Category: Behind the Design

Behind the Design: Alebrijes Graphic Tees

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

Mexican artists continually represent the creatures of their imaginations in alebrijes, which are brightly-colored sculptures of fantastical creatures.  We saw alebrijes throughout our Mexico trip; some were small enough to fit in the size of our palm while others spanned the length of the street!







Our Modern Mexico children’s clothes line is filled with our interpretations of alebrijes.  Check out these ones hiding out in style on our graphic tees!









Which alebrijes Tea creation is your favorite?  Check back tomorrow for a fun children’s alebrijes cultural activity printout.

Explore all of our graphic tee options for girls and boys.

Jaguar & Butterfly Masks: Activity Download

Mexico is filled with wonderful creatures- such as the Jaguar which inspired our Jaguar Mask Boys Tee and the Monarch Butterfly which inspired our Butterfly Girls shirt.  At Tea, we want to bring our designs to life- literally!  Download the masks below and have fun watching your child color their character mask and then transform into either a fierce jaguar or a playful butterfly!

We want in on the fun.  Post a picture of your child wearing the finished mask in our comments section below.

Cultural Connections: Tigers

1st row: early Tea design, traditional Chinese paper cut tiger

2nd row: Tea’s design, Japan Fall 2009, “Tiger Mask” Japanese anime character

3rd row: Tea’s design, Korea Spring 2010, Korean tiger stamp

4th row: Tea’s design, Old World Hungary Fall 2010, lion from Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest

5th row: Tea’s Design, Barcelona Spring 2011, Barcelona street art

6th row: Tea’s design, Modern Mexico Fall 2011, Mexican jaguar

I can’t believe that I am designing my 8th season at Tea!  Time flies when you’re having fun! The more seasons I design, the more connections I see through the different cultures we’ve visited for inspiration. One obvious connection is the importance of tigers. Some cultures may not specifically celebrate tigers, but every country we have visited has some large cat that is important to their identity. I find it so interesting to see the differences and similarities in the ways foreign civilizations celebrate the same subjects.

Be sure to check out our tiger pinboard on pinterest, showing tigers interpreted by artists from all over the world.

learn more about Barcelona Tiger, Old World Hungary Lion, Modern Mexico Jaguar

Behind the Design: Jaguar Masks

colorful jaguar masks from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

jaguar masks from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

We loved these 2 color Jaguar masks we found in Chiapas. They inspired our Jaguar Mask Tee.

images from indigo arts & david sanger

The Tiger Masks (“Tiger” is often used to describe Jaguars in Mexico) are from Guerrero and worn by farmers who perform rain dances prior to their growing seasons. These masks inspired our Uno Dos Tres Romper.

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

Give the Gift that Gives Back: Little Citizens Pajamas

The holiday rush is upon us.  This year, in the midst of all the gift-buying, wrapping, cooking, traveling, and relatives, Tea wants you to take a moment to focus on the core of the holiday:  giving and gratitude.

At Tea, we’re thankful for our continued success, our loyal fan base, and our dedicated, creative staff.  We’re also thankful that we all have food, shelter, and most importantly, our families.  We know that this isn’t the case for many people in the world and that’s why we believe in giving back by donating 50% of all proceeds from our Little Citizens line to the Global Fund for Children.


This holiday by purchasing our Little Citizen pajamas for all the little citizens on your shopping list, you will also be donating to the Global Fund for Children– an organization that works to advance the dignity of vulnerable children and youth by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and effectively utilizing media to highlight the disparities experienced by this demographic.

Give the greatest gift of all; partner with Tea as we work with the Global Fund for Children to ensure all the little citizens of the world have a voice.  Explore our Little Citizens girls pajamas and boys pajamas today. (View the inspiration and pajamas picture in behind the design.)

This year, how do you plan to give back?  Please share your stories of giving and gratitude below in our comments section.

Behind the Design: Tree of Life

tree of life crafts mexico

images from Tea’s Inspiration Trip Photos

While traveling through Mexico we saw a variety of interpretations of the Tree of Life theme, which inspired some of our designs for this season.

The woven rugs pictured above feature the Zapotec Tree of Life and inspired our Árbol de la Vida Tee.

The top right image is a ceramic tile, a modern interpretation of the Tree of Life that inspired our Little Citizen PJs. We hid quite a few creatures in our tree design.  How many can you find?  Check back tomorrow for our “Tree of Life” activity page you can download and enjoy with your kids.

The remaining images are a style of Mexican clay sculpture known as Tree of Life.  These traditionally have biblical themes (middle right image), but modern interpretations can be pretty much anything, like the day of the dead tree on the bottom.

Tea’s Little Citizen PJs and Árbol de la Vida Tee, with accompanying inspiration.

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.