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Behind the Label | Masala Tee

Noelline Besson and Sheikha Mattar-Jacob met in India and soon decided to brew their own form of Masala tea?by creating a collection of eco-friendly t-shirts that celebrate India?s unique culture. Each Masala tee is crafted from sustainable cotton and stamped with an image of a traditional or fictional Indian character.
Noelline Besson and Sheikha Mattar-Jacob met in India and soon decided to brew their own form of Masala tea?by creating a collection of eco-friendly t-shirts that celebrate India?s unique culture.  Each Masala tee is crafted from sustainable cotton and stamped with an image of a traditional or fictional Indian character.
 
 
We love the unique juxtaposition of Swarovski crystals mixed with age-old Indian drawings. These quirky tees are great statement pieces to mix with jeans and a jacket or to sport in yoga class.  Shop our selection of Masala Tee wares and read more about the inspiration behind this happy ethical label below.
 
What inspired you to create your collection?
To brew our very own Masala Tee from India, and to show our own interpretation of India in all its beauty and extremities.  To give back to the community that we live in, as a percentage of the sales proceeds go back to humanitarian organizations that help children and women.  And overall, to create something with a conscience.  We wanted our customers to feel engaged to buy the tee and share it with their friends and family, and ultimately create a community around Masala Tee.  We also hope that they will become motivated by the philosophy behind the brand name, which is an appreciation of all people/culture and a focus on being organically and socially conscious.  It sounds like a gargantuan task, but we are engaged in our business to engage people.  
 
 

 
 
What is unique about your process of production?
We want to bring a story/soul to a t-shirt, and we let that story/soul come alive in our branding/marketing. We want that to be the philosophy behind Masala Tee. We hope to breathe life into each collection, and infuse it with some freshness and uniqueness.  Most importantly, we want to enjoy our work as we create, with the hope that our customers will enjoy the fruits of our labor.
 
 
 
How do you come up with the designs for your t-shirts?
The most important aspect is to have a concept?that one overriding big idea that evokes strong emotional and visual memories.  We knew from the start that we wanted the visual print on the tees to be Indo-centric, quirky, and visually attractive. We also knew that the collection needs to be consistently unique and uniquely styled.  Then the idea of using bejeweled faces of beautiful and Bollywood-esque women, turbaned men, and bejeweled Indian animals followed.
 
 
 
 
What is your favorite Masala Tee piece?
Divya, for her ethereal and evergreen quality.
 
 
 
What are your favorite ?secrets? about New Delhi?
I always love chancing upon the 'unexpected' on the streets of Delhi?like an elephant thumping on a busy road, a peacock perched on a pole in a residential neighborhood, or a colorful sadhu with his holy cow roaming the streets.  It's deep, wild India existing side by side with modernity?you have to live here to experience it.  In the last 5 years, India has also attracted many upcoming designers inspired by the recent buzz surrounding India. New Indo-centric designs abound, making New Delhi much more colorful and vibrant.
 
 
 
Who is your Muse?  Describe the Masala Tee Girl. 
An image of someone boho chic, globetrotter, quirkily stylish, who loves colors and mixing and matching, and who also loves things traditional and cultural, and things edgy and pop-arty at the same time.
 
 

Globetrotter Stats:


Souk or Department Stores?

 

Sheikha: Souk

 

DIY or Concierge Service? 

 

Sheikha: DIY when I?m feeling creative, and concierge when feeling like I want to be spoiled

 

Buy Everything or Buy Nothing? 

 

Sheikha: Buy some things that I really love

 

Camping or 5-Star Hotel?

 

Sheikha: Camping AND 5-star hotel depending on the locales and my moods

 

Drive or be Driven? 

 

Sheikha: Both!

 

Room Service or Street Food? 

 

Sheikha: Street food

 

Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag? 

 

Sheikha: Lots of luggage?a girl never knows what she will need

 
To shop Masala Tee wares, click here!