Cha Com Letras
Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?
We both studied Design together and feel comfortable working in a team. James’s
area of study was Illustration while mine was Graphic Design. After working together on a range of products we realised the potential of our work, took the plunge and decided to create our own business. Chá com Letras (tea with letters in Portuguese) initially started as our own children's book publishing label with the launch of The Grey Go-Away Bird. We quickly expanded to a wider range of illustration-led products.
What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?
We are serial collectors in real life and this interest rubbed on our design aesthetic.
Our main inspiration comes from our roots and childhood mixed with our personal
interests. James – who illustrates all our products – is particularly inspired by outsider art, art
naïve, curiosities and anything off the beaten track.
What is the process?
Our processes are often quite varied, sometimes it starts with Joana spotting
potential product ideas, or with something James has already drawn based on one
of his interests and looking at how – if at all – it could be applied on an item. Once
we are happy with the final drawings we proceed to the next step of layouts and
how best it might be applied to a product. Generally at the same time of creating the drawings we speak with manufacturers and suppliers to find someone we are happy to work with, this part is usually the hardest and probably takes the longest amount of time.For some items such as our fabric-based goods, we outsource the printing, but when it comes to the cutting, stitching and sewing that is down to us.
What do you enjoy most about being a maker?
It’s hard to say what we enjoy the most about being a maker, getting excited about
the prospect of what we will make, seeing the finished product for the first time, or
just by having the opportunity to work for ourselves.