Gold and Diamonds: An Interview with Custom Gold Grillz CEO Garvin Lee

Thanks to a multitude of rappers and a handful of celebrities, the Grillz game is an ever-evolving industry. We can’t help but take a look at the game-changing visionaries who have mastered the art of making grillz.

Thanks to a multitude of rappers and a handful of celebrities, the Grillz game is an ever-evolving industry. We can’t help but take a look at the game-changing visionaries who have mastered the art of making grillz.

Although there are hundreds of them across the US, we narrow the list down to California, zooming in on San Francisco. 

With a decade of grillz-making under its belt, Custom Gold Grillz has made it to the top of the long list of gold teeth sellers online. We sat down with CGG’s CEO, Garvin Lee, and asked him a few questions about his company, his vision, and his favorite styles of grillz. 

How did it all start – why grillz? What got you into the jewelry business?

It all started with a passion for art and design. Coming from a family of dental technicians, I naturally gravitated towards gold teeth and grillz with unique designs as an outlet for my creativity. It was right around the time Nelly’s hit song “Grillz” came out, and mainstream culture began taking on wearing grillz as a means of self-expression. I was surprised to see that there weren’t many jewelers offering to make grillz initially. The few that did were charging high prices without guarantees in fitting or quality. That’s when I saw an opportunity, and a few years later, I started Custom Gold Grillz to change the grillz game. By focusing only on making grillz, I combined a decade of experience in handling precious metals along with a strong dental background to create high-quality grillz at very competitive prices.

Tell us about a few experiences in the past 10 years that have helped shape CGG today.

An instance showing the underestimated power of word of mouth comes to mind. Some years back, an order happened to be for an up-and-coming artist. We didn’t know who he was, but he had a great experience with us, and as he blew up, we began doing even more business, making grillz for even his crew. Word started to spread then. Now we have many lifelong regular customers who choose to stick with CGG for their grillz. In business, you’ll never know who may purchase from you, reaffirming the importance of consistently keeping our product quality standards high, and to always provide exceptional service to every customer, potential or otherwise. 

One way of ensuring our customer service remains exceptional is by reaching out to customers for feedback. Our audience and community are influential—they are the ones who continuously support and usher our business to improve. Running polls and remaining open-minded about suggestions, enables us to release new designs that go on to become very popular pieces. It is our way, along with giveaways—or even just by adding a free extra polishing cloth to an order—of showing that we value and appreciate our customers and their dedication to our brand.

What are the values that you and your company stand by? 

Commitment—we want to give the same customer satisfaction that we expect and are entitled to when we purchase something. We walk our customers through every step of the process to make sure we’re always on the same page. This way, we can cater better to their requests or specifications for their orders, from the number of teeth they want to get, the diamond clarity they prefer we use, to engraving their designs onto their grillz. Innovation—we want to bring more to the table: more options for our customers to choose from, more unique design ideas for them to enjoy, and a wave of new production techniques to improve the way we create grillz and stay ahead of the game.

With the tight competition, what makes CGG stand out?

Quality above all, even quantity. We put our all into every order we receive, and we’d never risk the quality of our work by rushing through the production process. Speaking of which, every mold impression is meticulously inspected before we proceed to production. Once we start, we pay close attention to every single detail, from the shape and size of each tooth to the quality of the diamonds the we’re using. As for how the diamonds are set on the grillz, we employ special stone setting techniques that ensure the diamonds will always stay in place. For those interested in financing, we have partners who offer several payment options so customers can get their grillz first, then pay for them later. And last but not least, we make sure that we provide our customers with the best 24/7 customer assistance—we are available on social media, as well as through email, website live chat, and phone support. 

Talk to us – which grillz are your best sellers?

For premades: the white gold Cluster CZ premade style is our top seller; close behind are our solid gold premade sets. These are great pieces to start off if you’re not sure you want to fully invest in custom grillz yet and want to try out the look. Our grillz in the Cluster CZ style have been very popular, with high quality craftsmanship providing lots of shine at affordable prices. As for custom pieces, our most popular have been our solid gold grillz with deep cuts that add that permanent gold teeth look. This is a classic style that never goes out of fashion. 

Which of your grillz would you personally use or recommend?

I have several dozen sets, but I personally like the plain gold 8 teeth bottoms. It’s a classic look without being too loud. If I want to flex, I’ll wear my white gold diamond set—the white gold with clear diamonds look is hugely popular in mainstream hip hop culture! As for my recommendations… It is up to you and your style. Grillz are a means of self-expression, so whether you want to flex hard or create something unique, go classic or go all out with colored gemstones, the possibilities are endless, and that’s why grillz-making is so fulfilling! 

Where do you see CGG five years from now?

In the beginning, we focused solely on grillz to ensure that we could refine our craft and techniques to make perfectly fitting grillz. Now that we have that down, we’re looking into further expanding into custom jewelry. We’ve seen immense success in our recent initial launch of jewelry in our store; we found that there is a lot of demand for other types of custom jewelry, such as custom pendants. We’re here to bring ideas and unique designs to life through custom jewelry manufacturing—it’s clear: jewelry will be playing a significant role in CGG for the years to come. Five years from now, I see us growing into a global brand. We’ve developed a strong reputation, and our international customer base has been rapidly increasing year over year. We’ve worked with many clients all over the world, and we are continuing to open our doors.  We aim to be in the international spotlight as one of the biggest grillz manufacturers in the world!

Any entrepreneurial words of wisdom or life lessons you’d like to impart?

Do not give up on chasing your dreams. Throughout the years, we’ve struggled through many low points. Most people did not believe in our vision; they thought grillz were just a fad. We learned to block out negativity and put our heads down to focus on our craft and improving our business. There were many times we struggled to make payroll or rent for some months, and then got screwed over by trusting the wrong suppliers. We even struggled through the first few years without profitability! My point is, running a business is far from easy, but if you genuinely believe in what you are doing, you will be motivated to play the game like a marathon and not a sprint. There are so many overnight success stories in the media that most people have become numb to the harsh reality of how much hustle and grind it takes for most businesses to become successful. My other advice is this: always focus on providing value first, the money will come after. We did not get here overnight, but we believed in our brand and worked patiently over these years to build our reputation and grow into one of the top grillz manufacturers in the market. 

Check out Custom Gold Grillz for more!

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