Homegrown Businesses: Leah Zeeman of Big Teeth Designs

Embracing the ethos of personalization and creativity, Big Teeth Designs offers a diverse assortment of meticulously crafted jewellery, ranging from intricate necklaces to statement earrings, bracelets, and beyond. Every piece is a labour of love, crafted with the utmost attention to detail, ensuring that each client feels a profound sense of individuality and self-expression.

The studio also welcomes custom orders, allowing clients to design their own personalized masterpieces. Whether it’s a cherished heirloom transformed into a contemporary statement piece or a unique concept brought to life through intricate craftsmanship, the founder can accommodate every request. We had the opportunity to speak to Leah Zeeman, founder of Big Teeth Designs, to discuss her small business in depth.

Big Teeth Designs

What is your business called and what does it do?

Big Teeth Designs creates one-of-a-kind, affordable jewellery and accessories. Clients can choose from a wide array of my designs or contact me for custom orders.

What made you want to do this work?

As a child, I spent time in my grandparent’s house, home to my grandfather’s art studio. I would spend hours with him admiring his varying works, with the occasional opportunity to stand on my tippy toes to add a brush stroke to one of his masterpieces. Through experiences like these, art became my safe place where I felt free to try new things without fear of failure. As an adult, I have always found a way to prioritize my creativity. Using my hands to create anything offers me purpose and peace of mind. Montreal is such an imaginative city; it would be a challenge not to draw inspiration from daily life. My inspiration stems from other creators and most often, someone walking down the street- there is always a fun outfit around the corner! Through jewellery making, I can add wearable pieces of art to my looks. I love wearing a piece that feels unique and representative of my style, and the pride that follows a compliment from a stranger. It was only after my friends and family started to comment on my pieces that I thought about sharing this feeling with others.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

I know that everyone says this but, inflation am I right? Everything is so expensive that it has become difficult to justify treating yourself to something you want rather than something you need. With the work I’m doing, I’m able to sell one-of-a-kind, affordable pieces. I take pride in others wearing something I made, and this has become a lived dream through the accessibility of my pricing.

Big Teeth Designs

Who are your clientele/demographics?

My clientele thus far has been wide-ranging which has been a happy surprise! Most people who have supported my business want to add a pop of colour to their wardrobe and I don’t think that fits into any one demographic. I offer custom orders which have provided me with the opportunity to expand my creativity and think outside the box of my 22-year-old mindset. My designs are playful and accessible which thankfully, has piqued the interest of many demographics.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part of what I do is the creative process- oh…and sourcing supplies. I could spend all afternoon looking at beads! When I create, I enter a meditative state and truly enjoy what I’m doing. I also love the community aspect that comes with running a small business. I’ve been able to connect with like-minded creators and artists that I wouldn’t have otherwise, which feels very surreal to me. I’m not sure that there is a “worst” part, but the most difficult aspect is needing to juggle school, my day job, and my small business. I wish I could devote all of my time to creating, but doesn’t every artist?

Where can we follow you?

You can follow me on Instagram where I post new pieces and updates about upcoming local shows! You can also check out my website.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?

You should check out Soie Lait. She is an incredibly talented artisanal jewellery maker who works with silver and continues to blow my mind with her creativity, talent and kindness. Her pieces are funky, eclectic and very representative of her style.




About Emilea Semancik 69 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: