Stylish to the Last Drop: The Story Behind Squeeze de Citron®

What’s the secret behind the irresistibly summer-chic bags in our Squeeze de Citron collab? Obsessive attention to detail—each one takes 5-7 days to weave by hand—and a loyal commitment to both our planet and the communities of artisans who make them. 

We asked the brand’s passionate female founder Lila Limon to share all the elements that make her products so distinctive and memorable.

What was your inspiration to launch Squeeze de Citron?

I have always loved the world of color and working with my hands. For many years I volunteered with nonprofits, hosting galas to raise money for children’s causes. At those events, I presented small collections of bags, and people wanted to see more of them. After selling more than 500 bags and creating a little niche in the heart of Windermere, Florida, I decided it was time to start a business.

The meaning and inspiration behind the company name is my last name, Limon, which means lemon in Spanish. Also, after understanding truly how much time and effort our artisans in Mexico or Guatemala put into making just one bag, I realized it’s like juicing a lemon—squeezing and taking advantage of every juicy drop a lemon has to offer. 

My dad was my biggest inspiration while growing up in Mexico City. He would take us shopping in the US, and I was always so fascinated to find new flavors of Lip Smackers and new Care Bears colors while shopping there. Who would have thought that those childhood obsessions would translate into what I do today in SDC—but developing new bags brings me the same joy! 


How did you prioritize and source your recycled materials?

During our discovery phase, I quickly learned how many types of plastics could be used to make these bags. Some plastics were more rigid, and some were looser. When I was deciding which one to work with, I knew I wanted it to be the best quality and, of course, recycled. So many of our very first customers still have their bags, which speaks to their durability as well.


What is the impact of recycling the plastics through SDC products?

In 2021, through our core product collection alone, we recycled approximately 53,600 plastic bags; in 2022 that number was over 62,000. We’re proud of that impact!

We also have a Citron Sustainability Program, like DS Renew, for our clients in the US. When a client is ready to give up their Citron bag, they can ship the bag back to us at our cost so we can make sure it’s recycled properly; then they’re gifted with 15% off a new Citron bag. Since our bags have been created with high-quality plastic and care, they live long lives—so we haven’t had many bags recycled through this program. But it’s important that our customers know we offer it.



Did you always intend to have your bags handmade? How did you identify your artisans?

I have always had a great appreciation for handmade goods and the people behind them. These bags are a tradition of my country, Mexico; they were started in the town of Oaxaca. There is great cultural pride and ethnic talent behind each bag created. Our bags are curated using our in-house designs, with top quality poms and materials. 

Our artisans have crossed our path in different ways, but I look for specific qualities. When I began looking for vendors, the second call I made happened to be to a good friend I’d studied business with. She taught me the design process and its limitations. I started off by introducing mini collections of 33 bags, presented every six months at my charity events. Today you can find our bags in 400+ retailers in the US, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Bahamas, along with large retailers such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. Most recently, we are now in five of Everything But Water’s top stores. And of course, our limited edition collaboration with Dudley Stephens is available on our brands’ sites.


Have you visited your artisans where they live? What impact does making your products have on their lives?

Squeeze De Citron is more than a business; we’ve built a family of nine artisanal communities, creating sustainable slow fashion artisanal accessories. Since the beginning, I knew how important it was to meet and have a relationship with the people behind the Squeeze magic. 

Our Palma Collection is made by a family of artisans in Taxco, Mexico. When we met them last year, they shared they had to walk 4-5 hours a day to get to town. We provided them with Wi-Fi and other necessities for running a business, so they had the means to work. Today, production is almost sold out for the entire year. Since the demand for our Palma Collection has increased, the family has invited other family members to grow their business. So the Palma Collection has created change for their family with fair trade jobs all year long. 

Our Capsule collection is made by elder artisans in correctional facilities, providing them with hope and financial support. And our #1 bestseller, the Lemon Drops, are made by young artisans in Guatemala. The young artisans work with a charity that teaches them to make the bags, while paying them to help continue their educational studies. The Core Collection is made by three different artisanal communities, while our Citron Spread boards are hand painted with the Alebrije artistry. This collection helps support the finances of a whole family in Oaxaco, Mexico. The dad works on the woodworking, the mom on the cleaning of the products, and the daughter is the artist who hand paints each one.

Our beautiful community of women artisans who make our poms have been with us since day one; they know they have stability with us and are very loyal. Lastly, our newest artisanal community makes our Mother of Pearl bracelets. A family handmakes them and gathers their community to work together to help fulfill our orders.

Our artisans have shared videos thanking Squeeze De Citron for providing them with secure jobs to financially support their families. I know they feel the way that I feel: Squeeze De Citron is a family, and we care and honor them. After seven years of being able to call this my job, I still get chills (happy ones) when I see a client happy with our bags. When we think about our small-but-mighty company, we’re able to see how we have created a big, beautiful, full-circle impact.