B meets Milk Tooth LDN
So, nothing to do with milk or teeth, or those gummy milky toothy sweets, but a name that makes us interested because it’s just a bit different… and that’s exactly what this brand is. As you know we love a unique style and something a bit special, but attainable, and have you ever had those times when you’re after something, say a statement earring, and just can’t find them? Fear no more, Milk Tooth’s ten-piece collection of statement earrings is here and guess what, they’re dedicated to the pursuit of statement earrings.
Created by Ernestina Potts and her husband Mark after Ernestina struggled to find interesting, statement earrings that weren’t super expensive, super heavy or super high street oh-I’ve-seen- those-a-million-times-before. They juggle the brand alongside full time jobs; Ernestina works at Virgin in brand communications (and yes, she’s been to Necker, of course we asked) and Mark is a graphic designer, as we can see their skills marry up pretty well! Interesting fact Ernestina is also a quad, which just amazes us! More facts about them and Milk Tooth below.
I started off in TV production, which was great for learning about creative thinking and idea generation. I then moved into brand communications, working mainly with the BBC and Virgin. Both are really creative companies so I’ve worked on some brilliant and inspiring projects - from seeking out new music talent, to launching new flight routes in the US, to engaging celebs in fundraising projects.
My husband Mark is the co-Founder. He trained as a graphic designer and has been working as a creative and design director for 15 years. We've been lucky enough to work on a couple of experiential projects together - and loved it, which was part of our drive to create something new together with this business. B – Good on you working together, our partner is involved but more of a silent partner… and we’ll say no more on that subject!
dedicated to the pursuit of statement earrings
We started trading vintage pieces in early 2016 and launched our first original collection in May 2017. Basically, we're creating the products that I lust for but couldn't find - and hence our strapline - dedicated to the pursuit of statement earrings. I love seeking out interesting jewellery but found it challenging to find stuff that wasn’t super pricey, mega heavy to wear or a dime-a-dozen off the high street. B – Hear you loud and clear and that was one of our reasons for creating Studio B - if you don’t want fast fashion, premium high street (let’s face it, it’s got a bit boring, and pricey for something everyone else has!), or super luxury (who can afford it, unless you’re Chinese it seems), where do you go!
SIMPLY A THRILL TO WEAR
We take the whole fashion thing with a pinch of salt, but at the same time are hugely passionate about the stuff we love. Our brand is open to all and it’s important that we are accessibly priced, but we will only produce things we believe are hugely valuable and that are meant to be coveted. Our designs will always be fresh and our products will always be a thrill to wear.
I'm a total magpie so am constantly attracted to exciting colours and patterns, but I also really thrive off seeing people doing stuff brilliantly. I find travel really inspirational. I was recently in Ibiza and stumbled across the most incredibly curated interior and fashion store/restaurant called Los Amorados. The product selection and layout was ridiculously stylish. If I’d had a few more beers I might have been tempted to spend more than the holiday cost! I also find Courier magazine is a really good place to discover interesting small businesses doing it well. B – Ah we love Courier too!
Our new collection is inspired by a mash up of some of my favourite things. It combines a love for gold, power dressing, contemporary patterns and bold shapes evocative of post-modern architecture.
WHO WE WANT TO BE
Mark and I are always capturing stuff we love - whether screen grabbing, taking a quick snap or ripping out a magazine page. Once we both get on the same page with the themes of the concept, Mark will create rounds of mood boards alongside me playing around with copy to articulate it all. That will go on until we have a vision we're aligned with. We're currently working on a new range with an illustrator so the process has involved lots of rounds of sketches - and reams of paper! We've kept everything. To be honest if we took into account all the creative development our products would probably be priced a lot higher - but that's not the brand we want to be, so actually we work out price based on actual costs and margins - always aiming for the minimum viable price point.
THE UPS AND THE DOWN
The best bits are easy - seeing people wearing our products and feeling great in them. The hardest part is limited time and choosing where to focus. There are so many opportunities but every single one involves a lot of hard work - and more than you can ever estimate, so you have to prioritise. With your own business it can feel like constant ups and downs - from a surprise piece of coverage making you feel super proud, to a delivery going array and feeling awful fretting that your customer will be stressed!
I think going to the odd event to meet people in the same position and already doing it is a great way to suss it out - plus it’s brilliant for building contacts and finding people you can help and who can help you. I love the Badass Women's Hour events for meeting fascinating women and Virgin StartUp meet ups are also great for more practical business insight. The most important thing is to have passion for that idea or product.