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Tea and Belle_feature

Recognising your inner guuguuburra

Elizabeth Harris

Tidda: Sister, close friend, aunty.

This is the word which inspires the sense of female empowerment which drives Téa&Belle, two young Tidda Queens.

Launched on the eve of NAIDOC Week 2017, Téa&Belle is the creation of two Canberra girls born in Wiradjuri Country. Designing and sourcing their products in partnership with ethical suppliers, and supported by their families, Téa and Belle have created their own socially conscious brand.

Téa and Belle

Téa and Belle

Téa&Belle seeks to carry out its mission in a spirit of reconciliation, respect and acknowledgement. The new enterprise is committed to donating a percentage of its profits to charity, and is currently in the midst of choosing the beneficiary of these funds. “Everyone gets to know all about my cool culture while we also try to help other kids who aren’t as lucky as us,” explains Téa.

“Everyone gets to know all about my cool culture while we also try to help other kids who aren’t as lucky as us,” explains Téa.

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Playing with Indigenous culture and imagery, Téa&Belle embraces the kookaburra (derived from the Wiradjuri word “guuguuburra”) as its totem. The kookaburra is a healer of the past, an image potent in an Australia which has still failed to fully reconcile with its fraught past. Yet, the bird is also named for the bubbling sound of human laughter. Téa&Belle engages joyfully with hope for recognition, an action so important to the future success of all Australians.

KOALAONESIE

The girls come from a deeply multicultural background, embracing Dutch, English, Irish, American, Spanish, Syrian and Indigenous Australian heritage. The pair hopes to share the passion and generosity of spirit imbued in Indigenous culture through their enterprise.

“People always think I am Aboriginal because there are always lots of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people at our house,” says Belle. “I think that’s cool because they are lucky to have such a cool history and culture, and I’m always included in their family.”

tiddaqueens

The range is beautifully crafted, and imbued with meaning. Each purchase arrives in a Japarra cotton bag, lightly scented with eucalyptus. As you open the package, you will be greeted by limited edition Téa&Belle Wattle and Kookaburra tissue paper under which lies a bespoke card, which will explain the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin of the words and stories associated with your purchase.

Find out more about Téa and Belle via their website

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Elizabeth Harris

Elizabeth Harris is currently studying Law and Arts at the ANU. She majors in Art History and has a minor in French. She has a hunger for fashion and food, and is a lover of the fabulous Canberra arts scene and many farmers’ markets. She has a deep interest in the intersection between the arts and law, and hopes to undergo further study in this area. Alternatively, she dreams of writing an art history thesis on the subject of memes. She can commonly be found enjoying a delicious cappuccino at any one of Canberra’s staple cafes, but particularly Tilley’s which she has frequented since she was four years old. When she grows up/old she wants to be just like Iris Apfel. More about the Author

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