Since opening in May 2016 in Edinburgh’s old town, Ladyboss Collective, founded by Amber Vermeulen, has gathered a reputation for being the local go-to for locally, female-made art and fashion while creating the coolest nail art in a totally kitsch atmosphere (with Beyonce blasting in the background of course). I popped in yesterday night for a chat with Amber and a quick gel manicure, and left totally inspired by the creativity and the aesthetic. A young, independent business that supports not only other young independent businesses but also homeless women, LGBT rights and female creative empowerment.
Amber grew up in Edinburgh, and always dreamed about opening her own little boutique. She studied fashion marketing at Northampton before finding her calling in DIY nail art. While working in hospitality she realised there were so many talented creative people that had nowhere to sell their work, so after a pop-up stint over Christmas, the time, location and demand were exactly right to launch Ladyboss Collective.
Its great to see that smaller shops are taking the lead from the likes of experiential retail experts Anthropologie, Topshop and Harvey Nichols, and adding a central element of service to their offering. Ladyboss Collective is focussed around a cornucopia of nail polishes, glitter and stickers where they offer gel manicures and custom designs using new and independent nail products from all over the world. I got myself some Chrome Nails, the latest trend amongst art aficionados. The stuff is magic- a layer of special black nail varnish, then a sparkly silver powder is rubbed over with a soft brush, creating a unique metallic surface.
I love the DIY, crafty feel that the store embodies. Displays are made from lollipop sticks, glittery string, wire baskets and cute pastel coloured everything. Some of my favourite Scottish fashion brands including Dreamland, Yellow Bubble and Thrifty Little are stocked at Ladyboss, as well as adorable homemade clay earrings (got myself a pair of grey marbled studs…couldn’t resist!). cards and prints from talented illustrators like Alice Carnegie, Japanese gifts and Korean beauty. Loads of the products on sale are up cycled, reworked or remade, which is fabulous for sustainability snobs like me.
Amber has exciting plans for the brand’s future, including an online shop, regular girl gang meet ups, artist collaborations, music festival stalls, and very excitingly, press on fake nails with creative custom designs, and other product lines like nail decals and cuticle oils. Keep your eyes peeled for news and events, and be sure to follow the Ladyboss instagram @ladyboss.collective.