Tag Archives: Featured Retailer

October 23, 2014

Passport to Baby Bliss + MiniME

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.baby bliss

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.

Baby Bliss Mini Me

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!

Favorite outfit from the current season… Go! continue reading

September 18, 2014

Passport to Kid’s Club

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Karla, the amazing lady behind the Seattle, Washington boutique, Kid’s Club. In the area? Stop by for you’re child’s hair cut and check out the new Tea space. Yep, that’s right… there’s a hair salon and shop!

Tea is proud to announce that Kid’s Club 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.

Kids Club Seattle

 

How (and how long ago) did Tea find it’s way into your life?
I have carried Tea in my store on and off since the line began. I am always liked the clean lines, great prints and nice fabrics.

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August 24, 2014

Passport to… Seed Factory

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Rachel, the wonderful woman behind the Atlanta, Georgia boutique, seed factory, whose “goal has always been to find smart classic gifts for children that your family will trust and enjoy”. 

Tea is proud to announce that seed factory 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.

Seed Factory Atlanta

How (and how long ago) did Tea find it’s way into your life?
Tea Collection became a part of our little shop first called sprout back in 2003. It was one of the first brands we ever carried.

Describe how Tea resonates with your customers
Tea Collection resonates with our customers on three levels…

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July 21, 2014

Passport to Jack n’ Jill Shop

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Laura, owner of Jack n’ Jill Shop. Learn about the story (and city’s) rich history below!

Have you always lived in Birmingham?
I was born to military parents while they were stationed in the Panama Canal Zone. When I was 3 we moved to Fort McClellan, Alabama.  When I was 4 my dad retired from active duty and we moved to Homewood, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. I graduated from Homewood High School in 1992 and then attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the next 4 years.  My husband, son and myself live in Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham.

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June 19, 2014

Passport to Nest Children’s Boutique

Nest Boutique Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Caroline, owner of Nest Children’s Boutique. In the Denver area? Stop by and say hello at one of her locations near Cherry Creek North or Larimer Square!

Have you always lived in Denver?  I have lived all over the place (I am the Tea poster child!) I grew up in Evanston, IL, studied abroad in Germany and Vietnam and have lived in Philadelphia, New York, Boston and London.  I left New York and moved to Denver with my family after I had my first to child and this is where we have been ever since.

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May 15, 2014

Passport to Magical Child

Magical Child Logo

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers. This month we caught up with Meri, the lovely woman behind the Encinitas, California boutique, Magical Child.

Have you always lived in Encinitas?
I was born in Brooklyn New York and moved to Puerto Rico when I was 8. We moved to California when my parents divorced one year later. I have stayed in SoCal ever since!

How was your business born?
I met the previous owner of Magical Child at play group. My daughter was only 4 months old at the time. I fell in love with Magical Child and bought all my cloth diapers and my sling here. I worked here part-time before my son was born. When my friend announced at playgroup she wanted to sell the business, I said I would buy it! (Without even asking my husband!) The following Monday we wrote it up on a legal pad and the deal was done! (well then I had to tell my husband!)

Tell us a little about your family history…
I arrived in San Diego from Puerto Rico where my parents met. Even though my dad was Puerto Rican I don’t look Hispanic and I never really embraced my heritage.  Now that I have kids and they ask questions we have really gotten into following our family tree. My daughter and I plan to go to PR when she graduates from High School next year. As for recipes, I do love rice, beans and guacamole!

Where is the last place you traveled?
The last place I traveled was a road trip to Scottsdale, AZ for Spring Break with my son. We visited cousins who were the ultimate hosts and filled our every wish! Cypress learned to play tennis and we experienced an early morning hot air balloon ride! It was a fantastic bonding time for us!

Your best friend is visiting your city for the first time and only has 24 hours to explore—what would you tell them to do?
I would start at Lofty Bean for an amazing cup of coffee and gluten free scone. This also puts you at the perfect spot to begin your walk thru beautiful downtown Encinitas! After coffee I would walk over to Moonlight Beach, to work off the scone and enjoy a beautiful ocean view! I would wander down to heart of the town and get a mani pedi at one of the many boutique style lounges. Along the way are endless shops to meet everyone’s tastes from clothing to home décor. I would definitely have lunch at Solace and eat upstairs on their outside ocean view deck. After lunch there is more sight seeing along the way to the Swami’s Gardens, a must see! Of course there are the boat houses – built in the 1920’s. To work up your appetite for dinner the 1.5 mile walk down the famous Cardiff Kook statue is a must! On the way back take to the beach at low tide and come up the Swami’s staircase – super cardio! Once back on the mainland its time for dinner at none other than 3rd Corner. Excellent food, atmosphere and wine shop! Buy an extra bottle from a local winery to take home with you. Finish off the day with a stroll down the 101 and perhaps catch a late showing at La Paloma Theatre established in 1928. Now, go home and start your search for real estate because you are absolutely going to want to move here!

What advice do you have for local mothers?
There are so many great parks as well as endless playgroups to fit every mom. MOPS is really big around for the more experienced mom. Getting started I would join a stroller strides group to test out a few different types of groups.

What types of events and promotions do you run in your boutique?
We host several annual events. Our Magical Mothers Day is always a huge hit as is the Winter Wonderland Holiday Bash! We sponsor trunk shows and host Doll Parties. With the move to our new location this summer we look forward to adding even more Magical events.

What is one thing your customers would be surprised to learn about you?
I was really shy and quiet as a kid! Seriously. 

April 10, 2014

Passport to Glee Kids

Glee Kids North Carolina

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers.  This month we caught up with Noelle and Jim Garstka, the husband and wife team behind Glee Kids in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Glee Kids North Carolina

Have you always lived in Chapel Hill? 
We moved to Chapel Hill in 2011 shortly after our third child was born.  After 8 years in the Bay Area we decided to relocate our family to the East Coast and attempt to slow things down a bit.  Although we love (LOVE) California, our careers were all consuming and we had very little time to enjoy the wonderful things around us.  Chapel Hill is a vibrant, small town with so much to offer.  It is family focused and we spend very little time in our cars, which makes a huge impact on our quality of life.

How was your business born?
Glee Kids opened in 2008 by a local mom who, after spending years in California and New York, saw the need for a modern children’s boutique in Chapel Hill.  In 2012 she decided to move on and sent out an email to her customers about the closing sale.  As a customer, I was heartbroken to hear this news and contacted her to see if she was willing to sell the shop – three weeks later we were business owners.  This didn’t exactly follow our plan to “slow things down”, but we were and continue to be excited about Glee Kids and our involvement in the community.

Where is the last place you traveled?
The last place I traveled was New York, which was supposed to be a quick trip to finish up our fall buying for the store.  But thanks to a snow storm, it turned out to be five glorious days alone (yes, my husband was stuck at home with all three kids), in a pretty hotel, with a coffee shop below and plenty of great things to see and buy.  I read a book, made lunch and dinner reservations, stepped in lots of melted snow puddles (lesson learned) and recharged.

Glee Kids North Carolina

Your best friend is visiting your city for the first time and only has 24 hours to explore—what would you tell them to do? 
Oh wow, to narrow it down to a single day – too much pressure!  Well, after waking up at the Carolina Inn, you should step outside and take a nice long walk around the University of North Carolina campus.  The weather here is quite nice and should make for an enjoyable morning.  After working up an appetite, I would suggest grabbing something delicious from Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen and taking it over to Caffé Driade to devour with a great coffee.  Although Glee Kids is in Chapel Hill, we are but a few short miles to Durham and Duke University, so a visit to the Duke Gardens is a necessity.  It’s incredibly beautiful and always full of visitors and families.  Since you are already in Durham, you should have lunch at Nana Taco and don’t forget to order the Mexican Chocolate milkshake…spicy.  After lunch, you can head back to University Mall in Chapel Hill where you will find Glee Kids, Kidzu Children’s Museum and many other local shops.  Southern Season is not to be missed and you can find the perfect gift at Peacock Alley.  And since you somehow scored tickets to the UNC/Duke game you can take a shuttle and get a taste of some great North Carolina basketball.  After the game, head over to the bar at Lantern for great drinks and food and then walk back to your beautiful suite at the Carolina Inn.

What advice do you have for local mothers?
One of my favorite parts of working in the store is hearing all the wisdom I get from our precious grandmothers.  They always have such great perspective and remind me to relax and stop putting our children’s lives under a microscope.  Someone recently passed on a piece of advice – “if it isn’t dangerous or mean, let it go”.  Invaluable.

What types of events and promotions do you run in your boutique?
We try to have fun in store events, facebook promotions and partner with our neighbors.  Sometimes we have the fairies come in to do “fairy hair”, other times we hand out balloons at Kidzu Children’s Museum and we always offer our GG’s (Glee’s Grandmas) 10% off their purchase.

What is one thing your customers would be surprised to learn about you? 
Hmmm…I talk too much so our customers probably know everything!  Some of them might be surprised to find out that I am software consultant for a California based company.  Or they may find it funnier that I twirled a baton as a kid!

January 30, 2014

Passport to Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea

 Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers.  This month we caught up with the lovely couple behind Sweet Pea in Traverse City, Michigan!

Sweet Pea

How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store? How long has your store been in business?

We were looking for a change in lifestyle that would allow us more flexibility. Retail was something we knew and a children’s store was what we felt was needed in our downtown. It was an easy decision! We will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary this May!

What is something that your customers would be surprised to learn about you?

That we do not spend any time stressing about our Tea orders! We have an awesome rep and the brand sells itself! We love the line and find it to be our easiest and most profitable line we carry.

What is your favorite part of your day at the store?

We both agree that it is in the morning when the store isn’t open yet. There is time to go through everything and it is quiet!

Sweet Pea

We know how special and unique all of our stores are, what makes your store unique?

We have a great Facebook following and a strong community that believes in shopping local. We are both pretty laid back with running the store which keeps the atmosphere fun! We have an awesome downtown with numerous festivals and activities bringing thousands of people to us!

At Tea, we “Go There”, how do you share in that mission at your store and/or in your life?

Our store was a “risk”, but the reward has been worth it! Don’t be afraid to “go there” because you only get one chance at life :)

What is the biggest trend you see right now in either shopping or kid’s fashion? What are people coming in for?

People enjoy spending money on their kids. They want quality clothing, shoes, toys etc. and we are constantly making sure that we are offering that to our customer.

Sweet Pea

What do you do in your “spare” time?

Our spare time is spent with our kids! We enjoy traveling with them or taking advantage of beautiful Northern Michigan! We really try to make sure there is separation from the store and our family.

How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us?

Jeff and I each have different “duties” we are responsible for at the store. It can be hard to run a business as husband and wife when you both want to be the “boss”. But when each of our job descriptions are different then that works smoothly for us!

Sweet Pea Owners

 

 

December 9, 2013

Passport to Posh Baby

POSH Baby

 Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers.  This month we caught up with Natalie,  founder of POSH Baby in Oregon.  Learn about her store philosophy below.

POSH Baby

Tea: How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store? How long has your store been in business?

Posh Baby: I have been in business since 2003, I did not start out with plans to open a retail store. I had a wholesale line that was sold to about 300 stores across the globe and having all that inventory, it seemed natural to have a storefront as well. I started out with a tiny store, it was probably about 100 square feet in size. After about six months, a leasing agent approached me about opening up a much larger store that was when I took the leap! Unfortunately, I signed the lease and days later my husband received deployment papers to Afghanistan. That period of my life was very difficult. I had an 18 month old and no idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it all. The store was about 1600 square feet, so I decided to not only sell my own line but other lines as well, plus maternity clothing. Two years later we outgrew that space and moved across the street, and three years later we opened our second store. Last year we moved our original store to an even larger space and I vow to never move again. We are now more of a one-stop shop with everything… clothing toys, gear, furniture, essentials, you name it – we have it.

What is something that your customers would be surprised to learn about you? 

I was born and raised on and English Island called St. Helena Island. It is one of the most remote islands in the world with a population of about 5,000 people. It is also where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled and died! And yes, we had electricity and did not wear grass skirts. Someone actually asked me that once! Another thing about me is, going into this I had no experience in wholesale,  retail,  sewing or business… nor money to do it! But I started small and slow and grew when I could. Lastly, I always wanted to be a Spy! I’m still waiting on the CIA or James Bond to come calling for my services.

What is your favorite part of your day at the store?  

When the proud parents bring their babies in for the first time. I love having that special relationship – seeing my customers pregnant, being a part of their journey and sharing the excitement, and then having them come in with their new babies!

POSH Baby

We know how special and unique all of our stores are, what makes your store unique?

We focus on the customer experience and personalization. We feel it’s important to allow customers to take strollers outside for a walk to test drive, hold frequent giveaways, have Facebook trivia questions with prizing – all things aimed at creating a fun and rewarding experience.

At Tea, we “Go There”, how do you share in that mission at your store and/or in your life?

Coming from another country and having family that is literally scattered around the world has led to a rewarding life of travel and exploration.  I truly am a citizen of the world! I even have a dual citizenship so “Going There” resonates with me and brings the wonderful diversity and flavors of the world into the products.

POSH Baby

What is the biggest trend you see right now in either shopping or kid’s fashion? What are people coming in for? 

Well I’m not sure if it is much of a trend as it’s always consistent; Parents and kids want easy comfortable, high-quality clothes that are easy to mix and match. Tea falls perfectly into that category and we have a very large Tea following here.

What do you do in your “spare” time? Laughable right? 

As a business owner you know you don’t have much spare time and over the years you tend to not prioritize yourself, you put the business (and everything that comes with it) first! So recently, I have decided to refocus on myself both on my mind, body and spirit so I try and do things that fall into place with that. I have discovered spin classes and am really enjoying that. I fit them in before or after work.  My husband is excited as he is a cyclist and thinks this may lead to some touring together.

How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us?

Turning everything off when you walk in the door. Being present and in the moments of home life are key to work life balance. I don’t check my computer or email at night unless I know I have something urgent or pending. At the end of the day, everything can wait until the next day!

 

November 6, 2013

Passport to Babinski’s

Each month Studio T  features one of our retailers.  This month we caught up with Daphne,  founder of Babinski’s Baby in Salt Lake City (and Sandy!), Utah.  Learn about her store philosophy below.

babinskis baby

Babinskis

How did you decide to take the leap and open your own store? How long has your store been in business?

When I became pregnant with Lauren sixteen years ago, we had a hard time finding just the right products for our new little bump.  Although neither Sean nor I had any experience in retail, we both had a love for the business and decided to take a leap by opening a baby boutique.  We have tripled the size of our store since that day and have recently opened a second location.  We knew having a baby would change our lives, but I don’t think we had any idea it would change our livelihood, too!

What is something that your customers would be surprised to learn about you?

Sean and I took a year “off” before we had kids.  We quit our jobs, sold our house and bought one way tickets to Europe.  We traveled wherever the wind blew us and enjoyed visiting amazing destinations in Europe, India, Thailand and Nepal.  It changed the way we looked at life and is a part of who we are today.

What is your favorite part of your day at the store? 

I love being in the store before we open in the morning.  Those quiet moments are my most productive, as they give me a chance to look at the store objectively and move through as a customer would.  I also love any time that Sean and I are at the store together.  I feel so lucky that I get to work with my best friend every day!

Babinskis

We know how special and unique all of our stores are, what makes your store unique? 

I  think our store vibe makes us unique.  People are always meeting up at at our store, friends and family alike, to share in this amazing experience of parents to be. There’s always lots of laughter and fun energy. Couple that with our amazing staff (they really are the best!) and you have a pretty great vibe. It is awesome to be a part of that excitement every day!

At Tea, we “Go There”, how do you share in that mission at your store and/or in your life? 

Tea travels to wonderful destinations and weaves together local colors, patterns and textiles to create a special clothing line.  We venture out to find the very best for baby and then weave these things together to create a special store .  In the end we have both created something bigger than a clothing line and baby store; we have  created connections with people.

What is the biggest trend you see right now in either shopping or kid’s fashion? What are people coming in for?  

People care a lot about their shopping experience these days.  Most products can be purchased online and in discount stores; but shoppers still make the trip to their favorite specialty retailers.  That’s because shopping today is about more than the products you buy.  It’s about your experiences.  And having a baby is one of the best experiences you can have in life.  We are lucky to have that on our side!

Babinski

What do you do in your “spare” time? Laughable right? 

We have a tiny cabin in the mountains where we love to go and hang out with our girls.  We can be there for less than 24 hours and connect in such a way that there is a shift in our priorities.  Life is not about the next thing on our list…it’s about our relationships.

How do you balance it all? What tricks can you offer us? 

I used to plan my life way out into the future.  Now, I just look at my list and ask what absolutely has to happen next.  When those things are finished, I am more open to whatever comes next.  That element of spontaneity often brings my life more joy than the next thing on my list would have.