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    #staywithsmall Tea With Iris

    #staywithsmall Tea With Iris

    Tea With Iris owner Leslie Shockley in one of her 100% organic hemp jersey printed dresses from 2012 with a smoke tree design handmade with a piece of the smoke tree she is standing next to. 

    It was all because of a turtle named Iris.

    In 2010, while working a full time job, Leslie Shockley found herself often seeking solace in her gorgeous, desert-landscaped front yard, which housed a small dirt hole where her family’s turtle Iris lived. As she would sit and watch Iris loll about her days, Leslie became inspired by the idea of slowing down and utilizing what was on hand to make meaning out of life. She began to adopt a personal philosophy of life, based around living small and with intention, consuming less and creating more, and most of all, becoming conscious about the objects she allowed into her life and her home. This philosophy soon birthed a company Tea With Iris—a venture all about no-waste upcycled craft and eco-creativity.

     In a refurbished freight train cargo container in her backyard, adjacent to DIY plots where she and her daughter grow herbs and produce, she began to make conscientious products with the help of her grandmother’s old sewing machine; think little girl baby doll dresses from vintage pillowcases, infant onesies printed with vegetable dye dipped smoketree branches, recycled wine cork earrings adorned with illustrations from used storybooks, and organic market bags in whimsical found fabrics.

     

    In 2018, she was able to quit her day job full time to focus on Tea With Iris. Today, she is a regular presence in her local Whole Foods and Farmer’s Markets as well as other events and fairs that are in line with her personal commitment to integrity and sustainability such as Unique LA, Renegade Craft and Mojave Flea.

     

    Leslie's favorite Sergio Lub bracelet is her Nepalese Cord. 

    Even though her business has grown, she still maintains a firm mission to design products that help reduce waste, using only certified organic cotton, hemp, and repurposed materials. Plus, many of her products are designed to replace disposable product that, at the end of their life cycle, can be cut up or composted to return to the soil. But bottom line is that her wares appeal to anyone with an interest in reducing their carbon footprint and living more in tune with their natural environment.

     

    Recently, this has meant new creative offerings such as organic cotton jersey and upcycled burlap “scrubbys” – a natural alternative to a kitchen sponge, everyday organic dusters, colorful organic beeswax wraps for storage, and even bandanas that come with a slot for an ice pack for hot summer hikes.

     

    In March, when everything closed down, and to adapt to the realities of the pandemic, Leslie shifted gears to make organic cotton face masks.  For every three she sells, she donates one mask for free to a health care professional or essential worker in need.

    Leslie is a living example of her own beliefs, particularly to “Be true to yourself and what you believe in and work hard to create the world you want to live in.”

    There is a new hashtag roaming the social media circuits these days called #staywithsmall. It arose in response to the current pandemic as businesses across the nation found themselves shuttering their doors to shelter in place, or local artists and creators were forced to utilize new ways to spread the word about their products, creations, and art online. In support of #staywithsmall we are temporarily turning our blog into a place to share profiles of small businesses we adore. If you’d like to be featured, contact us at yes@sergiolub.com.

    #withthesehands - Rebecca Schick

    #withthesehands - Rebecca Schick

    Our #withthesehands campaign celebrates the analog in a digital world, reminding us to honor the handmade.

    Our newest sales director Rebecca Schick has a passion for sewing. What else could be more hands-on then creating with thread, needles, fabric, and pins? We sat down with her recently to discuss the merits of the handmade.

     

    Why is it important for us to use our hands?

    I feel that our hands are one of the most understated, profound, & integral catalysts for human connection. We are soothed, we are nourished, we are provided for, we communicate, we learn and in kind are taught by our collective hands. Our hands carry us through our lives and worlds, in countless ways and forms. Our hands literally touch, whether directly or indirectly almost every aspect of many different modalities of existence in some way and the impact is immeasurable, insurmountable, often overlooked, and extends a reach that surpasses what we know of time itself. Hands are directly related to our evolution, from the very beginnings of our civilization to current. Our hands are a story. I look at mine knowing that I’ve rarely squandered their utility. They are muscular, and slightly chubby, covered in wrinkles, already with scratches and scars. I keep my mind aware of the distance they have carried me. Especially now, I am reminded with reverence of the power in our hands.

     

    What is the role your hands play in sewing?

    It would prove very difficult to sew without hands, although I'm sure it's possible. Whether I am measuring, cutting, pinning, placing, threading, stitching - even in the conceptual phase when drafting a pattern, or sketching - the hands are involved. I’ve even started to practice writing and tasking in the non-dominant hand in hopes that I can extend the life of my work.

    What kind of sewing do you love and are you working on anything new?

    I really loved the hand sewing I did while working for Heidi Johnson, "The Wedding DeTailor." We were involved with a varied and constant flow of high-end bridal gown alterations, which were costly & delicate. It was a tremendous responsibility to take such great care & skill towards something so special and although it was cautious, it felt like very peaceful meditative work. The pandemic put an end to the wedding season, so I was afforded plenty of time to work on personal pursuits. I began to make face masks inspired by one created by a very talented friend and artist Dominique Ellermeier, and the desire to help protect my friends and family. I thought I could take my couture skills and apply the functionality of face masks to create something lighthearted to brighten up the mood during these times. Ever since, I have been crafting bizarre and eccentric pieces of PPE couture for the brave souls who wear them.

     

    What is your life’s philosophy?

    Laugh as much as you can. Dance like no one is watching and every chance you get. Love deeply. Eat well. Have fun. Show up for your people. Let go. Take every chance to be kinder. Be what you want to see in the world. Follow your bliss. Stop doing things you don't want to do. Be honest. Realize your faults. Learn-change. Help each other. Listen to music. Stop and smell the roses. Give a good hug. Be patient. 

    What is your favorite Sergio Lub bracelet?

    Connection. It feels weightless, and I think the design is very beautiful. It reminds me of the invisible connective strings between us.

    In the photos above, Rebecca wears the following SLJ bracelets: Harvest Dance, Copper Creek, and Copper Band.

    For a glimpse at Rebecca’s DIY couture and fashion PPE, visit her Instagram page: @hausofschickofficial

     

     

     

    #staywithsmall Saleigh Mountain Company


    Carly, Sally & Molly
    "All three of us wear our Sergio Lub bracelets every day!"

    Many small, family-run businesses are feeling the burn of coronavirus but Saleigh Mountain Company, like many others deemed essential, has remained open. Daughter Molly fixes shoes and mom Sally provides leatherwork. The ladies, known for their uniquely inviting and earthy charm have weathered fluctuations before. 

    "My mom first opened shop in 1973 in Berkley California,” says Molly. “Mom and Dad operated the shop in Hermann from about '84-'88. They closed down for a lot of years so that mom could homeschool us four kids. Dad went back to school to finish up an engineering degree. Mom and I reopened the shop July 26th, 2011. We've been at it ever since!"

    Alongside rugged American goods like Thorogood work boots, the ladies sell a full line of quality leather goods made right in house by mom: purses, wallets, checkbook covers, belts, and more. They fully appreciate the aesthetic of the handmade, whether being able to create beautiful accessories or bring a person’s favorite pair of shoes back to life. Molly refers to her faith when she quotes Thessalonians and says, “Lead a quiet life and work with your hands.”

    For the past three years, we’ve been honored to have our bracelets share counter space with the likes of their handiwork. 

    There is a new hashtag roaming the social media circuits these days called #staywithsmall. It arose in response to the current pandemic as businesses across the nation found themselves shuttering their doors to shelter in place, or local artists and creators were forced to utilize new ways to spread the word about their products, creations, and art online. In support of #staywithsmall we are temporarily turning our blog into a place to share profiles of small businesses we adore. If you’d like to be featured, contact us at yes@sergiolub.com.

     

    #staywithsmall Soulfire Project

    As a small business made up of family members, and extended family members comprised of artists and artisans who create beautiful things with their hands, we empathize with many others like us who are currently trying to keep afloat during these trying times of the coronavirus. It’s important in this age to support each other in any way we can, which is why we enjoy sharing the fruits of those dear to us in this space here. 

    Today, we are celebrating the release of The Soulfire Project’s latest album No Borders. The Soulfire Project includes members of the Morgan family who have been neighbors and lifelong friends of ours here in Napa.


    The band is a multi-cultural, nomadic music experience that fuses reggae and cumbia with folk, Afro-Latin, and Caribbean elements, weaving a tapestry of world music that embraces the resilience of the human spirit. With one fist raised in solidarity and the other hand inviting us to join the movement, the group’s powerful blend of world beats and infectious harmonies stand out as a passionate call for coherence between consciousness and action.

     


    Touring the Americas since 2009 in their home/studio, a converted 1979 school bus that runs on used vegetable oil and solar power, The SoulFire Project has grown from the street, to the stage, to world music festivals in Central America, Europe and the US.

    Interweaving musical genres and languages, with songs in English, Spanish and Portuguese, the new album features musicians from 13 countries, jumping all kinds of geographical borders as well.

    LISTEN HERE NOW! ENJOY!

    More information on Soulfire Project

     

    There is a new hashtag roaming the social media circuits these days called #staywithsmall. It arose in response to the current pandemic as businesses across the nation found themselves shuttering their doors to shelter in place, or local artists and creators were forced to utilize new ways to spread the word about their products, creations, and art online. In support of #staywithsmall we are temporarily turning our blog into a place to share profiles of small businesses we adore. If you’d like to be featured, contact us at yes@sergiolub.com.