As we end one year and make our way into another, we’re taking this chance to look back and explore the places our collections have taken us. Tea has made it to over many different countries, met hundreds of caring people, learned how to sing and dance and say hello in countless languages. Most importantly, we’ve gathered all the inspiration along our way to share with you. Here’s a look at some places we’ve gone over the past few years.
We thought it would be fun to compile a few songs from a handful of the countries we’ve visited as a way to celebrate the past 11 years. You’ll find everything from traditional Hungarian folk songs to contemporary music from Norway. Now turn it up and start dancing!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Are you familiar with Picasso’s work in clay? I didn’t realized that Picasso was so passionate about clay. His ceramic pieces ended up being some of my favorite. They inspired many of our graphics for our Catalonia collection.
Peacocks were popular in the Modernisme and Art Nouveau movements (right). We especially loved these lesser known drawings of peacocks by two of Spain’s most famous artists (left), Salvador Dalí (top) and Joan Miró (bottom).
Sometimes I feel like there is a collective design unconscious, a subset of Jung’s collective unconscious. There are unfortunately the obvious cases of designers blatantly ripping off other designers/artists, but then there are times when multiple designers come up with totally different versions of similar ideas. We are all obviously inspired by trends and events going on in the world, but sometimes it’s just crazy how different designers can come up with the such similar designs.
This seasons Tigre Graphic tee is a perfect example. I remember designing this. I didn’t see any kind of fragmented tiger that inspired it (at least not till after I designed it). I was seeing the trend of triangles in design and was just doodling shapes and thought “ooh I could make a cool tiger out this!” I thought my fragmented tiger was a totally unique idea I came up with in my head. Wrong! At the same Tea’s fragmented tiger shirt came out, two other children’s clothing companys came up with fragmented tiger tees! CRAZY! Has anyone else had this experience?
This week we’ll be featuring three posts by guest blogger Kimberly Brambilla. Last summer she and her husband took their three young daughters to 2 Continents and 3 Countries in 2 weeks! This is Part One – stay tuned for Parts Two and Three.
“Are you crazy?” I’ve become used to being asked this question as I’ve planned trips and traveled with my 3 small children. Having children doesn’t stop me from doing what I love most– in fact having children has actually made me more determined to continue traveling, so that I can share this love with them. I wish to instill in them a sense of adventure, an openness and appreciation of other peoples and their cultures and a love of exploring the world.
Chiara, Gisele, and Olivia
Last summer we embarked on a journey of a lifetime. We traveled to Spain, Italy and Morocco. I knew that traveling with a 7, 5 and 2-year old would present many challenges, but it would also undoubtedly be an incredible experience for my daughters Chiara, Olivia and Gisele. We were going to Spain to vacation, but were also headed to Italy to spend time with “la familia”. My husband’s family lives there, and the girls do not get the chance to see them often. Since Morocco is only 9 miles from Spain I couldn’t pass up the chance to expose my children to a culture very unlike their own.
To prepare and get them excited we read library books about places we would visit, looked at maps, made art projects and learned simple words and phrases in Arabic and Spanish My husband also speaks Italian with the girls, so going to Italy would be an opportunity for them to practice.
With bags and camera packed we were off, and began the adventure in the colorful and vibrant city of Barcelona. We were thoroughly exhausted after traveling by plane, train and automobile to reach our apartment rental in the city. After dropping off our luggage, we began the search for a place to eat dinner. We were so tired that we stopped at the first place we found. It didn’t look like much, but boy were we surprised! Chiara wanted to order spaghetti but we reminded her that we were going to try new food on this trip. Once the paella, green olives, manchego cheese and fresh bread arrived at the table we were 5 very happy travelers. Although the girls were a little shy about using Spanish words with the waiters, they loved their first Spanish meal.
The next couple of days we toured the city in double-decker buses, which we found was the perfect way to see a city with kids. We saw many of the famous sites such as Sagrada Familia Church, Casa Batllo, Park Guell, and also spent time at the beach. Our time in Barcelona was short but the memories we made are long lasting. Next it was time for the girls to experience and learn about their Italian heritage and roots. Italia here we come!
Featured longboarders are Ana, Bea, Bego, Carla, Emma, Hännä, Jacky, María, Kati, Maitane, Maryele, Paula, Sophie and Valeria. Found on the international Longboard Girls Crew website, which is definitely worth checking out.
We’re excited to announce that our Spring and Summer Destination Catalonia catalogs are now available for your viewing pleasure on the iPad through Catalog Spree! This innovative, interactive shopping experience enables individuals to shop for their favorite Tea pieces, while browsing our catalogs directly on an iPad.
Catalog Spree is a free application available in the iTunes app store that combines inventive technology with the original layout of our print catalog that you would receive in homes. With Catalog Spree you can now browse at your leisure on the iPad, while enjoying an interactive, paperless shopping experience.