Danielle Vallée – First two weeks at Tealeaves feeling "super supported"
PRACTICUM WEEK 1
This week Fiona and I started working at Tealeaves, a luxury tea company with offices in Seattle, London, Guadalajara, Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Vancouver. Their head office is in Marpole where we have been working for the last four days. They specialize in the highest quality loose leaf and bagged tea and regularly work with renowned chefs and hotels around the world.
Before we started, we were taken out to dinner in Gastown by some of the creative team so they could get to know us a bit better and welcome us, Tealeaves style. We also were given the opportunity to sit in on a Google Hangout call with the CEO discussing a new product direction in order to get more familiar with the work culture and dynamic. Everyone has been so friendly, approachable and accommodating since even before day one.
When we started on Monday, we were put to work right away and everyone has been excited to have us on board. This week I worked on some new product dielines, helped plan the company Instagram, sketched illustration concepts, did lots of research and moodboarding, got more familiar with the brand and drank so much [incredible] tea. Maybe by the time we’re done our practicum I will have tried their almost 200(!) blends of tea. This week Fiona and I also gave a presentation to the creative team which was nerve-racking but a great experience. We told them a bit about ourselves and our backgrounds, reviewed the company, it’s current markets, art direction and channels, gave feedback on what they’re doing and provided some ideas for future projects. They were super receptive and gave great feedback. I’m hoping one of the ideas pitched becomes a reality in the future.
I’m really looking forward to working on a variety of projects while I’m here as there is no shortage of work. Next week I will be dipping my feet into photo art direction and working on the website.
PRACTICUM WEEK 2
This week our grad class started doing an Instagram story takeover on our class account (@ideaeighteen). We each signed up for a day, with the task of storying our practicums so people could learn more about who we are and where we are working. This was an exciting development and after Shanene started it off on Monday, I did mine on Tuesday. I highlighted who I am and what I am interested in, what TEALEAVES is and what they are known for and a little about our office space. If you’re interested in seeing more about my and other students’ practicums, the takeover is ongoing and you can see highlights on the @ideaeighteen Instagram page.
At Tealeaves this week, it was pretty busy and I got to work on a variety of projects. I started researching and planning three product photoshoots which took up the majority of my time this week. It was a bit overwhelming to think about selling three different products all at once but Giulia, who takes many of their photos, was a huge help and super encouraging. She sits next to me and is most often the person I bug with my newbie questions. She has been an invaluable resource already throughout my practicum; she’s always willing to help out.
The rest of my week was spent mainly updating an existing catalogue with new products, copy and photos. I also got to work on editing some images for the first time here. It was good to get to know their processes more and overall was a great learning experience.
Fiona and I ended off the week by checking in with Troy to let him know what we are working on and the status of each project. He went over a bunch of other things we could help with, such as an upcoming packaging projects that I hope to get some time to work on in the next couple weeks.
Overall what I really love about working here is that everyone is so willing to help, give constructive criticism and explain their vision. I feel super supported and am looking forward to next week!
On a side note, the whole crew went out for an end of Lunar New Year dinner on Friday this week as well. It was super nice to see everyone in a different context and share an excellent meal together.