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 a blog post to share their adventures with all of us (and the world)! We’ve been waiting for this post from Tori, one of our graphic designers, from the moment we heard this trip was booked!
After realizing we had caught a serious case of wanderlust, my friend Ganesha and I decided we had to go explore somewhere new. Since we both share a love of adventure and photography, we decided Iceland was the place for us and spontaneously booked our flight!
Saying the words, Ghee Happy, makes us happy. We assume the same goes for anyone who stumbles upon Sanjay Patel, illustrator extraordinaire and the owner of the Ghee Happy brand. Patel has produced four books under Ghee Happy, and his day job? He also happens to be an animator and story board artist for Pixar Animation Studios! When we were in India, we came across Patel’s illustrations and immediately bought his incredible book, The Little Book of Hindu Deitieson Amazon. We were drawn to the colorful animations and sweet (informative) stories behind the Hindu myths. The book is amusing to children and adults alike; our copy director brought the book home to her 4-year-old and it has quickly become a favorite. Read on to learn about all of the animals, gods and goddesses, monsters, demons, noble warriors and divine divas, and don’t forget about Ganesha the elephant!
Bonding with baby during storytime can be one of the most beneficial bonds at this stage in their life. Reading books to your infant helps them identify the rhythm and cadence of your voice and helps with early brain development. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites to add to your littlest citizen’s collection!
This season as we celebrate the color and culture of India, we also want to give back and make a difference in the lives of some of the children who live there.
Recently, two Tea employees traveled to Jaipur to meet the staff of Gram Bharati Samiti, or the Society for Rural Development. This non-profit organization partners with rural villages in the state of Rajasthan to educate women and girls about their right to information, education and healthcare.
They also restore ancient stepwells so more villages have access to clean and safe drinking water. And they teach girls a craft like how to weave carpets and dhurrie rugs, to embroider saris and sew cholis (the blouses worn beneath saris). When young girls have the ability to earn their own money, they are free from the threat of child marriage and have more opportunity for education and independence.
We recently visited three of the 17 villages that Gram Bharati Samiti works with, and met many of the young girls who have been educated and empowered. (Read more about the girls we met here and here.)
We have been so inspired by the work of this non-profit organization, we asked The Global Fund for Children if all the money donated through our site could go directly to Gram Bharati Samiti.
So this spring, when you donate on a Global Giving Thursday or any day of the month, your funds will be helping Rekha, Buja, Prinka and other girls like them in rural villages near Jaipur.
See this man playing the kaimacha, a bowed string instrument used in folk music from the region of Rajasthan.
The unique and rich music of India spans many genres from fusion to classical with a varied range of instruments. The striking sounds of the sitar have influenced many musicians – even all the way into popular Western music rock & roll music. Check out our playlist to see why the Beatles and The Rolling Stones were so drawn to the mystical sounds of the sitar. Don’t forget to listen to “The Sun Won’t Set” by Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar – sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar’s daughters.
The word chutney derives from the Sanskrit word caṭnī, meaning ‘to lick’. Associated with South Asian cuisine, these “condiments” vary greatly in flavor. Some chutney’s are fruit based while others are vegetable based. Some are chunky and some are smooth. The one thing in common with all chutneys? They’re all originally made by grinding fresh ingredients together. Popular chutneys, just as other Indian foods, vary from region to region as so much depends on the local ingredients. Chutneys are a vital combination to most Indian dishes and you’ll find they always pair well with Indian breads like chapati, naan, papadum, paratha and more!
We love sharing stories of our travels with you here on Studio T. It’s a great way for us to connect with you and convey the story behind our collection. Our hope is that our sense of adventure resonates with you and your little citizens!
Do you love to travel like we do? Have you ever traveled to India? If you’re up for it, we would love to collaborate on a guest post. Your story may be featured in our monthly newsletter! Fill out our poll below and we’ll be in touch!
Mahamaya in front of the piece she submitted for the National Award.
We had the honor of meeting with the very talented kantha artist Mahamaya Sikdar while we were in Kolkata. Mahaymaya is a President’s Award Winner & National Award Winner in her craft. She was in the middle of a move when we visited and graciously took the time to bring all of her kanthas to us so we could see her work. We got to see the incredible detail, hear about her process and discuss how she is helping pass her craft to younger generations.
The beginning of Fall is a busy time for families everywhere. Kids start school, weekends are filled with shuffling kids off to dance classes and sports and catching up on chores. Before you know it, the holidays are here. We have made it easy and rounded up 3 great fall activities to do with your family and very Tea outfits to do them in!
We’d heard that the Jiuqian Music & Arts Center was just 15 minutes from our Shanghai hotel. But the Chinese-speaking driver just kept driving and driving… An hour passed and we were officially very, very far from the urban, international city of skyrises.
The driver slowed down, checked his map, then pointed out at a field, and looked at me with a very puzzled look. “I’m beginning to think this is a wild goose chase.” Adam, my 7 year old son asked, “What’s a wild goose chase?” I assured myself that this would be a story to tell for years to come. But I also couldn’t stop thinking about how much my family needed a bathroom after a long day out and about in Shanghai. We turned around, nearly giving up but then we saw the address posted on a small gate into a set of four industrial buildings. I’m pretty sure the driver was disappointed we weren’t headed back to Shanghai, & that he was stuck with us out in the middle of nowhere.