We live in San Francisco, while all of our family is in the Mid-West which means at least a yearly cross country trip is in store for our family, plus vacations. I am on the constant watch for products to make traveling with our 2 year old easier while trying to downsize the amount of gear that we need to bring along.
We are thrilled to announce our annual online event contributing proceeds from sales made on www.teacollection.com to benefit our partner, The Global Fund for Children (www.globalfundforchildren.org) – an organization that works to advance the dignity of vulnerable children and youth by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and harnessing the power of books, films, and photography.
The three day event with be November 4th, 5th, and 6th. Tea Collection will donate 15% of all sales of children’s clothing from its website to GFC.
Tea Collection also offers exclusively designed tee’s, bodysuits, and a new shoulder bag in which 50% of the proceeds from these items are donated to the GFC.
Here at Tea we love a good cause, and in the spirit of getting ready for back to school, we wanted to highlight an organization that is doing great things to foster little citizens. My New Red Shoes is a non-profit organization that works to provide brand new shoes and clothing to underprivileged kids in the Bay Area, and work with the local community to raise awareness and support for homeless children. Each child gets a new pair of shoes and a $50 gift certificate to go pick out an outfit of their choice from various major clothing retailers. Caron Tabb, the executive director at My New Red Shoes commented on the impact that their program has had on the 2,500 kids that they have helped since the beginning of the program in 2006, saying that the program can help alleviate a world of stress and anxiety that a child feels about going to school because of the clothes they are wearing. When kids feel good about themselves and the clothes and shoes they are wearing, they are free to worry about things like learning, recess, or joining a sports team.
Things are starting to get a little chaotic with the end of summer, the beginning of the school season, and that growing list of to-do’s to get everything taken care of. If you’re looking for a way to introduce your children to community service, looking for a way to stay involved yourself, or want to contribute, then we highly recommend checking out the ways to get involved at My New Red Shoes. They’ve made it really easy to help out, and you can even involve your kids! Gift bags are given to all of the children, and you can get crafty and help personalize them, or support the organization through monetary donations or by participating in one of the many programs that they host. They even have a Teen Advocacy Council where kids can work to help other kids in the community, and inspire change around them.
We love how inspired My New Red Shoes is, and of course support anyone working to foster and cultivate our little citizens. To borrow their own words, “My New Red Shoes has faith in the power of children to change the world; planting the seed of compassion is the first step toward creating community change. Providing the tools to advocate for and generate change is the second.”
I have always felt badly for my mother around the holidays- she gets so stressed about having guests, when they are coming and going, how to transport them, where they will sleep, how to entertain them, and on top of that, making massive amounts of food. As a kid I always got to enjoy having more people in the house, run around with the other kids, and enjoy the special holiday feasts.My mom, like every other host of holiday parties, worries about their guests feeling comfortable, taken care of, and having enjoyed their time.
So often, the idea behind holidays gets pushed by the wayside in favor of stressing over grocery shopping, making the house guest-ready, and how you’ll handle crazy relatives.Sometimes, even the history or tradition gets lost in the excitement that kids have for having a day off from school, or adults have for having a paid holiday.Of all of the different holidays throughout the world, the one common thread is that they give reason to bring people together, and celebrating our accomplishments and connections to each other.The point is not to stress about the little things, but to enjoy being around the friends and family you love, and remind ourselves of the support system we have in each other.
And you might cringe at the thought of dealing with the in-laws or crazy uncles, but try to remember on this 4th of July weekend that hiccups are bound to happen, hot dogs and marshmallows will get burned, and it might be a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy!
First, the itinerary: four days in Kyoto, an overnight in a “wooden” mountain town, then in Tokyo for more exploration at urban-energy pace. Emily describes this trip as almost spiritual, honoring the culture that inspired Tea’s founding aesthetic seven years ago. Enjoy the sights and senses of the Fall Collection and learn how Japanese culture affects Emily—profoundly.
So why Japan for Fall 2009?
The aesthetics of Japan are part of our soul. Their innate simplicity and the cultural colors of indigo, black, and red move us immensely. We visited temples and artisan workshops. We instantly made connections between ancient traditions and the ceaseless innovation in everyday life. Our pure enthusiasm is what we wanted to share.
Partners for nearly five years, Tea and GFC are proud of and grateful for our shared vision and achievements.Together, we celebrate the beauty of all cultures and bring dignity and opportunity to our most disadvantaged little citizens.
Every season, Tea designs a new Global Tee collection and gives 50% of the proceeds exclusively to GFC.GFC then funds nearly 350 grassroots organizations dedicated to helping children through innovative programs in 70 countries.Last year, Tea donated over $35,000 to GFC through the Little Citizens Tees Program.
This season, we have created Global Fund Gift Sets that combine the newly designed baby bodysuit and older-age hoodie with GFC book favorites: Global Babies and Children from A-Z.
Every purchase makes a difference for organizations like Ruchika Social Service Organization.Ruchika is the reason Maya Ajmera founded GFC over a decade ago.While traveling in India, Maya saw young children, many from nearby slums, selling goods in railway stations. She also learned about a small group of local women who created “train platform schools” to provide working children with basic literacy and education.Ruchika started small but today is impacting nearly 4,000 children and their families.Tea shares GFC’s belief that “small is mighty and beautiful.”
As a mother I think a lot about the world we are leaving for our children. As someone who loves to learn, I’ve been reading a lot about the current status of the environment. It saddens me to consider the reality that the world is getting “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” to borrow words from Thomas Friedman. But my heart sings at the energy and ingenuity that is going into saving our planet. Smart people everywhere are thinking critically about what we can do. There are big movements toward shifting the way we generate and consume power in this country and around the world, and so many small efforts toward the good.
As a leader at Tea, I embraced the challenge of Earth Day to remind us that we can do more to reduce and off-set our company’s carbon footprint. As an organization we chose to partner with our community of customers and friends to raise money to plant trees around the world towards that end. Carbonfund.org makes it easy for companies like Tea, and people everywhere, to make a difference. On Earth Day we will donate 20% of our website sales to global reforestation projects through carbonfund.org.
We also invite our customers to make a year-round commitment with us to fight global warming. We’ve created a SKU that can be added to any shopping cart for a donation to carbonfund.org. Tea will match dollar-for-dollar any contribution made by our customers. As I watched our incredibly talented graphic design team put together our Earth Day message for our customers this afternoon, I felt proud and happy to be on this team. Join us in planting trees around the world. We can make a difference one beautiful tree at a time. Yes we can!
I grew up in Missouri. My husband grew up in Russia, and this is where his extended family remained. Now we live together in the Bay Area with our kids. In 2008, we packed up our 3 and a half and nearly 2 year old children and made the trek (24 hours door to door with two toddlers is officially a trek) to Saint Petersburg. Though the trip was not without its challenges, it was wonderful to experience Russia with the kids.
Since day one, Dmitri, my husband, has always spoken with the children in Russian. They have a Russian nanny and many local Russian friends. So, the kids both speak in Russian as well as they do in English. It was such a pleasure to watch them naturally and easily interact with their extended family in Russian. They played games, laughed at their grandfather’s jokes, and chatted endlessly with their slightly older Russian cousin (age 8).
We enjoyed long strolls with the whole extended family in the beautiful parks in St. Petersburg surrounded by canals. We went to the zoo. We played in the neighborhood playgrounds. We ate yummy treats. Max discovered a pretty serious passion for Russian apple juice boxes (not really unlike juice boxes in the U.S., but in plentiful supply and at his reaching distance in his grandparents’ pantry), and both ate a considerable amount of Babuschka’s (grandmother, in Russian) borscht soup. It was a toddler paradise. The jet lag was a little crazy. Visiting almost the exact opposite point on the globe pretty much flips night and day. The kids got a little turned around. They’d be up one moment playing enthusiastically with their cousin, and then moments later crash into deep sleep. I was beyond exhausted, but I have to smile as I recall the trip. This is what it means to be a little citizen of the world – to be equally at home on either side of the globe at the tender age of 2.
When I thought about the inspiration destination for our Spring 2009 collection, I was still stimulated by the beauty of the Norwegian fjords (our Fall 2008 inspiration) … scenes of the dramatic mountain & beach landscape in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil elated me as a warm interpretation of similar voluminous silhouettes.With its innate colorful, celebratory culture I was thrilled to seek out treasures for translation.
My only previous exposure to Brazil were tales from my mother. She had spent 6 weeks traveling all over South America when I was 10 years old … and for the next few years I heard plenty of stories about her experiences and the sounds of native flute players from a 12’ vinyl.
Laura’s husband – “Matt the architect” – joined us to see Oscar Niemeyer’s famous buildings.
We visited Sao Paulo first – a metropolis, similar to New York.All 3 of us once lived and loved New York (and still do), so we were excited to get a glimpse of this urban jungle.
We visited modern art museums, walked the streets of the Jardin district, and discovered the Liberdade neighborhood during a Sunday flea market.There is a huge traditional Shinto tori gate and Japanese lanterns lining the main street.
Brazil is a beautiful chaos of cultures.. with influences from Europe, Africa and the indigenous people of South America. Together they create the vibrant lifestyle that Brazil is famous for.
It was interesting to learn that the first Japanese immigrants arrived by ship in 1908 to work on Brazil’s coffee plantations. We combined the Japanese aesthetic with nautical notes, reflecting on the long voyage the immigrants traveled for a chance at a new way of life.
One evening we found the Shimo Sushi restaurant – the sushi quality fish is fantastic in Brazil. The walls are covered with incredible graphics using motifs often found in Japanese art. We were in awe – it inspired our printed French Terry pieces: Izumi Dress, Taiyou Hoodie for girls, and the Waves Hooded Pullover, Waves Long Shorts for boys.
In Rio, you can easily understand how essential it is for Brazilians to express themselves through music, dance and art – as much as eating and sleeping!!
This photo of the lawn and Sugarloaf Mountain is taken from the top of the Contemporary Art museum in Rio, one of the first buildings designed by Oscar Neimeyer in Rio, looking over Flamingo Bay. The Rio Dress was inspired by this beautiful place.
We stayed in a bed & breakfast run by an artsy Brazilian couple. Situated in the Santa Teresa neighborhood, the house overlooked a valley populated with aging colonial homes. We spent a few afternoons wandering along the cobblestone streets and took the trolley into the city.
Together, we spent a late afternoon on the Ipanema beach and watched the sun set … it was gorgeous.
To really take in the Niemeyer phenomenon, we flew to Brasilia, the capital city located in the driest region of this enormous country.What’s incredible is that this carefully planned city was built in 5 years under the direction of President Kubitcheck in the 1950’s … it was meant to symbolize the “city of the future.”
The most stunning structure of all is the Cathedral Metropolitana – a glorious thing made of concrete and glass, draped with abstract shapes of color.We interpreted the glass into a graphic print, and the shaped of the dress came from the structure.Our Catedral Dress is a perfect style for summer.
And no one can escape flora and fauna in Brazil … from the Botanical Jardin of Rio to the immense rainforest, tropical plants and flowers flavor the landscape of Brazil. The beautiful landscape inspired our summer Jardin Halter Dress and Jardin Crop Pant.