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    Diary

    The Cactus Leather

    The Cactus Leather

    While the world is healing we thought it was a wonderful time to introduce our incredible new sustainable leather design.
     
    Being an independent brand, with a small team, we are constantly able to make changes towards becoming as sustainable and eco friendly as possible. Despite the fact that the leather we work with is far more sustainable than plastic based vegan options, we have been keen to find other options. 
     
    We are incredibly proud and excited to launch something very new and special, a leather offering made entirely from cactus!
     
    Sustainable - Organic - 100% Vegan - 100% made in Mexico.
     
    The Cactus leather is as buttery soft as cows leather and smells a little like chocolate. It has the same durability as leather thanks to its strong molecular bonding in which cactus plays an important role, and looks as good, if not better. Cactus leather has the following qualities:
    • Resistance to abrasion, rubbing & tearing. 
    • Breathable
    • Bacteria resistant
    • No stains / easy to clean
    • Fire retardant
    • UV / cold crack resistant
    We have created two bag designs in this new sustainable leather which is available in Avocado Green, Creamy Moss, and Ink Black.  
     
    The Taco Bag - to tuck neatly under your arm, featuring a beautifully intricate handmade glass bead strap, adding a whole lot of glam to your shoulder. They are the answer to your evening bag prayers, incredibly chic and as always with some added original Mexican spice.
     
    The Concha Bag -  the perfect utility bag for every day with an adjustable and detachable strap. The front pocket with card holder and purse is designed for practicality. Just add one of our artisanal hand woven straps to brighten up the look! 
     
    We are so proud to be working with the emblematic Mexican Nopal (cactus) plant. It reinforces our love for Mexico and its heritage, which we strive to represent across all of our designs. 
     
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    Tea & Tequila Señoritas - Lu Valdez founder of Alma de Sal

    Tea & Tequila Señoritas -  Lu Valdez founder of Alma de Sal

    

    To start our new series of Tea & Tequila Señoritas with female entrepreneurs that we admire we sat down with Lu Valdez, designer and creator of one of our favourite brands Alma de Sal, in Mexico City. 

    Tell us about your brand? 

    Alma de Sal, is all about making life full of flavour, it’s about feeling and connecting. In Spanish it literally means Salty Soul. We are a Mexican brand making linen clothes for women and mens bathing suits. The brand aesthetic is elegant, yet relaxed; on trend but still timeless. We collaborate with Oaxacan artisans, paying tribute to our Mexican traditions. 

     

    What is your favourite place in Mexico? 

    There is an incredibly special place in the centre of Mexico City, called the Vasconcelos Library.  I spent a lot of time here whilst working on my thesis. The architecture won’t fail to surprise you, it is quite futuristic with the bookshelves suspended in the air; however it manages to keep the energy and magic of a traditional library and nothing beats the joy of reading a printed book. The silence there is what I most enjoy. 



    What are your top 3 restaurants in Mexico City?

    San Angel Inn, which is a beautiful monastery converted into a very typical traditional restaurant. Contramar in Condesa for the best seafood, lunches and Tacos el Guero in San Miguel Chapultepec for some traditional street tacos. 


    Favourite place for drinks / dancing? 

    I love Casa Franca, they always have live jazz bands and great cocktails. For a rooftop bar with an incredible 360 view of the city I would recommend Supra and for some late night dancing, always M.N.Roy. 


    What is your favourite Tea & Tequila piece? 

    It’s so difficult to choose! I love the crossbody bags, especially the embellished bags, because I use them all the time, they are so practical, comfortable and full of colour. The work of the artisans is beautiful. I love the woven straps and that they are interchangeable so you can switch and wear with whatever outfit!

     

    Also, at the moment I am loving my all eyes on you necklace, it is the perfect protection from any bad energies. 

    What is the best thing about living in Mexico City? 

    I feel like it's a place that doesn’t give up, the city's energy is all about looking ahead and keeping going, laughing about the bad things and being grateful. The people feel immensely proud of being Mexican and I love this about them. We recently had a women’s march and the energy was electric. The history and culinary delights of the city make this city. 

    What is your best hidden gem in the city? 

    Dancing Salsa & Cumbia in Salón San Luis. 

    Anything else you think we should know:

    To find out more about Alma de Sal, follow us on Instagram @almadesal, we’ve just launched our latest collection : Agua Salada and we have international shipping! 

                

     

    Besos - from Boli, Lu's loyal assistant xx



    Working From Home & Self Isolation Tips

    Working From Home & Self Isolation Tips

    While we are all working from home we wanted to assure you that Tea & Tequila will be taking all necessary measures regarding the virus. We will remain open and business will be as usual, since we are a small team working from home offices in London and Mexico City. We hope to see it through this difficult time and continue to share our Mexican spice with you all.
     
    For this period of isolation we thought we would share our tips on how to stay sane while working from home...
     
    Keep to a routine, especially in the morning. If you wake up early enough try to read a few pages of your book in bed (Millie: ‘I am currently reading Shoe Dog by Phil Knight - I highly recommend!’, Sarah: ‘I am starting How to Fail by Elizabeth Day -  I love the podcastI'). Do a morning ritual on the Happy Not Perfect app to settle your thoughts for the day ahead, and write a little catchup in your journal to make each day feel special.
     
    Take advantage of the hours you will save by not having to commute to start your day right. We like to exercise in the morning, either doing a free Heart Alchemy Yoga class on Youtube, or go on a short jog to get some fresh air. Listening to Radio 4 while you work out is a great way to catch up on the news. Get dressed properly, even if you aren't going to see anyone, and have a nice hearty breakfast (eggs and avocado always do the trick).
     
    Listen to music while you work especially if you are on your own. It keeps you focused and your mood lifted while also stopping your mind from overthinking. Suddenly having so much time alone with your thoughts can make you overthink A LOT.
     
    We also find dancing to be so good for the soul, so while we are in isolation let's make sure we give ourselves a little dance around the house everyday.
     
    We have created a little feel good playlist for you to work to in case you fancy some inspiration, we hope you enjoy it.
     
    Stay safe and healthy,
    Love, 
    Millie & Sarah

    The Backpack Revolution

    The Backpack Revolution

    Comfort and practicality is such an important part of style today. Over recent years our day-to-day essentials have changed to include our laptop, gym kit and half the kitchen sink. Traditional handbags hanging from one arm just haven’t kept up.

    Once you become part of the backpack revolution, putting your day bag on your back for a handsfree / fuss free day, you'll never look back. Especially when your back looks so good!

    Being perfectionists and always striving to improve, we wanted to make this functional necessity as beautiful as possible in shape, colour and detail. We have now made your backpack dreams come true!

     

    With an inner laptop compartment and outer zip pocket for your phone, this backpack / rucksack / knapsack is as functional as can be.
     

    Despite not necessarily looking like a hiking backpack we actually designed straps with a wide surface area to take the pressure off and reduce any cutting-in on your shoulders... perfect for a long day pounding the pavements or a  holiday hike! 

    We are so excited to launch our Vegan friendly Mini Mink Velvet Backpack:

     

    As backpack converters we say, channel your inner turtle and let your back do the work!

    The Original Handwoven Bag Strap

    The Original Handwoven Bag Strap

    On one of our wonderful research trips through Mexico in 2017 we came to San Cristobal. The creativity that breathes through this magical town gave us the idea to design a new style of strap for your Tea & Tequila bag or any old bags in need of some spicing up!
     
    We meet with a small community of indigenous women up in the mountains outside the town to discuss the possibility of working together to create bag straps from a style of weaving we had been admiring in the markets. It turned out that their ancestors had been creating this kind of weave to create belts and many years before that to carry firewood. It has been a great honour to work with this incredibly talented community ever since we met.
     
    We are so excited to see that the trend has since spread and our handwoven bag straps have reached from Mexico City to London, New York and as far as Australia. We pride ourselves on being the original handwoven bag strap curators. And our success has benefited all the way through to the people who actually make these beautiful pieces.
     
    It is very important to us that the artisans behind the weaving are celebrated and honoured for their craft and handiwork. We will continue to work with and support this community for as long as our woven straps are created.
     
    We find the wide surface area and softness of the weave is so comfortable on your shoulder which really makes a difference when carrying around your bag all day.
    Many of our friends have got very creative with how they wear their woven straps, we have seen phone straps, camera straps and even dog leads!
     
    Your strap will last you a long long time and fit many different bags so be ready to welcome a new friend for life!
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    Keep it red & rosy this Valentine's Day

    Keep it red & rosy this Valentine's Day

    It's our favourite time of the year for clashing up the spiciest colours on the wheel; red bags with pink dresses, red dresses with pink bags, red shoes with pink earrings, pink tops with red scrunchies (the oversized Frida Kahlo style scrunchies of course).
     
    We like to celebrate love everyday, but when there is a international day dedicated to it we get particularly over excited.
     
    Hearts are the most symbolic sign of love and since our brand was born out of friendship this is a particularly important symbol for us, hence why so many of our designs feature the Mexican sacred heart.
     
    Check out our Valentine's edit for an ensemble of vibrant pinks, cheeky reds and sacred hearts: 
     
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