Got a need for flair? Laser Kitten has you covered with the sparkliest, booty-appreciating nostalgic wares you could dream up. The female-owned company covers pop culture essentials spanning from JT and Britney’s denim romance to Prince + Bowie, and has earned an irrefutable spot within the #pingame community.

In our latest installment of Text Message Interviews, DUM DUM Zine contributor Megan Ranger got to the nitty glittery with Laser Kitten creator Marisa Ravel in advance of their new location’s Grand Opening last Saturday and even nabbed some shots of the event! Check out the photos from the event in our gallery below and #GetDUM!

laser kitten

DUM DUM Zine (DDZ): Let’s kick off this interview with some photos! Can you send us pictures of three things that inspire the image of Laser Kitten?

Marisa Ravel (MR):

These images sum it up pretty well!

DDZ: I love Drew! And that jacket is sick. 10/10 would wear. What’s your fav ‘90s teen movie?

MR: Clueless, duh.

DDZ: Yesss. What about Romeo and Juliet with Leo, though!

MR: Oh man, that was pretty much my favorite soundtrack of the ‘90s. So so good.

DDZ: I was only five at the time, but I’m pretty sure I was aware of Leo’s babe appeal even at a young age.

MR: Also I love to remix/bedazzle clothing!

DDZ: I could definitely see that. I’ve described Laser Kitten as “Lisa Frank as a grown ass feminist.” Would you say that any of Laser Kitten’s aesthetic is inspired by zine culture, at all? Were there any zines you were/are into?

MR: These days, I get my zine fix electronically from Instagram. I follow about 200 of them and I’m sure they all inspire me somehow!

DDZ: Rad! Any ones that stand out?

MR: Galore, Nakid, Nylon, Nylon Japan, Fizzy, Rookie, Vogue, Teen Vogue, 17, Cosmo, V Mag ❤️

DDZ: Awesome!   I know the name “Laser Kitten” is in reference to laser cut, i.e. laser cut jewelry. When did your interest in laser cut jewelry become a passion/business platform?

MR: I started Laser Kitten in 2007, in San Francisco. A lot of cute “scene” girls on MySpace were wearing laser cut/acrylic jewelry and I was obsessed with the look! I quickly learned how to use a laser cutting machine and started making my own custom bling.

DDZ: I appreciate that you loved the style of jewelry so much that you learned how to produce it for yourself. I need to learn how to do that with pizza. How did the enamel pin aspect get introduced to the biz? And to prematurely expand on that, what do you think triggered this enamel pin revival? I love how pins kind of fuel a community of small businesses, many of them ran by women. What is it about pins that bring people together?

MR: Since I can remember, I’ve always loved pins and traditional round buttons. I got a button press when I was in my early 20′s and made thousands of them for fun, to sell, make for punk bands and so on.. I fell back in love with pins when I was traveling Europe almost 2 years ago and decided to try making enamel pins with my signature 80’s/90’s pop culture twist. I think pins bring people together because they are SO personal. Each pin is a conversation piece. The more you mix and match, they can tell a whole story and reveal parts of your personality.

DDZ: Totally agree. You can tell that I’m an X-Files super nerd from most of my jackets. What conversation would you like to see sparked from a Laser Kitten pin?

MR: We were just vending at RuPaul’s DragCon, and the reactions and excitement over the “Carry Me Home” tribute pin featuring legends Prince and Bowie riding off to heaven on a pastel baby unicorn were some of the most touching conversations I’ve had. People were looking me dead in the eyes and saying ‘thank you’. When it’s personal to people, I am happy.

DDZ: I love that (and also will be picking up one of those pins on saturday). Do you see anything from the current decade as a future Laser Kitten pin?

MR: Vending at RuPaul’s DragCon last weekend was so inspiring. The makeup, the costumes, the creativity… I want to make pins of my favorite 2017 Drag Queens, that’s my current obsession.

DDZ: That is a killer idea. I wish I knew more about the drag community, but can you name a few kweens that stood out the most? Also leading into future/recent projects, I know you ladies just moved to the Melrose location! And are having a girl gang tea party to celebrate! Tell me more about that.

MR: We met RuPaul, the Queen of all Queens. We also made friends with Queens Discord Addams and Gidget Von Addams ❤️  Look at them!

DDZ: Holy shit! So punx. And they definitely do makeup better than me. Props. And I will so be there! Very stoked.

Speaking of the Laser Kitten Grand Opening event at your new location last Saturday, I wanted to talk about how feminism and sisterhood shape your business model. Would you say that’s a fair assumption? What’s most gratifying about working with other amazing women artists?

MR: That’s a very fair assumption! As a female business owner, I make a point to hire and work with other bad ass women. Spice Girls said it best, ‘girl power!’ The most gratifying part of working with other female artists is supporting each other to do what we love.

DDZ:  Respect and appreciation and fandom your way …In a time where women arguably need each other more than usual, would you say that also reflects in business?

As in, do you think the current political climate has caused the pin/girl power community to rally together even moreso?

MR: Yes and yes! I see tons of girl power and political pins on my feed and it’s very empowering for both the artist and the person buying it. We have a lot of ‘girl power’ inspired products but we try to be more subtle with it, like the GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS pin/patch/jacket.

It can be taken any way you want it / mean whatever you want it to.

DDZ: Do you consider yourself a more sparkly version of Charlotte, Miranda, Carrie, or Samantha? And why?

MR: I’m a Carrie/Samantha mix. Carrie because of her style, creativity, taste in men and general aesthetic. Samantha because she’s an unapologetic boss bitch, and I made a sparkly pin of her because she’s fabulous.

DDZ: Final question that we ask all our interview subjects: what inspires and astonishes you as a creator? 

MR: Somebody once said if Lisa Frank and Courtney Love had a baby, it would be Laser Kitten. I love that….

You could also replace Courtney Love with Sid Vicious and that would work too ;)

I’m inspired by nostalgia with a modern, punk rock, sparkly twist.

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Check out the photos from the Laser Kitten Grand Opening party in our gallery below and #GetDUM!

Wednesday, May 10th 2017