Time For Tea: Empowering through Design

Time For Tea: Empowering through Design

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – Or, in this case, it’s in the eye of the mug-holder!
Join me as I explore the design creations of small, independent brand, Scruffy Little Herbert…

I’m such a firm believer in the power of design – Delivering a message, a product can pack a serious punch when expressed in the form of design. What you’re about to discover in this post is such a strong example of how design can bear powerful, inspirational messages…

Previously featured on Graceful Blog, Scruffy Little Herbert is the creation of Esme Talbot. The quirky giftware & pottery craft brand is both designed and produced in Stoke-on-Trent. Esme always stays true to the heritage of Stoke with the Fine Bone China crafts produced in ‘the heart of The Potteries’. You’ll notice many of her designs incorporate elements of her beloved city and the culture too.

Pour yourself a tea and let’s explore some of the lovely new designs Esme kindly sent me recently…


“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – Because it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you see!”

The Eye Mug


The striking mug features many body types, many ethnicities and bodies on various different ‘timelines’ – Including a few illustrations of beautifully pregnant ladies, those with infants and some proudly sporting their marks & scars. Something I have always loved about Esme & her Scruffy Little Herbert designs since I met her brand is that no body or person are ever overlooked.

Yes, the designs are absolutely beautiful – But the characters, inspiration and bodies behind them are too!

Esme has previously described our bodies as ‘the keepers of our souls’ and I think that is just spot on.
You have one body to last you a lifetime. Don’t make me quote the whole ‘your body is a temple’ mantra everyone talks about!
I know, it can be a sentiment which is often hard to keep in mind – My family and friends reading this will know just how awful at taking my own advice I can be sometimes as I skip yet another meal – But it’s such a crucial mentality to have.

Currently retailing at £15.00, this design has a gorgeous monochrome palette which totally emphasises the striking qualities of the illustrations. Inside the mug, there is a hidden message! I LOVE a hidden message within a design – It adds a secret dimension which, in the case of a mug, gives an element of surprise at the end of your drink other than realising you accidentally left the teabag in!

Inside this particular mug, you’ll spot the following message alongside an eye illustration:

“It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you see”

In a world where everything is always so seemingly ‘picture-perfect’ (thanks Instagram…!), I adore how these designs champion every single body and serve as a reminder that beauty is there to be seen – If only we CHOOSE to see things with a positive mind and kind thought in our minds.

Here’s another fantastic gift idea!

The Butterfly Baby Teacup & Saucer set

This super special mug features a wonderful illustration by Esme. It bears petals, blooms and ferns, amongst butterflies delicately dancing around the central focus – A curled-up baby, growing with a flourishing placenta.

Whether you’re a friend, relative or partner to someone expecting or who has ever carried a baby, this set is just beautiful. Personally, I feel like this is a really sensitive present – If you’re thinking of buying this for yourself, you absolutely deserve it!

On the reverse side of this mug, there’s a floral circle with the following quote:

“All these butterflies in my tummy”.

Inside the mug, the recipient is treated to a lovely reminder of:

“Because of you, beautiful you”.

Whilst I’m not a mum myself, I imagine it would fill the recipient with warm butterflies and an instant reminder of how it felt to carry a child or children.

The Butterfly Baby Teacup & Saucer set currently retails at £24.00.


I really can’t wait to see all the new, wonderful designs on the horizon for Scruffy Little Herbert! Esme always works so hard to bring her wonderful illustrations and designs to life – You really ought to check out her creations. I’ve gathered some links below:


The Body Positivity Mugs





Keep your eyes peeled for more glimpses into independent creators & small brands as the build-up to Christmas begins – I will be sharing lots with you on the blog, my Facebook page & Instagram feed.

What do you think of these designs? If you’re also a fan of small, independent brands and creators, do let me know your favourites! I just love discovering little businesses to support – Especially when they have such a fantastic mission like with these mugs.


I was kindly sent these items by fellow designer & friend, Scruffy Little Herbert.
As always, my views are sincere. I’ll only accept products that I genuinely have an interest in, suit my ethics and would consider purchasing as gifts or for myself.
You can check out the other brands and partners who I have collaborated with here.

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