The holiday season… A season filled with twinkling lights, hot chocolate, cozy sweaters and music. Did you know that many of the popular Christmas carols you hear in english actually began as German songs? Silent Night was originally written in German and composed by Franz Xaver Gruber with lyrics by Joseph Franz Mohr, sung for the first time in 1818. We’ve rounded up several of our favorite German carols to celebrate the season. Which one is your favorite?
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)!
And we’re off to the races! We have been planning our backpacking trip to Europe ever since our bosses gave us the go-ahead. No one would ever believe that we would lug all our possessions in backpacks, but we sure did!
First stop… Chicago for a 9 hour layover. We took the L into the city and explored Millennium Park in our matching uniforms (totally unplanned by the way). After making our way through 100% humidity, we got back to O’hare with plenty of time to spare before our flight to Madrid. We arrived in Madrid at 6AM local time, but our room wasn’t ready until 1PM. We grabbed a map (and free wifi) and proceeded down Madrid’s most famous thoroughfare, El Gran Via. We stumbled upon a deliciously classic Spanish breakfast (torta, toast, and of course jamón). Our first taste of jamón was salty and delicious and we couldn’t get enough of it.
When out and about in Madrid, we always ended up at Puerta del Sol. Some way, somehow we always ended up in this massive Spanish square that’s hustling and bustling with people at all hours of the day and night. After getting lost trying to look for the world famous San Gines churros, we finally found them down a deserted alley. It was definitely worth the puddle splashing! This churro isn’t like the typical American amusement park churro with cinnamon sugar coating, but plain fried dough that’s begging for the thick melted chocolate lava. continue reading →
Each month Studio T features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Carrie, the mighty force behind Baby Bliss (and miniME!) in Texas.
Tea is proud to announce that Baby Bliss is one of our first ambassador stores. Ambassador stores are the ultimate Tea experience, offering the biggest in-store selection of products. You can think of them as your personal Tea storytellers and count on them as your neighborhood place for the widest assortment of sizes and Tea Collection styles.
How (and how long ago) did Tea find its way into your life?
9 years ago! I Instantly fell in love with the brand.
Describe how Tea resonates with your customers.
My clients love the line (little ones and moms!) for the fashion, comfort and longevity.
How has this new experience effected your Tea space?
My customers can’t seem to get enough! And, they know I carry the entire line (hence the space) so they come to be for the hands on experience. They all walk in with catalogs though!
Thus far, which Tea destination has been your favorite?
I loved Morocco… in fact I’m going there in 2015!
Diwali [dih-vah-lee] is the Hindu festival of lights and one of their most important holidays. It celebrates the return of lord Rama from exile and the victory of good over evil. When Rama returned, they welcomed him by lighting “diyas” (lamps and candles). To celebrate, families have feasts, eat sweets, play games, give gifts and light fireworks.
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!
Did you know that Trick-or-Treating is a customary Halloween tradition that began in the late 1940s? The act of going door to door receiving food existed in Great Britain and Ireland where it was known as “souling”. Children (and often the poor) would sing and say prayers for the dead and in return receive cakes.
We thought we’d use this holiday as an opportunity to introduce to you a few sweet German treats. Perhaps you’ll be able to expand your selection of candy for the big day!
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.
At Tea, we believe in a healthy sense of adventure – the kind that gets you up and out and exploring. So when we visited Germany, of course we had to hit the slopes! We strapped on skis in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a Bavarian town just north of Zugapitze, Germany’s highest mountain.
We discovered so much that inspired our winter collection: the sporty style of German skiers and snowboarders, vintage ski posters and the towering snow-covered Alps themselves! Here are a few of our favorite photos from our day on the slopes. Have you ever skied the German Alps?
“My way of working represents an artistic creative process: irrational, intuitive, inquiring and interwoven. As a designer, however, I reserve the right to always keep the goal in mind and seek for solutions to existing problems. I test, scour, question and reject methods and in the best case new is discovered this way – always challenging the innovation in consideration of the real customers needs.”
Anna Niestroj founded BLINKBLINK in 2012 as an open interactive design studio.
We collaborated with the talented pattern designer Anna Neistroj for our Germany Collection. Here is a little interview with our favorite guest artist.
Where do you live now? In Berlin!
Favorite destination in Germany? Berlin… and surroundings. And any old town in the country.
Favorite destination worldwide? Seasides, Riversides, Lakesides! I wouldn’t prefer a specific place.
Did you always want to be an artist? As a child what career did you want? As a 5 year old: violinist. Soon I wanted to be an entrepreneur: doing things and selling it to people. As my father was an artist I considered myself even so
Favorite Color? Turquoise
Where do you get your inspiration? From materials, printed matter, the internet, travels and the city I live in (+ people that live here.).
We were thrilled to discover your work while we were researching for our Germany collection. Your collages feel like a contemporary evolution of the Bauhaus artists. Is Bauhaus a strong influence on your work? It makes me happy to read this! I actually didn’t think of bauhaus while I created the collages but I think it still came to me via ‘zeitgeist’
left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Gunta Stölzl, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink
left: artwork by Bauhaus artist Wassily Kandinsky, right: artwork by Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink
Who are some of your favorite contemporary German artists? David Schnell, Katharina Grosse, …
Will you send us a picture of your studio and tell us a little about your typical work day? There is no typical work day, except for being in the studio a lot (experimenting, printing, etc.), using the computer a lot (designing, communications, etc.) and welcoming all sorts of people. I have a fiew clients that I work for repeatingly. But the most jobs I do are on project-base and singular.
some shots of Anna Niestroj / Blink Blink’s inspiring workspace
Emily and Anna in Anna’s Studio/ Anna standing in the doorway to her studio space.
Do you have a cause or charity that is important to you? I think that the place I choose for my studio is a special form of charity. I’m ‘donating’ some color and joy to a pretty rough area / neighborhood. Also I think that ‘Think global, act local.’is a good leitmotif.
Tea will be making a donation in honor of Anna to himmelbeet, an intercultural community garden in Berlin that focus on organic farming. Here people of all ages come together to garden, build with recycled materials, cook and participate in environmental education workshops.