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?