Bucking the massive store-closure trend and declarations that retail is dead, San Francisco’s Tea Accumulating has opened its aboriginal brick-and-mortar bazaar in San Jose’s chic Santana Row — 16 years afterwards the barrage of the travel-inspired children’s abrasion brand.
“The timing was right, the amplitude was right, aggregate affectionate of lined up and we’re assuredly ready,” says Emily Meyer, arch artistic administrator who started Tea out of her Palo Alto accommodation with co-founder Leigh Rawdon in 2002. “We accept abundant acquaintance and acumen beneath our belts to be acquaintance in some means and accessible to abound and apprentice in added ways.”
The 650-square-foot space, aforetime active by Maker’s Market, will serve as a retail lab as adjoin to an official flagship, says Ansley McMillan, administrator of business development. Its capital purpose will be architecture cast awareness.
“We’ll be accomplishing a lot of testing and acquirements here,” McMillan says on the store’s contempo aperture day. “We’re aflame to get acknowledgment from our customers. We don’t accept it all ironed out. I’ve told all the sales assembly and the manager: This will not be like alive for Gap!”
Known for affection t and d, avant-garde graphics, Tea Accumulating began in wholesale, focused on layette, and has aback developed into a full-fledged children’s abrasion business with 70 full-time advisers at its Potrero Hill headquarters.
The newborn, toddler, boys, girls and tweens accouterment designs are accessible in sizes 0 to 16. Inspired by cultures from about the world, the accoutrement is awash in 350 boutiques nationwide, 45 Nordstrom administration food and Tea’s own archive and web shop.
With Tea’s roots in Silicon Valley, the Santana Row area was ideal, says McMillan, because of the high-traffic mix of tourists and locals and the leisurely, nontraditional capital atmosphere.
“We capital to acquisition a abode area bodies could relax, accept a chaw to eat, ankle around, acquisition new brands, analyze and pop in,” McMillan says.
Inside the store, the cast captures its artlessly antic and avant-garde point of appearance with its decor. Framed mantras “Let’s analyze the apple alfresco our door” and “United we run, jump and stand” beautify white walls. A 3-D board apple map that Meyer sourced on Etsy ancestor adjoin a chartreuse backdrop, and simple metal and plywood accessories advertise the clothing’s adventurous and bright prints.
“We capital the amplitude to accept an artlessness and to feel warm,” says Meyer. “What I absolutely adulation is the all-embracing mashup of the old apple bluff in one of the colors of our signature blush palette, and avant-garde capacity like the aback bank with languages cogent altered greetings from about the world.”
In banal for the aperture are collaborations with Native American artists for the brand’s abatement attack exploring indigenous communities aural the United States.
Mother-daughter-grandmother aggregate J Growing Thunder translated intricate beadwork into clear prints on T-shirts, polos and dresses. Painter and sculptor Jeffry Gibson reinterpreted his active geometric patterns on layered dresses and tunics. Pieces in the accumulating ambit from $29.50 to $35.50.
The abundance carries an edited alternative of admeasurement 0 to 8 clothing, but does not action the amidst collections; however, annihilation on the e-commerce armpit can be ordered in abundance with chargeless shipping, Meyer says.
Those on the coursing for absorbing ability will acquisition a curated alternative of books, Mary Meyer costly toys and beautiful third-party accessories, such as the archetypal Sophie La Giraffe teether and Loulou Lollipop muslin blankets and eco-friendly appeaser clips.
Even amidst tech-centric Santana Row, area Tesla, Amazon Books and Bonobos accept angry acceptable retail on its head, Tea affairs to booty a absolutely offline approach, alms in-store contest such as an ancient lemonade angle to account the Global Fund for Children, appearance stations for kids and adulatory allowance wrapping.
“We will consistently accept our awful affianced social-media association on Facebook, Instagram and on our website,” says Meyer. “But the auspicious allotment is accepting aback to accepting eye contact, afraid hands, giving out hugs and adulatory in being together.”
Tea Collection: 378 Santana Row, Suite 1110, SanJose. www.teacollection.com.
Nerissa Pacio Itchon is a Peninsula freelance writer. Email: email@example.com.
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