOUR adventures. We’re on the hunt for three Foreign Correspondents to share their experiences with us on our blog Studio T, between now and the end of the year.

If you and your children are traveling internationally in the near future, write to us! Email blog@teacollection.com and describe the trip you’re planning on taking. Tell us:

– Where you are going, and for how long

– What the purpose of your trip is – is it to experience a specific culture, reconnect with family roots, or do community service?

– How you plan on maximizing your travel experience with your children along the way

Before you leave we’ll give you a $500 Gift Certificate to fill your suitcase with travel clothes from Tea.

Once you return, share your stories and photographs of the people you’ve met, the food you ate, the fashion you saw, and the landscapes you explored. Bring the world to us. Write five blog posts on or shortly after your trip with accompanying photos or short videos detailing your adventures. We’ll devote a week of our blog to showcasing the story of your travels.

We will review all submissions. Please recognize that we may get numerous submissions, which makes it difficult for us to respond to everyone individually. We can respond only to the submissions that we’re considering featuring. Thank you for sharing. Happy writing. And happy traveling!

April 5, 2011

Fundraising with Tea for Japan Disaster Relief

Japan has been a great source of inspiration to Tea since 2002. Our classic Kimono jackets are a favorite every Fall, and many of our baby clothes were inspired by Japanese textiles. In 2008 our designers visited Japan and created our Fall 2009 line, where every item referenced a part of their journey through the country. When we heard about the Earthquake and Tsunami that hit the country on March 11th we, like many of you, asked ourselves how we could help.

On Tuesday April 5th we will be donating 20% of sales from participating customers to Give2Asia’s Japan Relief Effort. Shop online at Tea Collection and type “DONATE” into the Promo Code box in your cart when checking out. Tea will donate 20% of your order’s total to Give2Asia.

Give2Asia is a local San Francisco charity, and 95% of all donations raised for Japan’s Emergency Relief fund are divided among Japanese charities that are working on the ground to address disaster relief.  For more information you can check out Give2Asia’s Japan Relief Page here.

March 17, 2011

Speaking of a closely-related Tea Family…

Here’s a picture of Emily, our co-founder and chief creative officer with her daughter Georgia James. Georgia came into the office for a visit not long ago and we just had to capture the moment. We think Em and Georgia look resplendent and warm in their Tea clothes! By the way, Emily’s wearing the Mila Sweater and the Modernista Tee in Medium Heather Grey.

Emily and Georgia James

We’ll be sure and post more pics of Tea people (and their kids) in Tea. And as always please feel free share your own pics here or on Facebook. Happy Tuesday!

March 1, 2011

Our Fashionable & Tasty Neighborhood – Dogpatch

Tea is headquartered in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of SF. Our nearby neighborhood, Dogpatch is fast becoming full of creativity, food, wine and fashion! We can’t wait to check out this new multi-purpose collaborative destination featuring MAC, Blue Bottle Coffee, Piccino Restaurant and DIG wine bar at 1003 Minnesota Street. It opens March 14. I read about it here: 7×7.com: The Dogpatch: Your Next Shopping Destination?

Speaking of Dogpatch and food, it’s been a while since I posted about neighborhood food trucks. Kitchenette is like a food truck without a truck, operating out of a loading dock on Illinois Street. It’s tasty and the menu changes every day. Here are pics of our last visit. What are your favorite neighborhoods for food, fashion or fun?

JeffJenKitchenette

Jeff & Jen outside Kitchenette

Even their sign has personality!

Even their sign has personality!

February 25, 2011

Rainboots for the Rain, Sun, and Maybe Snow?

Everyone in San Francisco is talking about one thing today. Strangers crossing the street will strike up conversations about it, and our local newspaper is abuzz with predictions. The question on everyone’s mind today is…

WILL IT SNOW IN SAN FRANCISCO TODAY?

If so, it’ll be the first time snow’s hit our sea-level city since 1976. Temperatures are meant to reach record lows in the 30s tonight with strong winds, and while that might sound warm to you Midwest and East Coaster-ers, we’re all scrambling to gather layers to keep us warm. More used to rain than snow, our office today was chock full of rainboots:

RainBoots

from left (Maria, Megan, Laura, Katie, Lisa, Katy, Nuala)

We had a powerful rainstorm last night, and sun and bright blue skies all day. So will it snow tonight? Only time will tell.

Tea’s Stylista Project

A couple of months ago we heard a story about one of our former models, a girl named Francesca.  Francesca, we were told, has an avid interest in fashion–watching shows like Project Runway and What Not to Wear, devouring fashion magazines and constantly playing games of dress-up with her friends.

The stories of this little fashionista inspired us at Tea, and we decided to invite her to our studios for a photoshoot. How would a 9 year old style and fashion our line of clothes? We set up racks of our clothing, laid out accessories from previous photo shoots, and gave her free rein to design, style, and model her own outfits.

francesca 1

The result was a fun and energetic photoshoot, which gave us a whole new perspective on how Tea could be styled. Above: Francesca models our Fall 2010 Cord Cargo Pants, a Spring 2011 top (stay posted! coming out soon), Sanuk flip flops, and her grandfather’s cap. Below: She wears this season’s Painters Plaid Tunic, Fall 2010’s Stretch Slim Cord Pant, and Sidewalk Surfer Shoes.

francesca 2

The whole experience was so much fun, that we thought we’d  bring the challenge to you!

stylista image

Official Rules and Regulations, as well as a list of Participating stores can be found here.

 

January 25, 2011

A New Twist on Tea

We’re always looking for new ways to style Tea. This season a few of Tea’s employees found inspiration in some of our Catalonia-inspired kid’s items, and found a whole new style for these pieces:

twistontea2.1

 

 

Michelle (above), who works in Graphic Design for Tea, is rocking the girl’s Picasso Bowtie Shirt in size 12. The shirt ran a little short, so she layered an H&M camisole underneath. Jeans are by RVCA, Cardigan is Madewell.

twistontea2.2

 

 

Isabelle (above) does Product Development for Tea, and is sporting the boy’s Picasso Stripe Sweater in size 12. Her scarf is from Nordstrom, and her short boots are by Rachel Comey.

double

What’s your favorite way to style Tea?