Case Study: Sarjesa Teas

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Sarjesa Teas
Loose Leaf Teas
Calgary, AB

Challenge:
40% of millennials buy tea, but 90% of millennials will switch products if they have a social impact. The challenge was to incorporate local art, support a social cause, and help elevate the brand so their products flew off the shelves. Sarjesa is a socially-focused tea company, supporting violence prevention programs for vulnerable women through the sale of loose leaf tea. We helped them transition from their name as Solidariteas, which had lower searchability and SEO factor to a unique identity of their own.

The Project:

  • Brand discovery workshop

  • Brand identity design

  • Website design including an e-commerce platform for subscriptions

  • CPG package design for both pouches and boxes

  • Social media support

  • Product photography

 
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Approach: The art on all of the boxes is hand-painted by indigenous and local artists. Before we did our research and reached out to the millennial target audience, our instinct was to create modern packaging with subtle graphics. After an in-depth discovery into their traits, a few things popped out that guided the conversation in a new way:

Sarjesa isn’t ignorant: they don’t want to be seen as talking for someone else, especially vulnerable women
Sarjesa isn’t corporate: the ultra-modern vibe feels very apple-store and male-dominated
Sarjesa isn’t abrasive: they don’t want people to be afraid, especially since it supports a subject that is triggering to some
Sarjesa isn’t arrogant: they don’t want to make assumptions about any community.


We knew no amount of cropping, modernizing, or hiding this artwork would suffice. Each flavour features an illustration of a woman, and we took extra care to ensure that she stood out on the boxes. We removed boxes and boundaries around these women on the packaging so they could do it in real life.

In Canada, with so many missing and murdered Indigenous women, Sarjesa was tired of the system to change. $2 from every box of tea they sell is donated to shelters in their region that support women in crisis

In Canada, with so many missing and murdered Indigenous women, Sarjesa was tired of the system to change. $2 from every box of tea they sell is donated to shelters in their region that support women in crisis

On all boxes, we cropped the lines around the woman, rather than put them in a box, to give them a voice that is largely silenced in our country.

On all boxes, we cropped the lines around the woman, rather than put them in a box, to give them a voice that is largely silenced in our country.

The range of graphics had to support multiple flavours and end-uses.

The range of graphics had to support multiple flavours and end-uses.

Sarjesa website; focused on e-commerce.

Sarjesa website; focused on e-commerce.

 
Humble roots at market stands with labels printed at home affixed to brown kraft packaging.

Humble roots at market stands with labels printed at home affixed to brown kraft packaging.

Sarjesa Teas are now on the shelves at several retailers and printed commercially with several thousand units.

Sarjesa Teas are now on the shelves at several retailers and printed commercially with several thousand units.

 

Solution: At the beginning of the project, we asked the founders what knocking it out of the park would look like in five years for their business. They said that they would generate enough sales to be working full time on this venture, have a team to support them and continue to support non-profits in their region. They accomplished this in one. We couldn’t be more excited to have supported an amazing group, doing amazing things.

 
These ladies worked tirelessly to get my branding just right, and provided more support than I could have ever anticipated. I appreciated the care they took with each detail, and the way they were totally invested in learning about both myself and my company. I would highly recommend their services, and will return to them again!
— Alexandra, founder