Meet the duo behind Melbourne’s blinged-out smiles.
We are well and truly in the thick of the Y2K renaissance – which means it’s moving out of our wardrobes and onto our bodies. While some of us debate tramp stamps and contemplate dying our hair streaky shades of pink, blue and purple, there are less permanent ways to display our devotion to the early 2000s.
You could get a square set of French tips, plop a stunning Von Dutch hat on your head or head into the new Naarm sister-led tooth gem studio, Lucky Tooth Gems. You might’ve noticed a special glint on the pearly whites of local hotties recently. Laura-Mae and Kitty – sisters, business partners and multi-faceted creative minds – are the duo bejewelling the smiles of Fitzroy’s creative community.
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Crafting crystal designs in the shape of butterflies, flowers and tiny windows, Kitty and Laura-Mae are bringing retro mouth adornments into 2022. Gaining popularity in the early 2000s as a ‘wealth flex’, modern tooth gems are less flashy and more fun-experimental. Another reason to smile.
Tell us about yourselves. Have you always been creative?
Kitty and Laura-Mae: Our names are Kitty and Laura-Mae and we’re the creators of Lucky Tooth Gems! We moved from Sydney/Eora around eight months ago and are currently based in Fitzroy, Naarm! We’re sisters, which a lot of people are surprised to find out. We’re best friends as well as siblings, which explains the birth of our business. To us, Lucky Tooth Gems is an extension of us and our experimental and ever-evolving self-expression.
Kitty: When I was younger, I used to define my creativity in the traditional painting/drawing/singing sense. I didn’t see myself as creative until I expanded my idea of what ‘creative’ could be. Throughout my life, I’ve always pursued acting. I used to make short films and during our teen years, Laura and I both ran fashion blogs as a hobby. Acting and filmmaking are still a huge part of my life and my future career plans.
Laura-Mae: Similarly to Kitty, many of my interests blossomed into different creative paths. I currently DJ, study Fashion Enterprise at RMIT, run Lucky Tooth Gems and dabble in other freelance creative jobs. In the past, I’ve pursued music, fashion journalism, blogging and styling assisting. I’ve always wanted to try it all.
How did Lucky Tooth Gems get started?
K and L-M: Lucky Tooth Gems’ creation was a special moment for us. One night, we sat down together and said we both had an idea we wanted to share. Without knowing it, we had both dreamt up our business idea at the same time. It felt like a sign that we had to do it.
We wanted our space to be inclusive, accessible, creative, and welcoming for all our clients. We wanted everyone to walk away feeling confident and to help highlight each person’s own individuality. We love seeing the creativity of our clients and helping bring their ideas to life. We really are Lucky.
Can you talk us through the process of getting a tooth gem or gems?
K and L-M: Getting a tooth gem is a non-invasive, non-permanent process completed with dental grade equipment. After an individualised consultation, the process can be as quick as 20 minutes, depending on how many gems the client wants. It’s always good to have some ideas as to what you may like, but if not, we are always happy to help recommend clients a design they’ll love!
What are some of your creative influences/inspirations?
K and L-M: Living in such a creative city, we feel constantly creatively inspired by our friends and the people we see out! We love rave culture and fashion; we’re always drawing inspiration from the people we see at events.
The tooth gem community has also been a huge inspiration for us! It’s been such a welcoming community to be a part of, both locally and worldwide. Seeing the intricate art gem techs around the world are creating is always a push for us to experiment more with our designs.
How long do tooth gems usually last?
K and L-M: Tooth gems can last anywhere from two weeks to a year. The length is totally dependent on the person; individual lifestyle factors can affect this time period significantly.
They are temporary! So they will fall off, but that is what’s so exciting about tooth gems – you’re able to try new styles and combinations each time!
What kinds of designs are popular with your clients right now?
K and L-M: At the moment our clients are loving butterflies, tooth gem ‘windows’, flowers and braces rows. They’re such versatile designs that are fun to create and look so good.
Who do you think is most exciting in the Australian creative scene right now?
K and L-M: Where do we start!? We’re always the most excited to see our friends and people in Naarm constantly grow and evolve in their own creative pursuits! Supporting fellow Australian artists is so important to us and seeing these creatives succeed will always excite and inspire us.
To name a few of the people, labels and businesses we love: Greta Pitney (stylist, creative director, photographer and nail tech), Heavenly Rising (t-shirt label), Elly Malone (illustrator and designer), Permanent Bruise (ceramicist), Caucasian Opportunities (DJ), Sunni Palm (tattoo artist), Horni Nails (nail artist) and Mietta (graphic designer).
Who is in your wardrobes right now?
K and L-M: We love supporting local Australian brands, so our wardrobes consist of many items from Bodicia B, Sexiaz Lingerie, Karla Laidlaw, Liz and Betty and Club Venus – we shop a lot of second hand and vintage too!
How can we book into your studio?
K and L-M: You can book into the Lucky Tooth Gems studio via our Instagram DMs! Our new website and bookings system is in the works and should be launched mid this year.
What’s next for you both?
K and L-M: Lucky Tooth gems is expanding! Later this year we’ll be moving into a studio space for our tooth gems and to create an all-around creative hub to work alongside some amazing local artists. We’ll also soon be launching our Lucky Store through our website, which will offer clothing and products as well as more information on us and our business.
We also plan to move Lucky Tooth Gems into the fashion and music scene by doing tooth gems for talent on photo shoots and music videos… we’ll both be travelling this year and hope to do some pop-ups in different countries around Europe. Individually, Laura-Mae will be DJing around Australia and finishing her degree; while Kitty pursues acting and creating her own content.
See more of Laura-Mae and Kitty’s gem magic here.