A collaboration between Composure and Tea + Purpose

Composure is for those who draw upon strong inner perspective to make beautiful things. Tea + Purpose is a multi-city community that fosters radical authenticity through tea-inspired, intimate gatherings. Together we created Steep & Stitch, a three-act event held in NYC over the course of an afternoon. 

We led participants through a set of experiences designed to foster inner reflection and an appreciation for intentional craftsmanship. Our guiding principles: let connections and relationships get stronger as they steep, stitch strong people and ideas together. 

An experience in three acts

Act 1: Tea sampling and a crash course in the artistry behind unique fabrics.
Participants were guided through sampling stations containing a collection of teas and fabrics. Placards lined each station, describing the flavors and feelings afforded by each item's unique characteristics. Participants were encouraged to  fully experience Act 1 in silence, allowing them to taste, feel and smell deeply.

Act 2: Letting ideas steep.
While sampling teas and fabrics, participants were asked to take note of the attributes that spoke to their individual character. Small groups were formed in which everyone shared the personal stories and experiences these attributes brought to mind.

Act 3: Stitching connections together.
Each participant wrote a short letter describing stories from Act 2 they found particularly inspiring, to be read later by someone at the event who wasn't part of their group. These letters were delivered a short time after the event as a physical and lasting token of the experience. 

I have a need of silence and of stars. Too much is said too loudly.
— William Alexander Percy

Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Unique Fabrics & Teas

 Sampling stations were set up with teas from SerendipiTea and textiles from the Composure library of silks & wools. Each placard contained a short lesson on the tea or fabric displayed through its historical notes and unique physical characteristics.

We selected specific kinds of attributes: those that describe both items at the station and the kinds of characteristics embodied by passionate, creative people. Participants were asked to take note of attributes that resonated with their personal character. These notes were used during Act 2, when small groups of participants shared personal memories based on the flavors and feelings brought to mind. Together, these acts were designed to foster a deeper understanding of one's own values and experiences. 

Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.
— Epictetus

A collection of aligned Partners

In the spirit of vulnerability and openness, we felt it fitting to host at a location that wasn't fully perfect or prepared—a work-in-progress that also believes in radical transparency. We're proud to have designed Steep & Stitch with Prime Produce as our hosting partner; they're an upcoming guild for slow entrepreneurship, recently heralded by the New Yorker as the future of work

We selected the woman-run operation SerendipiTea and the USA-made Northbooks as our partners to provide materials for the event. A percentage of ticket sales went to She's The First, non-profit that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries with the goal of creating first-generation graduates and our next generation of global leaders.




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Interested in collaborating with Composure? Email studstill@alwayscomposure.com

Photography by Chris Chavez