We first introduced you to Sarita here, but we wanted to give you the opportunity to hear from her first hand. While we wholeheartedly wish we could send each of you to Amber to sit down with the GBS team, share chai and listen to their incredible stories… we hope this will suffice!
Monkeys are everywhere in India! But beware, not all are as cute and friendly as they may seem. Some monkeys have been known to swipe your jacket or hat when you aren’t looking. These mischievous monkeys were the perfect inspiration for our playful graphics on our boys and little girls tees. See the story behind the inspiration…
We were very luck to find Gouthami for our trip to India. Before she started her own travel company – Travel Another India – she spent 20 years working in social development and had made many great connections with craft people all over India. Gouthami introduced us to so many artisans and we had the pleasure of meeting many President Award winning craft people in remote villages. Here, she shares her knowledge on crafts in India with our readers!
Craft is the second largest employer in rural India after agriculture. In most villages you will find some form of craft – the potter, the weaver, the basket maker. It is still a way of life rather than an art to be practiced for its own sake.
In this picture you see just that. I visited the village of Nuapatna in the state of Odisha in Eastern India with the Tea Collection team.
Nuapatna is famous for its intricate Ikat weaving. In the background you can see the spindles of yarn casually stuck into the pile of sand, while the woman in the picture is wearing a hand-woven ikat sari as she goes about her daily chores.
We are proud to partner with the Global Fund for Children and have the opportunity to give back to communities near and far. Last October, we kicked off our Global Giving Thursday campaign where each third Thursday, we automatically match all donations made at checkout. In December 2015 we decided to take our efforts one step further in the spirit of the holiday season and launched a Buy One, Give One program that directly benefited one of the Global Fund for Children’s grantee partners, The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, located in Washington, D.C.. During this time, when you purchased one of our holiday styles, we set aside a similar style to donate to The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project. We were blown away by the results of this campaign and humbled to know our customers share our passion of giving back.
On March 21st, 2015, Tea Collection in conjunction with the GFC and the HCPP, were able to donate 7,000 pieces of clothing… because of you! The event took place at DC General shelter, a converted hospital where hundreds of families live at any given time. Teams of volunteers spent the morning creating a “clothing closet” for the families and sorted all of the individually wrapped clothing into gender and size. The vastness of all the products spread out onto multiple tables that lined the hallway, with extra in boxes, ready to go if need be. As the event began and the closet opened, the families at the shelter streamed in eager to be able to come and pick out brand new outfits for their kids.
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!
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.”
Goa is a coastal gem found in west India bordering the Arabian Sea. As the smallest state in India, over 80% of Goa is compromised of beaches with swaying palm trees, deep blue water and sandy beaches. Both locals and tourists make the trip to discover the beaches many different attractions. Check out our newest swim styles inspired by these beautiful beaches!
While exploring India’s culture, it’s a given that you will learn about the cuisine. The smells and taste of Indian spices are enchanting as are the varied number of dishes that are available. While in India, our team traveled to many different areas. Paneer was offered in almost all of the regions and enjoyed in various dishes. Paneer is a cheese similar to cottage cheese or farmer’s cheese. It takes on multiple forms – in Eastern India it is cubed and in Northern India you’ll find it’s been kneaded and beaten like fresh mozzarella, the results a bit crumblier. It’s easy to see why it is a staple to many of meals in India!
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…