Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

November 2, 2010

SF Giants World Series Champs – Tea fans exhilarated!

Many of us here at Tea have been following the SF Giants (#SFGiants) all season and long before. The Giants play a kind of baseball that’s been branded “torture” by Kruk and Kuip our awesome Giants announcers. It’s been a lovely torture. We’re awash in the aftermath and planning our dash to Wednesday’s celebratory parade.

BaseballCap_Sunglasses_Glove

One of the Giants’ biggest fans is Ana Ramos, graphic designer and photographer extraordinaire. About a week ago she joyfully shared this post with me. Today seemed like the perfect day to share it with the world!

I’ve been lucky enough to have attended a World Series game, it was October of 2003 and the Yankees were facing the Marlins in Florida. It was supposed to be Roger Clemens last start, he had just announced his retirement, and the standing ovation he received before the first pitch was thrown was electrifying. But he and Bret Favre are probably really good friends so you know how that story went. I can’t remember who won that game, I know the Marlins won the World Series in 6 games. What I remember most is that I missed some classes because my dad took me on another one of our baseball trips to Florida (I’m originally from Caracas, Venezuela – if you follow the Giants, Panda and I share a nationality…), up to that time I had missed school one previous time for a NLCS between the Marlins and my then beloved Chipper Jones and Braves. In a sea of Marlins fans, we were one of the few Braves’ fans around the bullpen and after Greg Maddux finished his bullpen session I was the lucky winner of a baseball, which is now signed by Bobby Cox. I’m guessing my mom wasn’t too happy about those missed classes, but traveling to be in a World Series game was on another level: take in a huge baseball game, the atmosphere and just spending time with my dad, a dream really if you love baseball.

Fast forward to 2010, I’m still a huge baseball fan but no longer root for the Braves. Since moving to San Francisco I adopted the Giants as my team. The history the team has, the way the city embraces the team is night and day compared to my experience with summer baseball and the Marlins. And I love it! This year it all started with a slogan I thought was crazy “there’s magic inside” and a roster that promised more of what we had experienced in previous years. But somehow since game 1, an extra inning win against the Braves, the team showed a special spark turned into torture and a season full of ups and downs with amazing baseball.

This year I’ve learned so much more about the game and the characters that make our “band of misfits” so special. It’s part of my daily routine to listen to Murph & Mac in the morning interviewing Kruk or Kuip, and I usually don’t go to bed without listening to the post game wrap with Amy G, Mychael Urban, FP and the rest of the team. And then there’s the g-men. “25 guys, one common goal = win”. That’s what the players see when they head to the field every day they are at home, and that common goal has been carried this year by a group of guys that on paper shouldn’t have the run they’ve had so far. It took all 162 games of the season to win the Division and go to the post season. Remember we have an unofficial slogan: “giants baseball: torture”.

And then, for the first round of playoffs we had to face the Braves in the NLDS, my team during my teenage years… I have to admit it was a bit hard rooting against the team that brought me the love for baseball but I now bleed black and orange. And baseball being a superstitious sport, I watched those games with my Bobby Cox signed baseball to jinx my old team and have an outlet to relief the stress of the 1-run games. In fact, playing with a baseball during a game is something I learned from Krukow, one of the Giants announcers. If you ever get the chance to go to AT&T park take a moment to look at the press area and you will spot a baseball being flipped up and down, that’s Kruk and now when I go to the games that’s one of my little rituals – look for the ball and take a deep breath it’s time for baseball…

Today is October 23rd and the Giants are still playing baseball. And every morning at the office we do a small, and sometimes not so small, touch base on how our boys are doing. I keep calling them our boys like I know them! But that’s how this team has made us feel, like we are part of the Giants family. The October road for the Giants brought a lot more torture and exciting baseball: getting past the Braves by winning game 3 on the road to win the NLDS; the Giants as huge underdogs defeated the defending NL Champs Phillies in a classic Giants game: on the road, in a torture game and everyone pitching in (literally) to win the game.

I was watching the game at the tennis club, after missing the first part of the game while playing a tournament we all headed to the bar to watch the game. To the final out, we were on our toes counting down outs, strikes, everything…. And when the umpire rung up Ryan Howard we had our own little champagne celebration! Being so close to AT&T park we decided to take in the scene, cars honking, unknown people hugging and high-fives all over the place. The Giants, the unlikely group of misfit guys had won the National League for the first time since 2002 and are headed to the World Series.

During all the celebration, I kept texting with my parents back home in Venezuela. They updated me at the beginning of the game while I was playing tennis and then I updated them while they were at a wedding. And when they finally got home we were able to talk and celebrate that our Giants had won the pennant! Now my parents are planning a trip to visit and take in game 6 of the series. If everything works out my dad and I will get to experience a World Series game once again and my mom will experience her first. This time of course it will be different because is not just a World Series game, it’s a game that involves a team we truly know and feel part of… As fans we are that 10th man on the field cheering them on every out until the last out. No matter if we are able or not to go to a game, you can bet that we will be watching together in different time zones and places, but enjoying the torture and rooting for the Giants to get 4 more wins and take it all…

Note from Lisa: And they did it! I guess the only downside of winning in 5 is that Ana and her dad didn’t get to relive the World Series in person, here in SF. We’re all thrilled they won and not sure we could have stood much more torture. Go Giants!!!

October 15, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Leigh Rawdon and Women’s Initiative

Leigh, our co-founder and CEO just sent me this inspiring post:

On Tuesday, Emily and I were lucky enough to be honored as Women Entrepreneurs of the Year by Women’s Initiative for Self Employment. There were several women recognized including the talented women behind amazing brands like Peas of Mind and Minted. But the most inspiring woman of all (and I think every honoree and attendee would agree) was Nancy Charraga. So I wanted to share a little of her story:

Nancy came to the US from Chiapas, a southern state in Mexico. She wanted to preserve and share the cultures and traditions of Mexico through the products she sold. She started in flea markets but it wasn’t until she went through the training at Women’s Initiative that she developed a business plan and strategy. Like many other trainees in the program, Nancy fit the profile of high potential, low income. And like most graduates, she has been operating a successful, sustainable business for many years since.

Entrepreneurship is a passion of mine because of people like Nancy. People from all walks of life – whether students of a top business school or a recent immigrant in the Women’s Initiative training program – are able to create something from nothing. Entrepreneurship requires creativity, resourcefulness, and perseverance, and the results are independence, confidence, and a positive impact on the world around us.

Nancy Charraga now has a store, a wholesale business, and an event planning service. She employs dedicated women who are supporting their families. And she’s having a positive impact on the community around her. Every day, she fulfills her mission to Preserve & Promote Mexican Traditions through Fair Trade. She deserves last night’s award and many more for demonstrating the power and importance of entrepreneurship.

Nancy Charraga

Nancy Charraga

Learn more about Nancy and check out her store, Casa Bonampak online and if you’re ever in San Francisco’s Mission District. Emily and I are grateful to be included with Nancy and all of 2010′s Women’s Initiative honorees.

September 30, 2010

Behind the Scenes: Tea explores the food trucks of the world

We are so lucky to live in San Francisco and have many fun, tasty and global treats to explore nearby. The great food truck explosion has hit SF in a big way.

We like to think we were among the first to discover Chairman Bao, the yummy bun truck with a sense of humor. You can find them outside Economy Restaurant Fixtures on 7th and Irwin among other locales. Check their Facebook page for their whereabouts.

The Tea team is partial to the steamed buns, including Chinese Spiced Duck Confit with Mango (Josh is known to get 3) and the Crispy Garlic Tofu. Not to mention pork in all its forms. Get two to three (at least)

Here we are on one of the first days: That’s me, Josh and Jen (with Tami behind the camera).

.Chairman Bao Bun Truck

Our other Potrero find is Liba Falafel, now appearing Thursdays in Potrero at 155 De Haro.

Perfect for a sunny day, we love the falafel of course. And you’d be silly to skip the sweet potato fries (with lime!). And her tasting bar is a wonder to behold and explore. (rosemary peanuts, harissa (here’s a recipe), olive orange relish, oh my!). That’s me again on the left, Josh, Sandra (back from Phoenix) and Jeff. Leigh’s behind the lens this time thinking about how she can start her own food truck operation.

Tea Team outside Liba Falafel Truck

Liba also moves around so check her Facebook page for the latest and greatest. If you know of any new food trucks in the neighborhood, please comment on this post and keep us in the loop. I’ll be sharing other favorite neighborhood spots (without wheels too) in the weeks to come. Happy tasting!

September 7, 2010

We [heart] travel!

Something about being back at work after the long weekend turns my thoughts to wandering. How about a post with a few random travel thoughts?

From Laura B, our resident design guru and America’s favorite dancer: If you’re in Budapest, don’t miss Gellert Baths. Here she is on the Old World Hungary Inspiration Trip with Emily (Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder). Love that taxi!

Emily and Laura B in Budapest

From Tami, graphic designer extraordinaire and recent vacation returnee: Check out Krakow, Poland, especially the nearby Wieliczka salt mine, a Unesco World Heritage Site. And definitely bring your kids.

Look for a blog post from Tami later this week, all about her fabulous European travels (including Hungary).

Who doesn’t love the idea of active travel? I’ve been wanting to go on a Backroads trip forever. I think 2011 is the year. Perhaps a little yoga, cycling, hiking, golf? Read Athleta’s blog post for a little inspiration to unleash your adventurous traveler. I think their new adventure travel clothes with an easy, athletic spin are pretty fun.

And speaking of travel clothes…our new women’s (that’s right, I said women’s) Palace Tee and Cafe Merino Henley make great lightweight, fashionable and consummately wearable traveling pieces. Add one of our new scarves and you’ll be ready to go there, wherever there is. Take them with you on your next journey, even if it’s just across the street.

Share some of your favorite journeys with us here by commenting on this blog post. Cheers!

September 2, 2010

We heart Pad See Yew

We’re in the middle of our 2nd heatwave of the summer here in SF. The heat always makes me want to sweat it out with spicy Asian food.

Our CEO, Leigh Rawdon, sent me a fun post about her sons experiencing Thai food (and she happens to be in Asia right now):

We took the boys to a great Thai restaurant in Berkeley. Our four year old falls squarely in the camp of orange/white foods only. We asked him to try everything and to find one thing he liked. He voted for Pad See Yew, a rice noodle dish. Best of all, he was so proud to tell our waitress and anyone who would listen that he loved Pad See Yew. Our one year old, on the other hand, loved everything – especially these panko fried Taro and Yams (what’s not to love).

Matthew hearts Thai food!

A perfect Tea moment complete with the Korean inspired tee shirt!

And if you’d like to try your hand at Pad See Yew, here’s a great recipe from Food and Wine. Hmm, feels like a great night for a little Pad Thai.

August 24, 2010

Tea Bikes to Work in Style

biketowork

 

 

Summer hits San Francisco later than the rest of the country, and yesterday was the first work day that temperatures reached above 90 degrees! After months of fog the sunshine is very welcome, and eight of us rode our bikes to work instead of driving or taking the bus. At Tea we support Spare the Air and all do our best to live a green, healthy lifestyle. These ladies prove you don’t need to compromise your fashion sense to bike to work!

from left - 

Sandra (Tea’s Resident Data Geek, aspiring archer)

Lisa (Tea Brand Steward, Pizza-Partial yogi)

Anaal (Tea Social Media Guru, budding crafting entrepreneur, lover of Vanilla Bean (my bike))

Nuala (Tea Customer Care Extraordinaire, Personal Stylist, Blog Writer, Bicycle Fanatic)

Laura B (Design guru and America’s favorite dancer)

Laura L (Product Dev. Maven, Treasure seeker & Tea beauty advisor)

Isabelle (Clothematician, Kale enthusiast)

Letty (Tea CPSIA and Testing compliance, Collector of curiosities and cat paraphernalia)

April 28, 2010

My First Gift to My Son

Guest post by Ellen Payne
My Gift to My SonI still remember every thrill of the day my son was born:  hearing his first cry, counting his ten fingers and ten toes, watching him sleep in my arms. He slept so soundly, still unaware of the new world around him. I could hardly believe that this tiny person, whom I’d waited nine months to meet, was finally here for me to care for and protect. And when my son received his first shot of the hepatitis B vaccine, I was happy to be able to tell him: “It’s your first step toward a life without liver cancer, a life of happiness and health.”  How fortunate I was to live in a time when all newborns can be protected by the hepatitis B vaccine. How fortunate I was to know that my son will never develop liver cancer due to hepatitis B infection.

It hasn’t always been this way. Newborns started getting the hepatitis B vaccine in the United States less than 20 years ago. I got the vaccine when I started college, but it wasn’t until I was pregnant that I was actually tested and knew for sure that I was protected and hadn’t been infected from my mother prior to my vaccination. My parents never got the vaccine, and even though they’re officially at high risk of hepatitis B because they’re Asian, they never knew whether they were infected or protected until I told them they should get tested. Sadly, they have friends who weren’t as fortunate as they are, and who found out firsthand about the damage that hepatitis B can do.

It’s different for my son: he’s been protected since day one. He completed his three shots and now he’s immune to hepatitis B. He’ll go through life with one less thing—one less life-threatening disease—to worry about.

To me, it’s a no-brainer. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective, whereas chronic (lifelong) hepatitis B infection has a one in four chance of causing death from liver cancer or liver failure. One in four?  If my husband and I are blessed enough to have two kids someday, that’s the same chance of our having a boy and a girl. (Or two boys. I could live with that.)  But I couldn’t live with taking that kind of risk with my son’s health. Instead, I chose to give him the peace of mind that comes with protection. I chose to stop hepatitis B on the day he was born—that amazing day that still feels like yesterday.

Will you, too, help stop hepatitis B? Tea Collection has teamed up with HepBMoms.org, a new nonprofit organization, to educate mothers about hepatitis B. This month, you can make a pledge to stop hepatitis B and win beautiful, comfortable Tea Collection clothing while you’re at it. Visit HepBMoms.org to learn more, and to join me and other moms in saying “Hep B stops with me!”