Every year in the town of El-Kelaa M’Gouna, Moroccans celebrate the rose harvest with The Festival of Roses. The souqs are packed with rose-scented gifts that fill the air with their floral fragrances. Children hand out lei garlands, traditional Berber music plays through the streets and a Miss Rose is crowned for her beauty and talents.
Inspired by this tradition we threw our own mini-festival, complete with rose flavored snacks and handmade paper leis!
Tissue paper flower garlands hung from the ceiling and real roses filled the room. Photos were snapped in front of our mosaic rose backdrop and a good time was had by all! Soon, you’ll have your chance to celebrate this Moroccan tradition at a store near you. On May 10th, over 50 Tea retailers across the nation will each host their own Rose Festival and we can’t wait to see your #TeaRoseFestival photos! Stay tuned for details.
In the middle of Marrakech, there is a magic garden. With walls of brilliant blue and tiled pathways that meander through statuesque palms and sculptural cacti, the Majorelle Garden (Jardin Majorelle) is one of the most-visited sites in all of Morocco. French painter Jacques Majorelle spent 40 years of his life creating this enchanting oasis. The clothes in this catalog are inspired by the garden’s signature cobalt shade, by it’s peaceful pools and twittering birds, by luxurious blooms and the creeping chameleons, too.
Morocco is a land of such color and wonder, you begin to expect a bit of magic around every corner.
Amazingly intricate tiling on walls and walkways in Fes. Bold, mod-flavored fabrics hanging all over Marrakech medina. Delicately embroidered jellabas and tripod Berber wraps. Audaciously exuberant art by contemporary artists like Hassan Hajjaj.
We were completely entranced. So we brought it all home to you in pop florals, bold shapes, mod tile motifs and delightful color combinations.
Every thread of our new collection was inspired by the magic of Morocco. Go there with us!
As we say so long to 2013, we welcome 2014 with a new destination; destination: Morocco. New arrivals are here just in time for the new year so go ahead, put a little spring in their step! Shop new arrivals for girls and boys and don’t forget about our Semi-Annual sale! Save up to 50% on our China collection. Happy New Year!
We thought it would be fun to compile a few songs from a handful of the countries we’ve visited as a way to celebrate the past 11 years. You’ll find everything from traditional Hungarian folk songs to contemporary music from Norway. Now turn it up and start dancing!
Vilakazi Street- where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived.
Here’s a history lesson that not only is short and sweet but fun to say. We bet you didn’t know that our Vilakazi Henley was named after the only street to once have housed two Nobel Prize winners. Nelson Mandela, one of the most famous anti-apartheid activists and President of South Africa, lived at 8115 Vilakazi. Mandela’s former home is now the Mandela House- a museum that preserves his story as he fought for equality. Just down the street, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu still lives with his wife. Desmond as he is fondly known aided to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. During his quest to bring the fall of apartheid, he coined the term ‘Rainbow Nation,’ when speaking about his beloved South Africa and its ethnic diversity. It is said that Desmond can still be seen strolling down Vilakazi.
Our designers were so inspired by their trip to Vilakazi Street that they wanted to share it with you. Bring a piece of our experience home with you, shop from our boys’ tees.
Our cozy boys’ hoodie was named after Chester Williams who was famously dubbed ‘The Black Pearl.’ During the 1995 Rugby World Cup games, Chester was the only black player on the Springbok Team from South Africa. He became the poster boy (literally) of the end of apartheid in South Africa; his face was plastered on the sides of planes and on billboards. Many South African children idolized him which eventually helped bring an end to the racial injustice in South Africa. If you are curious about Chester and the rest of the Springboks, watch Invictus.
Nceka cloth from our South Africa inspiration trip.
On our trip to the Limpopo Region, our designers were struck by the beautiful beading and embroidery on Nceka cloths. The Nceka cloth is a traditional cloth worn over the upper body by Tsonga and Shangaan women. Oftentimes it is an indigo dyed fabric embellished with beads and safety pins by the wearer herself. Intricately embroidered Nceka cloths are saved for special occasions like weddings.
We loved the colorful and unique detail of Nceka cloths so much that we created the Mtititi Floral Tunic. You can bring home a piece of South Africa too from our girls’ tops! The over-dyed floral indigo fabric is embellished to look like the beads from traditional Nceka cloths.
Our Mtititi Floral Tunic inspired by the Nceka cloth.
Watch the Mtititi Magic video to see beading in action and learn about how Mtititi has changed the lives of women in the Limpopo Region. Video courtesy of WatchKubasa via Youtube.
Let us take you along for the trip with us as we explore destination South Africa with crayons! The map below shows some of our favorite areas in South Africa as well as gives a hint of what the future activity book pages will look like. Explore the map & then explore your creativity and color in your favorite South Africa regions.
Once you’re done coloring, submit your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win! Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!