Meet Emily Meyer, ONE Mom and chief creative officer and co-founder of the Tea Collection – a line of globally inspired children’s clothing that gives back to the Global Fund for Children.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Emily about her company, how it gives back to vulnerable children all over the world, and what inspires her. Sewing since she was six, Emily clearly has an incredible eye for design and a beautiful vision of the world that has helped her successful business become more than just a story of clothing but a story of global understanding and citizenship and social good. And if that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.
Anna Lemberger: What inspired you to start the Tea Collection?
Emily Meyer: About twelve years ago I went looking for baby clothes for my newborn niece in Brussels, Belgium, but all I found was pink bunny-themed clothing. I wanted something more sophisticated and modern. (No offense to pink bunnies.) That experience inspired me to envision a brand that celebrates the beauty of world cultures through fashion and lifestyle products.
I called it Tea, because tea the drink is something shared by all cultures. It evokes warmth, wisdom, and timelessness—values that I wanted for the collection.
Tea Collection does a lot to support The Global Fund for Children, which advances the dignity of children around the world. How does the mission of the Global Fund align with your mission as a company?
When we founded Tea Collection to outfit and inspire “little citizens of the world,” we hoped for a non-profit partner who shared our values. We were excited to find The Global Fund for Children.
Each year we hold “GFC Days” and donate a percentage of all online sales to the charity. We also make it easy for
Tea shoppers to donate to GFC during online checkout. And finally, each holiday season we create special pajamas and donate a portion of the proceeds to GFC. They make a wonderful and meaningful holiday gift.
Tea’s designs are inspired by specific places and cultures. This season’s pieces, for instance, are all about the beauty and color of South Africa. How does Tea weave the story of a culture into the minds of its young customers as well as its designs?
We share the story of our discoveries from each destination through photos, cultural objects and art, as well as customs and expressions that we experience on our travels. We infuse the energy of the culture into our clothes and we make it fun!
We introduced activity books for our little citizens to learn, create and participate in the adventure. For South Africa, we shared the expression ubuntu, which means “I am what I am because of who we all are” to instill the value of trust, respect, compassion and community.
Every inspiration is an opportunity to learn and connect, to make the foreign familiar.
As a mother, what advice would you give for raising globally conscious little citizens?
Teach your children to think about and know the outside of the confines of the immediate community we live in and see every day. I believe the youngest children naturally do, but the evolution into adolescence creates routine and shapes their ideas.
Bonus: Emily created this special Spotify playlist with what she describes as “dreamy, hopeful music that gets toes tapping and hands clapping.” Listen to it on Spotify now.
Say hi to Emily in a comment below, and visit Tea Collection’s website here. Tea Collection has also recently partnered with Live fashionABLE to produce two gorgeous, exclusive scarves handmade by women in Ethiopia.