Category Archives: Our Destinations

August 18, 2012

These are a Few of Our Favorite Things

One of our Foreign Correspondents has returned from her travels! Lency and her family traveled to Denmark this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part three of their adventure.

Travel with Kids

We’ve been going on trips to Denmark every summer for the past nine years, but the last four visits have taken on a new meaning: we’ve had our kids with us. We travel differently now, and enjoy Denmark in a new way.

Travel with Kids
When you live across the world from Farmor (father’s mother), time together takes on a new meaning. We spend a lot of our trip making sure our kids get to be with their farmor. The sight of Farmor’s yellow brick country house nestled amongst the fields of wheat and barley is always an exciting one, but it’s extra special now that we are reuniting our daughters with their Danish grandma.

Travel with Kids

We love visiting the cows that live near Farmor’s house and feeding them grass. They come running over, as the hares and birds scatter out of their way. It’s fun to see that a farm with around forty cows can exist.

Travel with Kids
Shockingly, we go to children’s parks now. The playground equipment is different from what we have at home, so it’s a novelty for our girls. On one of our park trips the skies suddenly clouded over and the rain poured down. Everyone gathered under a covered area, but I didn’t last long there because of all the smoking. There are some cultural differences that are hard to get used to.

Travel with Kids
Reuniting with our friends and all their children is so much fun every year. Our older daughter does well with the Danish, but really kids can make do without a common language. Most of the kids we know have  summer birthdays (you would want a summer birthday, too, if you lived in Scandinavia), so our older daughter has become very fond of the Danish birthday cake: a layer cake with jam and vanilla cream filling  covered with whipped cream.

Family, animals, playgrounds, friends and birthday cake: these are a few of our favorite things.

August 17, 2012

Danish Hygge

One of our Foreign Correspondents has returned from her travels! Lency and her family traveled to Denmark this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part two of their adventure.

Travel with kids

Hygge is a very uniquely Danish word that has no English translation.

The closest approximation is “coziness.” It’s what happens when it gets dark at 3:00pm in the wintertime, when it’s too windy and cold to enjoy the outdoors, when everyone is forced to be close together inside. Out come the candles, the music, the food and drink, the stories and jokes and laughter. That’s hygge, or at least how I’ve come to know it. To tell someone that your visit was very “hyggelig” (full of hygge) is the highest compliment. Luckily for us, hygge exists throughout the year so we get to soak it up in the summertime during our visits.

Travel with Kids

Danes love their open-faced sandwiches and it’s what we ate for lunch every day. The dark, heavy rye bread comes out first, and then all the toppings: butter, cheese, liver pate, eggs, cucumber, tomato, herring. There are many variations, but certain combinations are acceptable and others shocking. Who knew that liver pate and cheese was such an outlandish mix?

Travel with Kids

Perhaps because of all the time spent indoors enjoying hygge during certain times of the year, Danes care about how the interior of their homes look. Danish design is known around the world as simple, sleek, and light. Our Danish friends furnish their homes with a great deal of thought and intention- always hardwood floors, usually white or off-white walls and furnishings, lots of soft lighting, carefully chosen artwork.

Travel with Kids

It took me a while to get used to the length of the Danish meal. I remember my very first meal on my very first trip to Denmark many years ago; everyone was so lovely and eager to show me their beautiful country, but I was seriously jet-lagged and unprepared for the stamina the Danes have for sitting down and talking. A summer dinner date with friends can easily last seven hours, so it’s a good thing we like our friends.

Travel with Kids

I really love how the Danes make a point to sit down together for a meal. It’s how I was raised and it’s how I try to raise my family.

Perhaps it’s a bit easier for the Danes because they are usually able to get home earlier than the average American, at least in my experience. Nevertheless, the family meal is something I think is incredibly valuable and seems to be at the core of Danish hygge.

 

August 16, 2012

Danes on the Go

One of our Foreign Correspondents has returned from her travels! Lency and her family traveled to Denmark this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part one of their adventure.

Travel with Kids
Our annual trip to Denmark to visit half our family and friends is always a reminder of a different pace of life. We observe and reflect on the more relaxed daily living and high quality of life. People work fewer hours, commute less, have six weeks of holiday. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, there are many reasons they have claimed the top spot in United Nations’ 2012 World Happiness Report.

One of our favorite things about Denmark is the many alternate modes of travel. This is our friends’ Christiania-style bike, where the kids and cargo can all be loaded in the front.
travel with kids
This is how many kids in Copenhagen are transported to school, on errands, or around town, and it’s one way people can manage without a car. Most of our friends went for years without cars, only purchasing them once they had multiple kids and moved out of Copenhagen to the more distant suburbs. Back during the late-1970′s oil crisis, Denmark instituted “car-free Sundays” and there were songs romanticizing biking. Fast forward 25 years and the Danes continue to invest in their bike paths. Along any given road, you are likely to see a parallel bike path, with lots of people using it.

Travel with Kids

We love the Danish rail system! There is an extensive network of speedy, quiet, and frequent trains that is used by many Danes to get to and from work, home, and errands. It’s an easy, although not cheap, way to get around Copenhagen specifically, Denmark in general, and all of Scandinavia. We are inspired to support our own rail systems at home in hopes that they, too, will someday be as efficient, as clean, as quiet, and as used as the Danish trains.

It’s not just the Danish trains that are so worthy of envy- the Norwegian trains are just as beautiful. This is the train from the Oslo airport into town. Our older daughter loves all forms of public transit (thanks to Papa), so she is very excited each summer to go on as many trains and buses as possible.

Travel with Kids
Instead of worrying about car parking, apartment buildings in Denmark have to make sure there is enough space for all the bikes! Cyclists enjoy extremely safe and convenient biking conditions in Copenhagen, including bike paths that are separated from the cars and special traffic lights for bikes. On any given day of the week, you will see hoards of cyclists: men in suits, women in high heels, students going to school, adults with kid seats on the back, big and little, male and female, young and old. The mercurial weather doesn’t even stop them- they just tuck their heads down and pedal into the rain, the wind, the sleet, and the snow of short, dark, winter days. I should mention that my my mother-in-law, who raised three kids and lives in the countryside, has never had a driver’s license and biked the 6 miles to and from work almost every day of the year until she retired last year. It truly is the way the Danes get around.

It helps that it’s a very flat country.

Travel with Kids

 

June 13, 2012

Introducing Destination: Nordic Design


Children's clothes inspired by Scandinavian Design

The photos above are from our children’s clothes designers’ cameras. Whenever they travel abroad for inspiration, they take many, many photos which they later use to reflect upon when developing patterns and graphics for each collection.

Our fall 2012 children’s clothes line will be inspired by Scandinavia, a region with bright colors, clean designs, and whimsical graphics. We’ll be exploring Nordic design with some fresh Finland cuts and colors, a touch of the Swedish scene and modern Danish fashion. Fall is going to be packed with style, check back with us tomorrow at teacollection.com to view the fall collection preview.

Share with us below, what do you love about our new fall destination?

January 2, 2012

Welcome to Destination:Bali!

Bali is a little place with a whole lot of happy. Our designers immersed themselves in the Bali culture and traditions only to return to San Francisco overflowing with creative energy and excitement.  We funneled their enthusiasm into our Bali Spring collection.  It’s full of bright colors, lively graphics, and Bali spirit from the neon pinks in our Botanic Garden Playdress to the growling naga on the Growling Naga Zip Hoodie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout the Spring, we’ll be posting on our Studio T blog multiple times a week about our new Destination: Bali.  Find out why we created several pieces using the Poleng cloth pattern, learn how-to create the art of batik, hear real stories from our design staff who visited Bali for inspiration, and more!  We also promise to post Bali-themed cultural activity printouts for you to download and design with your children too!

We’re going there.  Join us.  Discover Destination: Bali.

December 21, 2011

Behind the Design: Highland Holiday Colors

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

Deep purples, rich blues and pops of bright pink may not scream holiday to everyone, but we loved this festive color palette proudly worn by the people in the village of Chamula. These are the colors of the traditional dress in this region of Chiapas. We were so inspired by the color, we couldn’t even wait till we got home to sport this beautiful palette. One generous women we met even let us try the clothes on that she was wearing. I hope you enjoy wearing them as much as we do.

mexico holiday clothing inspired by chimula

some of the styles from our Highland Holiday collection: girl styles, boy styles, women styles

December 20, 2011

Mexico in Green and Red

mexico in green and red mexican christmas poinsietta

from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

While we decided to go with a less traditional color palette for our holiday collection this year, Mexico was still filled with red & green inspiration that we wanted to share with you. Come back tomorrow for the inspiration behind our Highland Holiday color palette.

Did you know the poinsettia is indigenous to Mexico, where they call it “Noche Buena,” meaning Christmas Eve? The association of the poinsettia with Christmas began in Mexico. Can you see the poinsettia influence in some of the Mexican floral motifs?

December 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Diego!

Today’s Google Doodle marks Diego Rivera’s 100th birthday.  If you’re a frequent visitor of Tea’s blog, you know our Modern Mexico children’s clothes collection draws inspiration from the Mexican artist Diego Rivera.

Join us in celebrating this great day by making some art of your own.  Below are Tea’s Diego and Frida Activity Book pages from our Modern Mexico Activity book.  Take a minute to download these for your children for an educational, fun activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download and color our Diego and Frida activity book pages today!  We want to see your artwork.  Please post your completed pages in the comments section below or on our Facebook.

November 21, 2011

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!