Illustrations by Hannah Robinson

Dazzelustrous is an independent fashion and accessories brand which lies in Edinburgh’s Easter Road. Last week, I visited the shop and met the owner, Ernestina.

Our conversation began with a discussion about the products Dazzelustrous sells. Ernestina tells me that primarily, Dazzelustrous produces beaded jewellery and accessories. She speaks of the combination of traditional Krobo beads, which are made of glass, with precious stones. These are put together to create unique pieces of jewellery. All designs are handcrafted and produced in Ghana – by her sister and business partner Angela – before they are shipped to Edinburgh.

Ernestina tells me a bit about the history of their business and how it all came together. Drawing on both Angela’s and her own Ghanaian heritage, they incorporated traditional African designs into their pieces in an effort to bring African culture to the UK. The business idea came into being when her sister recognised that Krobo beads were “taking Africa by storm”. They wanted to share this passion and stamina with the rest of the world, and from there the business took off. The business trademark was registered in October 2017 and a year later the actual business was incorporated and trading online. The Dazzelustrous shop then opened on the 5th August 2019.

Both Ernestina and Angela share an immense passion for their business. She tells me about the values which dominate Dazzelustrous, for example the emphasis they place on integrity and the high standards which they ensure to maintain. All the designs are beautiful and the colours, shapes and prints which are both integrated into their garments and used to inspire their accessories are extremely special.

Ernestina speaks about the idea of making shopping an enjoyable experience and the importance of this. Entering the shop, the music that is playing, the colours that pop out, and the lay out of the items create such a lovely atmosphere. She aims to create a calming experience for shoppers, something that I find too uncommon when shopping; this is definitely the right way to go about it.

We then chat about how the last few months have been and the impact of COVID-19 on businesses, especially small businesses. Ernestina tells me her shop was shut for three months during the height of the pandemic and moved to being primarily online. It has been a hard time for high-street businesses recently; now, more than ever, we must continue to support our local community through shopping locally.  

In the long-term, we discuss the goals which her and her sister share for their business. Ernestina tells me they would like to be known, one-day, for their brand; they would also like to expand and grow their business. Ultimately, they want to continue to share their culture with Edinburgh, the UK, and the rest of the world through their designs. The last few months have been tough, but they remain positive.

I urge you to visit Dazzelustrous, whether being online or in-person, to see the beautiful products they create and learn about their brand. There is no better time to support your local business and help them grow than now.

You can find them in store at 32 Easter Rd, Edinburgh, EH7 5RG; online at https://dazzelustrous.com/, and via social media on IG/FB: @dazzelustrous.