Blog Fashion Mom Maria Kooistra: How a brand was born out of loss

Meet Maria Kooistra: incorrigible optimist, jewelry designer and lover of all things vintage. Above all – mother of three wonderful children. This year will be an important one for Maria as she introduces her new jewelry concept Tooth Tales.  In her blogs, she will frankly share her struggles and victories as both a mom and entrepreneur.  Today she shares with us how her new brand was born:

Whenever in need of escaping their pesky brood, my parents would retreat to their own rooms.

The library being my dad’s sanctuary. Books from floor to ceiling, neatly stacked and immaculately organised by author, theme and cover height.

At night, he would lovingly dust off their spines and from time to time, the books were rearranged. That particular sound that made me fall sound asleep. I still miss it.

My mothers room was a carefully curated chaos of newspapers and magazines, alternated with embroideries and crocheted lace. It was not uncommon for something to get lost in this beautiful explosion. But whenever I offered to help organise, my mom would panic so I learned surrendering to the mess. How extra special was the typecase hanging on the wall! Everything in it always remained at its place, with a starring role for a miniature glass jar in which my baby teeth were kept.

It was a miracle.


My father passed away when I was seventeen. My parents were celebrating their silver wedding on a local island and waiting for the boat to bring them back to the mainland, he fell down. Twenty years later my mother would follow in his steps. Much later then my dad yes, but much too early to my liking. Not that she or I had any say in this matter.

Few months after her passing away, it dawned on me: I was nobody’s child anymore.

I felt a strong need to create a jewel. To symbolize my loving childhood memories, and mark my newly (and involuntarily) acquired maturity.

The one artifact that would always take me back in time was that miniature glass jar in which my baby teeth were kept. I thought it was magical!  So I started experimenting with techniques and materials until I settled for the simplest form: a replica of a baby tooth, in silver or gold. Simple and pure – like a child. And thus ToothTales was born. Out of love and longing, serving as modern day amulets.




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