At Tea, we have a mantra: “We Go There.” And we mean it. Every six months, our designers literally go out into the world to discover the beauty that inspires each of our clothing collections. This year, for our India collection, we decided to embrace “going there” in a whole new way… with our children! For the first time ever, Emily and her family followed in the designers footsteps and traveled across the globe with her husband Hilton and two children, Clement, 6, and Georgia, 4 (and grandma too!). Throughout the month of May, Tea will be sharing Emily’s journey with you. We will have many stories, new products, and lots of beautiful imagery (her experience was captured by Hideaki Hamada) and lots more! Here are just a few highlights from the trip…
Khadija Gurnah was born in Kenya and her husband is Puerto Rican. Together they have three children, a son who is 10 and two girls aged 4 and 2. She came across Tea when she was looking for clothing that reflected the diversity of her family.
“My kids are multiracial and I had a hard trying to find things for my children’s rooms that had a mix of modern American with a global aesthetic, so I found global artisans and started my own company, Safiya’s Room. The company I use in India for quilts is a multigenerational operation that has worked with me to mix traditional designs with modern colors.”
I didn’t go to India expecting to meet a hero. But that’s exactly what happened when I visited a small village in Rajasthan.
The first two days in India were eye opening. You arrive, you see shantytowns on your drive to the hotel, you go shopping in busy markets, tour the City Palace and ride painted elephants. It’s very clear that this is another life, one far different than what you know. But you don’t really understand just how different until you get outside of the Pink City and past Amer Fort. It’s not until you meet someone, you meet people – who have been working for over 25 years to make a difference here. You drive an hour outside of the city with these people, down dirt roads further than you’re comfortable with until you reach villages with no electricity, no real housing, no drinking water. You are welcomed with warm smiles and nervous laughter, because these people have never met anyone from the United States before. It’s awkward at first, and hard and emotional. But you sit and you take it in and you return these warm smiles and nervous laughs and in this moment, you realize while everything seems so foreign, we’re all the same. At the core of it all, we’re human beings — with feelings and needs and we just want to be happy and healthy.
I had no idea what to expect from this particular day in Rajasthan. That morning, I didn’t even know what kind of transportation to expect from our hotel to the GBS office — and while I’m being honest, I had no idea what GBS stood for. I did know that through The Global Fund for Children, LaDonna and I were able to visit one of their grantee partners that worked to empower young girls and women. I knew that we would be visiting a few of the villages this organization worked with and I knew we were in good hands.
The ride from the hotel to the GBS office was an anxious one for me. The prior two days were a whirlwind. I had never been so far from home and in such a foreign place. Everything was new and strange and jet lag only caused a haze. But on that third day in India, as soon as we walked inside Gram Bharati Samiti’s office and shook hands with Bhawani (the GBS founder), my anxiety disappeared and I felt at home. The chaos of India seemed to slow down around me and I was immediately certain that indeed, we were in good hands and to trust that the day would pan out just as it should.
Kids love to wear our graphic tees for any and every occasion. And because our graphics are playful and special, they fit right in everywhere they go. Learn more about the graphics on our favorite tees this season…
In Hinduism, the cow is a symbol of wealth, strength and abundance. Mahatma Gandhi was once quoted on the subject, explaining that “one can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way it treats its animals. Cow protection to me is not mere protection of the cow. It means protection of all that lives and is helpless and weak in the world. The cow means the entire subhuman world.”
In India, trucks are called lorries and they can be found zooming along streets and highways. Driving in India is a bit hectic… the streets are a symphony of constant horn blowing and busy cars. The lorries are painted in all kinds of crazy colors. The idea is that if you’re loud and bright, everyone will see and hear you coming and get out of your way! We found it all to be beautifully chaotic.