Behind the Design: Boys’ Graphic Tees

Leopard, elephant, Kruger National ParkOur design team loved visiting Kruger National Park so much that they just couldn’t help but design a collection of boys tees inspired by Kruger.  Kruger is Africa’s largest game reserve and it spans over 7,500 square miles.  That’s six times the size of Rhode Island!  Kruger was created in 1926 to protect the diminishing number of safari animals.  If you ask anyone in Africa what the ‘Big 5’ is, they will tell you that the ‘Big 5’ are the five most difficult animals to hunt on foot-  the lion, leopard, African elephant, Cape Buffalo, and the rhinoceros.

Did you know:
-despite the African Elephants large size, they can hide in the tall grass
-the leopard is a nocturnal animal, which means it does the majority of its hunting from sunset to sunrise

Check out our boys new arrivals to find the  hottest spring looks!

Tea School Days!

http://www.teacollection.com/about-tea/our-values

Raise money for your school just by shopping Tea! For three days only, you get free shipping—and Tea donates 15% of all sales back to your school!

Now you can help your school just by shopping for your favorite globally inspired kids clothes from Tea Collection.

How does it work? When you sign up for School Days, we’ll give your school a unique promo code that you can share with your school community and with friends and family. When shoppers enter the promo code during School Days, Tea will donate 15% of the order total back to your school—and every shopper gets free Fedex Saver shipping.

How does it add up? We’ll donate back to your school 15% of the merchandise total of every single order placed using the code. If, for example, 10 people from your community place an order of $100, Tea will write your school a check for $150. The more people shop, the more we donate. And there’s no limit. It’s that simple.

How do I get started? Download the application on our website, fill it out, and send it by email to [email protected].

To learn more & apply, visit our website: http://www.teacollection.com/about-tea/citizenship-donations. Applying takes no more than 5 minutes!

 

A Call to Serve

Martin Luther King Jr and his daughter.

A softer side of MLK Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr once proclaimed, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”  So, how are your honoring MLK Jr and his legacy?  Twenty-seven years ago President Reagan signed MLK Jr Day into existence and catapulted a ‘can do’ and ‘will help’ attitude into the American radar.  This willingness to lend a hand has been celebrated in South Africa for many decades, centuries even.  Ubuntu is the idea that we are all interconnected and what happens to you happens to me.  Desmond Tutu defined it as when a human knows “that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated… the essence of being human.” We can’t live without each other and we need to help one another out.

The idea of generosity and the call to serve has struck a special chord in Tadatoshi Akiba’s heart (Mayor of Hiroshima from 1999-2011).  He loved the call to action so much that he declared MLK Jr Day a holiday.  This really is a global celebration.  How will your honor MLK Jr?  Share with us on Facebook.  Remember every day can be a day of service to your community.

Check out Tea School Days– a no brainer to raise money for your child’s school.

*Image courtesy of Family Goes Strong.

Explore London with Brooke

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).

Brooke, our amazing Store Marketing guru, took a getaway trip to London with her husband.

Big Ben in London.

You can’t miss Big Ben when visiting London.

It’s been at least 2 and ½ years since we’ve had couple time for longer than a couple of hours…alone..no kids…no diapers…no nap schedules to work around. It was time to get away and for us to be kids again.  We have two girls and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law generously volunteered their weekends.  We definitely owe them one or maybe two.

Honestly we could have gone anyway (even into Boston), but it was magical to be across the pond (on an island of sorts) and somewhere my husband Josh had never been – London, England.

After hopping the overnight flight, we arrived to a rainy, cold day…this picture pretty much sums it up:

A happy couple in London.

Notice the grey skies in the background.

Instead of wallowing or going to take naps (which would have been a treat all in itself!), we hit the department stores because they are such a wonder overseas.  I definitely recommend popping into Harrods, House of Fraser, and Topshop.  They have food halls, amazing displays and the hippest fashions – things that will be popular here in a year or so!

This was also the perfect day for a bus tour around the city – both to get oriented and to take a rest, and also stay out of the rain. The guide was great and super enthusiastic. We got to see all things quintessential London, and also got to stop for some fish and chips (with mashed peas of course!) and then on the Tate Modern museum.

Tower of London on a cold December day

The Tower of London has been standing since the 11th century.

The mix of super historic (Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral) with the modern city of London really was striking, and on top of it all – the city was all dressed up for Christmas.

House of Fraser decked in holiday cheer.

We loved how the House of Fraser went all out to deck the halls.

Behind the Design: Vilakazi Henley

Vilakazi Street sign in Soweto.

Vilakazi Street- where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived.

Here’s a history lesson that not only is short and sweet but fun to say.  We bet you didn’t know that our Vilakazi Henley was named after the only street to once have housed two Nobel Prize winners.  Nelson Mandela, one of  the most famous anti-apartheid activists and President of South Africa, lived at 8115 Vilakazi.  Mandela’s former home is now the Mandela House- a museum that preserves his story as he fought for equality.  Just down the street, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu still lives with his wife.  Desmond as he is fondly known aided to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa.    During his quest to bring the fall of apartheid, he coined the term ‘Rainbow Nation,’ when speaking about his beloved South Africa and its ethnic diversity.  It is said that Desmond can still be seen strolling down Vilakazi.

Our designers were so inspired by their trip to Vilakazi Street that they wanted to share it with you.  Bring a piece of our experience home with you, shop from our boys’ tees.

Boy in Vilakazi inspired henley

Get your little citizen suited up in stripes.

Image courtesy of SouthAfrica.net.

DIY Safety Pin Bracelet

diy safety pin bracelet steps

Make your own safety pin bracelet!

Step 1:  Start beading your safety pins.  We put 5 seed beads (size 6/0) onto each small safety pin.   As you are beading start to envision a desirable pattern or make it completely random for a kaleidoscope effect.
*Please note since sharp objects are involved, this craft is for children 8 years and up.
Step 2: Make sure you use needle nose pliers to clamp each safety pin permanently closed.  No booboos here!
Step 3:  Cut two pieces of elastic 5 inches longer than the circumference of your child’s wrist.
Step 4: Tie a knot with the two pieces of elastic.  Start stringing your safety pins in the desirable pattern.  We did all the tops on the top string and all the bottoms on the other.
Step 5:  When you are done beading, tie a knot on each elastic cord (top and bottom separately).  Then knot with the other side to create a full circle.

Two girls in South African inspired clothes.

Wear our Rosebank Mini Dress and Mtititi Floral Tunic Top withyour safety pin bracelet.

Wear your safety pin bracelet with any of our girls dresses or girls tops.  We really liked how the yellow beads complimented the yellow accents in our Rosebank Mini Dress.   Get creative with your bracelet patterns and girls outfits and share with us on our Facebook.

Passport to Style Child

Each month Studio T features one of our retailers.  This month we chatted with Kyle from Style Child.  We  invite you to discover Style Child, an innovative children’s boutique nestled in sunny San Diego.  Maybe you know Kyle and all of her friendly staff but we bet you didn’t know she was once a Captain in the Air Force.

 

 

Kyle, founder of Style Child Boutique

Meet Kyle, owner of Style Child.

 

 

Tea: How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store?
Kyle: Style Child has been open 6 years.  I was formerly an engineer for 10 years, and after having a baby, I found I gravitated to all things baby:  cute clothes, toys, furniture, decor.  It was a combination of needing a career change, plus my changing interests, plus a lack of children’s clothing opportunities in San Diego that led me to the idea of opening up a boutique myself.

Tea: What is your favorite part of your day at the store?
Kyle: When I do the buying!  I am always so excited to find new and amazing fashions, or cool toys.

Tea: What makes your store unique?
Kyle: We like to be on the cutting edge of design and fashion and we have a sophisticated flair.  We are very different from traditional baby stores.  We carry hardworking pieces whether it is toys, clothing, or furniture.

On the floor at Style Child Boutique

Style Child’s abundant Tea selection.

Tea: At Tea, we “Go There”, how do you share in that mission in your life?
Kyle: I love learning new languages and have been known to play Russian language tapes while commuting in my car!  I have French and Spanish and English toys in the store. We even have German products and Canadian products, by having a global influence in your selection you guarantee an interesting and thoughtful mix of your products. It helps broaden the horizons of your customers too!
Tea: We love that you really bring the world home for your customers.

Tea:  How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us?
Kyle: I like the Kaizen Principle.  It’s about making small steps forward instead of trying to do too much all at once.  And it’s about streamlining.
Tea:  That is a great tip for all of us who need to keep our New Year’s resolutions.

Visit Style Child on your next trip to San Diego! Find Kyle and her team at 1070 University Avenue, J-101 San Diego, CA 92103.