Category: Behind the Design

NATIVE ARTISTS X TEA COLLECTION: MEET JEFFREY GIBSON

Native Artists x Tea Collection Jeffrey Gibson

A passionate painter and sculptor, New York-based artist, Jeffrey Gibson, draws on his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage, blending traditional indigenous techniques and materials—beads, hides, and vibrant fabrics—with contemporary motifs and colorful narratives. His work is exquisitely handcrafted, and beautifully unexpected. We were so lucky to tap his creative genius for our fall collaboration prints. Here he gives us a bit of perspective on his life and craft.

NATIVE ARTISTS X TEA COLLECTION: MEET JULIA MARDEN

Native Artists x Tea Collection Julia Marden

Internationally recognized Eastern Woodland artist, Julia Marden, looks to her native Aquinnah Wampanoag roots as a source of creative inspiration. Weaving together the ancient stories and traditions of her people with nature’s finest materials, she handicrafts some of the most incredible 17th century basketry around. An equally accomplished painter and beadwork artist, we were lucky to get the chance to collaborate with her to bring her beautifully painted gourds and authentic beadwork designs to life in our Fall prints. Here’s what we learned about her in the process.

Mexican Motifs: Otomi Embroidery

The Southwest is alive with the vibrant folk art motifs that are so characteristic of indigenous artwork found all over Mexico. Developed by the native Otomi people in the small, plateau town of Tenango, are some of the most fantastic embroidered textiles we’ve ever set eyes on. Drawing inspiration from bold colors, animals, and floral prints, the time-honored tradition of Otomi embroidery is hinted at in a handful of our summer styles.

The Species of the Southwest: Desert Life Inspired Designs

From prickly towering cacti and resilient wild blooms, to crawling critters, the scenic Southwest is home to all kinds of desert wildlife. Come along as we explore across the sandy desert floors, through spiraling canyons and atop lone mesas, and keep your eyes out for earthy friends along the way! We’ll show you where to spot some of our favorite Southwestern species.

Ready? Let’s get tracking!

Mexican Motifs: Oaxacan Florals

Mexico is a country rich in incredible culture, tradition and creative expression. Toward the southern tip lies Oaxaca, a state particularly famous for its fascinating mix of colonial buildings, colorful cuisine and strong indigenous influence (more than half of the nation’s indigenous Mesoamerican speakers call this rugged region home). A collector’s dream, it is the place to go for the best folk art finds.

A Taste of Aloha: Polynesian Inspired Prints

Polynesian Prints

Tourists from all over the world are drawn to the Hawaiian Islands for their paradise charm. And while the surreal white-sand beaches, lush jungles and mesmerizing sunsets make for an incredibly relaxing escape, there’s so much fascinating culture to experience as well.

Hawaii’s rich native culture has its origins in the Polynesians who, over 1,000 years ago, voyaged from the Marquesas Islands in handmade canoes. Today, Polynesian influence can be seen everywhere from art and dance, to traditional delicacies. See how some of these traditions made their way onto our latest designs.

Wild Wonders: Meet the Critters of the West Coast

Hawaiian Florals

The West Coast is made up of so many different micro-climates. From the northernmost part of Washington to the border of Baja, it’s a magical Mediterranean environment. Think sweeping coastal beaches full of marine life, and seasonally mild temps. However, venture inland and you’ll find yourself amidst a unique combination of surroundings—snowy, towering Sierras and redwood covered forests, flat, rural farmlands, and eventually a hot, dusty desert landscape. With such a rich and varied ecosystem, it’s no wonder the Pacific Coast is a welcoming habitat for so many wonderful plant and animal species.