Awesome Customer Experience – Tea Forté

by Katie on February 2, 2014

I put a lot of weight in the “customer experience”. Sure, sometimes it doesn’t make much of a difference – if you want a candy bar and you’re too lazy to go anywhere but the CVS a block away, most likely, you’re going to go there no matter what. BUT! When a business goes above and beyond to make your experience with them is a good one, or a GREAT one, it stands out. That extra mile, for me, usually means the difference between indifference and extreme loyalty.

As a person who “works in marketing”, I consider it my duty to spread words of LOVE about a company who seems to be doing things right (at least when it comes to customer experience)! This post, my friends, is full of love for a company for which I will be forever faithful – Tea Forté.

I’ve loved tea for a while. Am I an expert? No. Do I drink a lot of it? Yes. Last November, the hubby and I took a trip to India where we saw how ingrained tea was in the culture. Of course, their tea of choice is chai (YUM!). Seeing the industry around this one single drink (and after vising various tea shops and rooms) sparked a, dare I say, new passion for me. I came home excited to learn about the history of this historic beverage, and the culture that surrounded it.

Over Christmas, I received a bunch of tea related presents from various members of my family (though I don’t think it was planned ;) ). One of the gifts was a Pugg Ceramic Teapot from Tea Forté (thanks Grandma and Pa O!). I’ve used it almost every day since. It was perfect – the infuser was perfect for all my loose leaf teas, and the metal lid, which kept my tea warmer longer, popped off for easier cleaning. It was true love.


And then one horrible afternoon, I realized the infuser had gone missing! I destroyed the kitchen looking for it (Brandon helped), but nothing! We came to the conclusion that the kitchen elves must have sneaked in and carried it away (though we were probably both silently blaming the other for accidentally tossing it). But, this is where the story starts to gets good.

Sad but not hopeless, I hopped onto and searched for a replacement infuser for my beloved Pugg. Surely they would have a simple replacement I could pick up for a few bucks! After a few minute of looking and not finding what I was looking for, I thought I’d email the customer service address to see if perhaps I had missed it on the website. Not expecting much, other than perhaps an email reply a week or two later, I explained what had happened and clicked “send”, then devised a way to use my pretty pot without its infuser.

A day later, an email appeared in my inbox. It was none other than Colby, a Customer Experience representative from Tea Forté! A reply in 24 hours? I think I really like you. But what did Colby say in this email of his? That if I would provide my mailing address, he would send me a replacement for free. FOR FREE. No hoops to jump through, no payment to make, no shipping to pay! You have won me over for life. Sure, the infuser probably cost pennies to make and a few dollars more to ship, but the small gesture means a whole lot more to me. It fills me up with warm fuzzies just thinking about it (just like a nice hot cup of tea)! So I am going forth and proclaiming my love for Tea Forté! THANK YOU!

While I am always in favor of shopping small and local, I can’t help but to fall in love with a company, no matter its size, that treats me right.

Thanks Colby, and Tea Forté, for being awesome!

And since, you know, Valentine’s Day is coming up, I thought I’d share a few of the items on my wishlist (ahem, Brandon, hope you’re reading ;) ).

1. Kati Tea Brewing System in Birch Forest (it even has my name on it! ;) | 2. Tangerine Rosemary White Loose Leaf Tea Canister | 3. Diva Glass Teapot and Infuser | 4. Chamomile Citron Herbal Loose Leaf Tea Pouch

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Divided Tote from Noodle-Head

by Katie on January 21, 2014

Quick sewing projects are the perfect cure for “I have so many projects I don’t know which one to work on right now” syndrome. Because naturally, when you have a gazzilion unfinished projects, starting a new one will surely help in some way. ;) Ok, so maybe that’s not true, but I DO love a project that you can start and finish in a single day! It’s just so satisfying.

After seeing all of the adorable baskets on Sarah Quilts, I just had to give one a try. The Divided Basket pattern from Noodle-Head was so simple – I can’t wait to make another.

divided basket 3

My first try consisted of Leah Duncan’s Tule fabrics [a la Art Gallery] (with a few stash pieces mixed in) that I picked up at Urban Arts and Crafts (my favorite sewing and craft supply store in, quite possibly, the world) over Christmas. Instead of using the suggested interfacing and fleece, I used some fusible web and batting. It still came out great, though next time I’ll pick up the proper supplies, or try making the baskets out of canvas. Such a fun project!

divided basket

divided fabric basket

It’s such a lovely pattern. Check it out if you’re in the mood for a quick, simple, useful project!


Sweet as Honey

by Katie on January 19, 2014

I’m fabric obsessed, and I happily accept it. I could spend hours looking at fabric, and I do, but every once in a while I find a fabric or a line that I seriously can’t stop thinking about. I don’t even know what I want to use it for, but I must have it.

I have recently found such a line – Sweet as Honey, by Bonnie Christine of Art Gallery Fabrics. I’ll let the images speak for themselves. Don’t they just make you want to empty out your piggy bank and buy ALL OF THE FABRIC and then spend all week at your sewing machine?

Sweet as honey logo

My most favorites!


And the whole, beautiful line!


I love Bonnie Christine’s style, her fabric and her blog are, well, addicting. Read her wonderful blog, Going Home to Roost, and check out her online community for creatives, Roost Tribe.

Now, I think I’ll go sew awhile. :) Happy Sunday!


Out of this World

by Katie on August 4, 2013

For the first time in almost a year, I actually had a chance to sew with fabric from work! Can you believe it took me that long?!

I was able to take a few “scraps” from a recent line and got started on my Out of this World quilt. When I first saw Outer Space and Celestial Night, I knew there was a solar system inspired project out there just waiting to be made. I spent Friday night putting together the design, making my pattern, and cutting out my applique pieces (the planets)! On Saturday, I assembled the top and basted together my top, batting, and backing. And now, it sits atop my mile-high pile of projects to be finished. I’ll start stitching right after I finish up my girly chevron baby quilt. ;)

Here are the yummies from work and [some of] my planets!

Island Batik Fabrics from the Spring 2013 Line

batik planets


Wonderful Window Treatments

by Katie on March 30, 2013

I adore windows. They let in the sunshine and cool breezes on warm days. Sometimes they offer beautiful views (unless you’re looking out our bedroom window, which is about three feet from a huge wooden fence – not my idea of a great view). But what I love the most about windows is that you can dress them up head to toe, er, I mean ceiling to floor with amazing window treatments that can really turn a room around.

When we moved into our current place, all of the windows had curtains or window blinds, or both. Most of the curtains blended in well with the rest of the apartment, but two particular pairs were hideous beyond belief (so we replaced them with super inexpensive grey ones from IKEA). But, as I’m falling more and more in love with design and the graphic arts, I am itching to try something new – something bold and colorful, and, just different.

I’d really love to consider some new options – something other than panels on rods. Not sure which would work best for our spaces, but here are three of my favorite ideas…for now. ;)

Roman Shades
I LOVE what you can do with Roman shades. Our bedroom window (the one overlooking that ugly fence) actually has bamboo Roman shades, for when you want to block out the sun (and the rest of the world), but it’s really not our style. I’d love to replace them with something of the fabric variety to help soften up our room!

I love these – so preppy.

Pleated Panels
These might be a good option, but they aren’t that much different than what we already have. I like the gathered/pleated element up top – draws your eyes up and looks more pulled together than rings with clips hanging off of them. I’m loving that bedspread too…plaid is all the rage right now (at least on one of my Pinterest boards ;) ).

Roller Shades
These days roller shades seem more utilitarian than decorative, but I think they can be both. Wouldn’t something like this be wonderful for a craft room/home office? Especially if you like to get creative – I could buy a simple, single color shade and paint it up with fabric paint!

Now I just need to decide which treatment will work with each window! :D



by Katie on February 25, 2013

I’m loving all of the adorable fox things popping up these days. They are such sweet [looking] creatures – it’s no wonder they are gracing sweaters, socks, pillows, and other such lovely things! I’ve compiled a few foxy goodies to share with you – check ‘em out!

1. Woodland Fox PDF Pattern by Gingermelon Dolls. Crafty or not, you must check out Shelly’s blog, Gingermelon Dolls – it’s full of impossibly cute things! I die.

2. Felt Fox Pillow Cover & Insert by Maureen Cracknell Handmade. Read more about Maureen’s creations on her blog (quilty and fabric-loving friends, you will not be disappointed)!

3. iPhone case featuring artwork from Carrie Booth. Watercolors are my favorite – wouldn’t this be lovely to see every day? Eeerm…I mean like every five seconds? ;)

4. Cloth fox mask from Fox Shop. Read {Lucille}’s tres chic blog here (to find more of her lovely, foxy work)!

5. Origami foxes created by and featured on Bloomize. I think we all need on of these on our desks, keeping us company all day. :) Precious!

6. Fox print leggings by Yana Gorbulsky (via her shop, Supayana)

Are you loving the fox trend? Hating it? Are they OK to wear…or are they too reminiscent of THESE?!

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August 20, 2012

Even though it’s blistering hot back home and far too hot for southern California (shorts – I’m not a fan), I am obsessing over a fall and winter favorite – cowls! They are such a fun (and practical) accessory. Well, for cold weather, anyway. Perfect for skinnies, boots, and a fitted long-sleeve T. Clockwise from […]

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August 8, 2012

Long story short, herringbone is the new chevron. It’s only natural – herringbone is like chevron’s older, more sophisticated sister. I can’t give up on chevron completely though, but there is something about that structured, preppy pattern of herringbone that I adore. Check it out. rug | throws | art | lapels | cowl | […]

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Kitchen Essentials

August 7, 2012

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Most of the time, I enjoy it. After a recent move and going from a nice, spacious kitchen to one about half the size, I realized how many kitchen gadgets I have (and just how spoiled I had gotten with our last two kitchens). We have […]

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Little Surprises

August 6, 2012

You know that time you went to Target and left with fifty million things you didn’t go to get? Oh, you mean that’s every time you go? Yeah, me too. I was there this week to pick up a few household items and, because I can’t not walk by paper products once I see them, […]

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