Bringing you talented female artists from around the world…
Welcome to Empress Tea! I’m the Empress behind this collaboration of talented women from across the globe. Born, raised, and educated in Canada I developed a profound love for nature, fresh air, multi-culturalism and fine food. A decade ago, I followed a handsome man to Hong Kong and I’ve been navigating its lively streets ever since. I’m a multi-talented artist & designer, a set & costume designer for theatre, dance, & film, and I’m most interested in exciting adventures and finding ways to harness my own abilities as well as help others express theirs. Founder of Empress Chic, an Asian based design company, sharing the love of quality & craftsmanship and the nurturing of multi-talented artists; helping them express their abilities and creative nature. A toast to new friends and old–welcome!
Amber Henry – Alumna YELLOWKNIFE, Canada
It’s hard to say who I am, because I’ve been so many people. Growing up, I was the quiet girl next door. In university, I was the girl who was figuring out who she really was, Toronto in my mid twenties – I was free. In Ireland I thought I had it figured out – plus I was in love, and now here in Yellowknife , still in love, I’m searching for the part of me I lost. Lately I’ve been finding that part of me when I knit or when I’ve completed some sort of ‘craft-y’ project, but mostly I find it, when I write.
*Amber had a brief spell in 2016 posting from Honolulu, United States*
JoAnna Pollonais – NEW YORK, United States
Thanks to the nomadic gene embedded in my DNA I left Canada in search of another place to call home in 2002. Since that time I have lived and travelled across the globe—my most recent move involved leaving behind the amorphous city of Cairo for the frothing, cultural stew of New York. Although being employed as a ‘humanitarian mercenary’ sounds savage, it really means I work with many international organizations on various issues. And when I’m not busy saving the world I can be found: a) reading; b) writing; c) scavenging the streets for graffiti/art; d) trying not to break my sternum in kapotasana; e) sucking wind in the boxing ring, and f) searching for the perfect fedora because, yes, there is such a thing.
*Previous to April 2013 JoAnna posted from Cairo, Egypt.*
By day, I’m a public servant, while by night I moonlight as a roller derby/fencing vixen and bookstore aficionado, when translated means I use my hard earned dollars to to keep me in reading material and gear to skate, slam, and stab in my spare time. I also try to take time to explore new things, whether it is a new travel destination, tunes that make me want to shake my hips, ways to be brave, or previously untapped facets of myself. Yellowknife is my home. The world is my dance card. It will never be too full. So let’s dance.
Meghan Wyatt – BURKBURNETT, United States
I’m a small town southern girl with a big personality. I’ve gone from one very small town to one slightly bigger, meaning that I went from a one stoplight town, to another with a few more stop lights and a Whataburger. You may think being from such small places would limit my world view but I don’t think that is so. As a disabled woman I see the world through much wider lenses than people give me credit for. Though my disability makes up some of the broad strokes of who I am, I believe it’s the least important thing about me. I’m a pretty kick ass aunt, a movie & tv junkie. I read incredibly trashy novels that would disappoint my very conservative grandparents. I love the looks I get when I make off-color jokes or fail to hold my tongue when dealing with ableist idiots. I hope you the reader are at the very least entertained by my contributions and get to know me better than this blurb provides.
fleurdelilah (Delilah) – TOKYO, Japan
初めまして! I’m a content creator and dog mom based in Tokyo with my partner. Born in New York, I followed my dreams and moved across the globe after high school to explore the world and find myself. These days, you can find me scouting out chic cafes (dog-friendly, of course!) or perfecting my home oasis. Things I’m loving at the moment include minimalism and eco/slow living. Chat me up on Twitter or IG, and head over to my blog for luxury travel and expat life musings.
Klarissa Fear-Firman – LONDON, Canada
I’m a single mother with two fabulous children and five cats. I run a tutoring biz, which I started after retiring early as a teacher with the local school board. Klarissa has been called a “Jackie” of all trades for most of her adult life. With her background in the theatre, she learned about acting, directing, set construction and design, and lighting and costume design – all the while working in banking, quality control, and nannying to pay her way through school. From there she went on to teach elementary school, and became the office manager and managing director of the family business.
Having fun is life. Who craves days without fun? Yes, in the middle of a global pandemic, I prioritize fun. I got healthier, became much more active and forgave myself for creating ugly art, because the process is fun. I enjoy kayaking, meditating, running, hiking and baking. My oven has been broken for 8 months, so I have refined stove top no-bake treats and I have benefited from the baking of others. I consider laundry a waste of time. Peeing is a waste of time. I wish I did not have to devote any time at all to those two tasks. I could also add pumping gas to that list, but it is rather necessary for my adventures. Laundry will always wait. The peeing, not so much.
Sadly, some of our contributors had to part ways with Empress Tea but not to worry, old posts are still visible in the feed.
Lem von Brünken – MUNICH, Germany
Hello–or as we say in Bavaria–Servus! I’m an outgoing traveller, currently living with my husband in Munich, Germany and working as a UX designer. I love to explore new places, books, surprises, going out, staying in, simplicity, meeting new people, foreign languages and the smell of rain. In my free time, I enjoy doing archery, obsessing over Japanese grammar, photography and heated discussions about sci-fi movies. I love food and cooking–especially Asian cuisine, but I also manage to bake a decent Austrian apple strudel. You can also find my rants, musings and occasional cake pictures on Twitter. Lovely to meet you!
Cheney Brew – CANBERRA, Australia
I live in Canberra, which is the capital of Australia, a fact known only to me and the 6 other people who live here. To be fair, the population may be higher, but hometowns have a habit of seeming impossibly small when you’re seeking new adventures (which I am, always). I’ve lived in Taiwan, almost lived in Japan and mysteriously find myself in the US every election year, watching old sci-fi movies with my Dad. Currently I get paid to edit legislation, which means I’m knowledgeable about semicolons and a hit at parties. I write because getting the words out frees up valuable real estate in my head that I can use to think about good dance routines and the tricks I’d play if I spoke every language in the world.
I haven’t slept for more then 4 hours straight in over 5 years and I selfishly write in the nooks and crannies of my days, between preschool runs and diaper changes, to remind myself of the independent and adventurous woman I was before the birth of my now 5 year old daughter and 2 year old boy/girl twins. I backpacked through Australia–surprising a few snakes and crocodiles, attended an all woman’s college in Southern California and managed to graduate without ever having shaved my head, studied English literature and the art of afternoon tea at Oxford University, and wrote for a year in Edinburgh Scotland. I fell in love with the mountains, snowboarding, and with an Australian man while living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and we moved to Boulder, Colorado, where we have started and grown our family. Today, our adventures may not involve traveling thousands of miles, but they are no less momentous and life-altering.
Sara Patterson – ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Thankfully, I’m still in the process of creating myself. Right now I’m “Mommy”; I’ve also been a kindergarten teacher, an executive assistant, and I’ve volunteered with high risk offenders. I’m a Canadian who crossed the ocean for a heart of gold and found myself living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for close to seven years now. I am no good at languages and I’m still struggling to learn Amharic. My husband and I have two young daughters. These days I am excited about making great food that warms our hearts and nourishes our bodies. You can find my sporadic posts about life in Addis as a housewife at housewifeinaddis.wordpress.com.
I’m a life-pondering, globe-wandering HK-Brit, currently living in Hawaii. My first job was as a belly-dancer in Oxford. Since then I’ve travelled the world with an international dance troupe; flogged designer collections at New York and Paris fashion weeks; soothed minds and bodies with a magical blend of aromatherapy, kinesiology and positive psychology; and now find myself figuring out the whole rock-from-home-mum thing. My latest brainchild is Positively Psyched, where I share mojo-boosting, soul-soothing resources and inspiration, along with my personal musings as a perpetual student of this things called life
Joanna Mason (Jam)- LONDON, England
Born and raised in London, England and having lived in Hong Kong for a while I am currently unemployed and on a nomadic adventure across Asia. With a professional background in jewellery design, a personal passion for all things colourful and creative, and an adventurous determination to drag my own two feet to as many corners of the globe as possible, I’m just doing my best to be a good human!
I’m a Filipino teacher in Indonesia who loves teaching little children. Becoming a teacher is what I’ve always wanted to do since I was a young girl and right now I am living that dream. Other than my love for teaching, I also enjoy cooking, drawing, or anything that will keep me occupied and using my creative skills. Coffee is what keeps me active and keeps up with my students’ energy! I also have an unhealthy relationship with desserts.
Cindy Nash – BRAMPTON, Canada
Who am I? If you were to ask those who know me well they may say Nurturing Mother, free maiden, wise crone … Yogi, artist, advocate, loner….. Passionate, reserved, and opinionated all in one awesome package that is known as me. Who am I? Hang around and see.
I read and write. I also play music. I like my garden, Little Library, and family. Currently, I’m obsessed with getting through all seasons of The Gilmore Girls.
I am a full time mom, part time housewife during the day and quarter marketing consultant & graphic designer for the husband when my baby is sleeping. I like to cook and craft, but I haven’t been able to find time since I am with child; I do make home cooked meal for my baby. I am a foodie, I love to try new food. In my me-time I usually read, be it an online article, a book or a manga (a Japanese comic). Actually, 80% of the time I would be reading manga. My love for all things Japan is well known in my social circle. I blog about Japanese popular culture, travel, food and manga on vaneea.com.
I am always moving. Born and raised in Wisconsin, I left at 16 for Boston and a college degree. I spent summers working in DC, where I acquired what I assume will be a lifelong incapability of standing on the left side of an escalator (stand right, walk left!). Politics was my specialty in those days but I was soon craving change and moved to Nashville to pursue music. When I’m not fiddling in honky-tonks and orchestra halls, you’ll find me running, cooking, dancing, yoga-ing, and contemplating a someday bid for political office.
Jennifer Bunt (Niffer) – TORONTO, Canada
I’m a fiery red-head and I enjoy good food, good wine and boisterous friends. As a talented film and theatre costume designer I spend a lot of my time running through the streets of Toronto searching for new treasures on a budget. I enjoy writing and traveling and I’m really glad to be a part of this great creative experiment so I can share my ideas with other like-minded souls around the world. This project was devised while chatting online, two friends who found that despite being half a world away, our friendship has grown since Bridget moved from Toronto to Hong Kong. Long live lasting friendships and creative personalities!
Klarissa Fear-Firman – LONDON, Canada
I am a single mother of two boys who, as you will figure out in my first post, are my pride and joy. I am also a world traveling supply teacher, who enjoys bringing my theatre arts background to the classroom to enrich my students education. I am so excited to be a part of Empress Tea! I love to write in all different formats and I am thrilled to have an outlet for my thoughts. Even more fantastic, is that I get to collaborate with the many talented women on Empress Tea.
I’m a little naughty, a little nice, but all provocateur. I grew up tricking my brother into playing dress up at every possible turn of events, started performing at the age of 9, and have never looked back. As a life long animal lover, I’ve rescued cats in nearly every city I’ve lived in, including Moscow, but after falling into love with an allergic man who whisked me across the world to Tokyo, I agreed to marry him on the single condition that we bring home a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. I’m hopelessly addicted to people watching, and therefore Twitter, follow me @kimiecat and hear about my exploits in life and as a stage director. I’m constantly questing for the best of human nature, honest moments, and fearless collaborators. The words I live by are “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” -Albert Einstein.
I grew up in tropical Manila and flew the coop for foggy San Francisco where I remained for a decade and a half. I trained in Industrial Design and fell into designing interactive exhibits and spaces for museums and science centers. In 2005, my husband and I bought a one-way ticket to Shanghai and left the Bay Area for something mind-blowingly different. We spent a year backpacking in parts of Asia, parts of Africa, parts of Europe, and made the road our home. Now, 7 years later, we find ourselves voluntarily exiled in Manila trying to imagine what’s next. Oh, and I love French, I love dance, and I think Alfred Hitchcock is god.
*Previous to November 2013 Wendy posted from Manilla, Philippines.
I’m a Manila thoroughbred who studied anthropology in college. My professional CV is littered with writing and editing stints, but if I had gotten an early start I would have loved to be a tennis reporter. Recently I’ve found myself more and more focused with work and learning French. Flavia de Luce is my literary hero.
Kate Stevenson- VANCOUVER, Canada
Kate is a nerd who has finally found her people, and works with them on a very quiet floor of a large building in downtown Vancouver. She has a child, husband and dog and likes to read, write, and play on the computer.
A little brown girl who loves life (most days), enjoys dancing (after all, what else can she do with these big hips?), is gravitationally challenged (falls down a lot) and cannot spell to save her mortal soul (thank heavens for spell check!). Having just tripped over the 30 year threshold, I am now blindly groping my way through this new decade, this new era, and trying to find a suitable balance between the worlds inside my head and out.
At the moment, I’m trying to figure out what to put on a business card for a project. A collaborative enterprise, it includes a cafe, sustainable design store, creche, innovation hub, yoga studio and spa. My business partner suggested I put ‘Senior Fairy’. My passion is connecting the dots. I know a little about a lot. I’m a passionate advocate for Nature. Once upon a time I passed the Bar exam and wore a scratchy wig. The capsule range of sustainable clothing I’ve been developing is nearly complete. I work part-time as a marketing & comms manager for a very cool online farmers market. And even if I do say so myself, I make a mighty fine flourless dark chocolate and cardamon cake. Which I suspect would go very nicely with a cup of Empress Tea.
I live in Brooklyn, after previously living in Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Penn State, and Manhattan. My first degree was in Film/Video and my current day job is at a Music Network. Then I got a degree in writing fiction. I’m trying to sell my first novel and working on my second. I like learning, music, reality TV, french films, and aimlessly wandering the city. I like topics that run into other topics; conversations that do the same. Ditto for writing. You can find me at nicoledewalt.com and I also tumbl.