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  • Writer's pictureHYSTERIA BY GIRLONFILM

A Q&A WITH CLARISSA OF @TOOTHCHARM


Q. FIRST, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS?


A. Big-Hearted, Tenacious, Sillygoose





Q. HOW DID YOU GET INTO TOOTH GEMS, AND WHY WAS IT SOMETHING YOU FELT DRAWN TO?


A. I always knew that I wanted to just create, forever–I am so full of ideas. I know in my heart that that is my purpose– it’s what makes me happy.


I went to school for fine art, and during this time I developed a love for the magic and history of tooth adornment. I felt drawn to the contrast between the history vs. contemporary western beauty standards of teeth.


It completely opened my eyes to something bigger than myself, and made us want to dive deeper and learn more.


Not a lot of information about tooth history is on the internet, you have to do research in books and other sources. It made it a slow and surprising journey every step of the way.


Toothgems were just one part of that exploration journey.


Q. RECENTLY, WE'VE SEEN A RISE IN TOOTH GEMS; WHY DO YOU THINK THEY ARE COMING BACK IN STYLE, OR DID THEY EVER LEAVE? WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S SUCH A POWERFUL TREND?


A. Even though toothgems have been around since the 90s, there has definitely been a surge in popularity and a “mainstreaming” of them in the past year or two.


When I first started doing them, most people didn’t even know what they were and worried if they were even safe, and now, it pops up on everyone's instagram feed– everyone knows what they are and many dentists have even started to do them!


I think we can credit the rise of toothgems to the pandemic and rise of social media and its trends.


People at home were wanting to explore different modes of expression, and they were tired of hiding behind masks.


Toothgems also gave them an extra reason to smile amidst the stresses and horror of what was happening in the world.





Q. WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT TOOTH GEMS AND THE FUTURE OF THIS NICHE?


A. What makes me so excited about toothgems is seeing how many people learn to love their smiles, and smile more because they have them.


I see these becoming less of a “trendy” thing to do, and more of an everyday adornment, like ear piercings or tattoos.


Most of my clients come back to get different designs, so I can see many people wanting to keep exploring. The tooth gem industry is still continuing to grow, so I am really looking forward to seeing where they go from here.


Q. OUT OF ALL OF THE WORK THAT YOU DO, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TYPE? IS A CERTAIN KIND MORE POPULAR THAN THE OTHERS?


A. I think my favorite work to do is the tooth piercings– not only is it fun to wear, but it makes people go absolutely crazy. I think these are popular, and so are the microcrystal designs.


But in terms of what services people get the most, it would have to be the “confetti” layout look or the classic clear crystal on the canine.





Q. YOU SELL TOOTH GEM KITS ON TOOTHCHARM.COM; WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO LAUNCH AT-HOME TOOTH CHARM KITS?


A. Well I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy toothgems. And I saw that most people who decided not to get them, were choosing to do so because they didn't want the commitment of months to years.


So I wanted to make something that people could play around with without worrying about longevity. Another priority was making the toothgems accessible to everyone by having an affordable price point.


With temporary wear, I am able to lower the cost so that everyone is able to enjoy toothgems if they want to.


Q. WHAT DO YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR WORK AND YOUR CREATIONS?


A. I wish more people knew how much I’ve changed the tooth gem industry, and helped shape it into what you see today.


Toothgems used to be just basic clear crystals and solid gold charms, but in the past couple years, designs like the butterfly, etc began to popup– and now the possibilities are endless.


I coined phrases like “microcrystal”, “tooth tattoos, “tooth piercings”, etc, and created techniques for all these applications.


I was the first one to make layouts that spanned across multiple teeth, (like the two-tooth heart, three tooth heart, bumble bee, flower and stem, zigzags, waves, spirals, etc.) and the first one to start using “microcrystals” (even tinier swarovski crystals), opening up possibilities for intricate designs.





Q. IF PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN YOUR SERVICES, WHERE CAN THEY FIND YOU?


A. They can find me on instagram or tiktok at @Toothcharm. You can also email toothcharm@gmail.com directly with any inquiries.


Q. BEYOND YOUR WORK, WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT? WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MORE TIME FOR?


A. I am passionate about so many things I don't know where to start!


Food is a big love in my life, I spend a lot of my free time exploring new restaurants and cooking wild recipes for friends.


I do a lot of other art outside of ToothCharm too, like sculpture paintings and sustainable accessories (purses made from repurposed materials, etc).


Luckily, doing toothgems full time allows me to have space in my week to do things like that, which I am entirely grateful for.

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