Ladyboss is the brainchild of Amber Vermeulen, a fashion graduate with a desire to do things differently. Initially beginning as a pop up but now in its permanent location in the old town of Edinburgh, Ladyboss offers something the traditional whisky outlets and kilt makers won’t – creative fashion and beauty exclusively from women.
Work by creative femmes based in Scotland is rarely found all in one place, but Ladyboss features pieces from tattoo artists, designers, illustrators and fashionistas from across the nation, while also acting as a nail salon. In its home on Candlemaker Row, just down from Greyfriar’s Bobby, it stands out for all the right reasons and offers the refreshing suggestion that antique Edinburgh could be ready for something brand new. Who run the world? Girls.
I spoke to Amber about her venture, the ideology behind it and the future of Ladyboss.
Why did you start Ladyboss?
The idea for Ladyboss comes from a million different experiences its a very twisty path that brought me to where I am today. I’ve always loved fashion, I dreamed of being a visual merchandiser, buyer or even better have a shop of my own where I can do both but it seemed an unrealistic dream. I was getting bored of working in hospitality and despite having the best job I needed a change. I had been playing around with nail art for a while and like a brick it hit me this was the missing link for the dream store. So I threw myself into re-training and qualified as a nail tech. Soon afterwards a pop up opportunity came up and it felt like fate. I had met so many amazing creative talents whilst working in hospitality it made perfect sense to team up with my fave boss women and Ladyboss was born…a sassy concept nail bar featuring a gaggle of the best creative Ladybosses we can find.
What inspires your nail designs?
Anything and everything can influence my designs. I use Instagram and Pinterest as a way to spot trends and try to develop these into something that works on a nail. I am inspired by stylish people, fabulousness and street style. I’ve always been intrigued by personal style and the way people choose to represent their character whether it be in the supermarket or catwalk. Nails are a fun and affordable way to add a splash of personality to any outfit.
Who are some of your favourite up and coming designers that you have showcased so far?
Initially we were mainly stocking pre-loved and vintage clothing, we are all guilty of hoarding things we will never wear so wanted to encourage re using items. Being in the centre of Edinburgh I feel passionate about offering an alternative souvenir (although I do love tartan!) I wanted to add to this by supporting some home grown talent. I instantly thought of Dreamland as I love their style and thought it would be the perfect fit for my brand. One of my fave Ladybosses Alice Carnegie (also responsible for my lovely logo) was already working with her so put me in touch. The Dreamland Dimensions range was an instant hit during August with the first drop selling out in a week so can’t wait to see what’s to come from Ruby in the future. I’ve also been working closely with Thrifty Little – an Edinburgh brand focused on upcycling things in the most fashionable of ways. Just recently she has launched the junk jewellery collection with some amazingly sassy pieces. We are currently planning some fun events and things for next year.
Who are some of the fiercest Ladybosses?
Being a Ladyboss is a mentality anyone can have. Do what you love, trust what you know and support each other. Latrice Royale (Rupaul’s Drag Race) once wisely said ‘A Bitch = Being in Total Control of Herself‘. And if drag queens don’t prove that you can be whoever you want I don’t know who does.
What would you like to do in the upcoming year with your business?
It’s been a whirlwind of a year so still lots to do. I want to continue to grow the brand and offer new and exciting products. I’m hoping to launch an online store showcasing selected items from local makers and artists as well as our own line of Ladyboss products and custom press on nails. We are working to build a creative community of like-minded peeps working together to collab on projects, plan some fun events and just have a laugh or a moan sometimes. Running a creative business can be lonely at time so it’s important to keep each other boosted. I am passionate to be involved in community and charity projects as well. Currently we are collecting funds and supplies to donate care packs to local homeless women and working with teens in deprived areas and speaking to young women about their future goals and how to achieve them in conjunction with Creative Electric, an amazing local youth theatre company.
You can find out more about Ladyboss by going to their shop (do it!! It’s super cute!!) at 23 Candlemaker Row in Edinburgh and keeping up to date with them on their Facebook, Instagram and website! You can also help out Amber’s current charity work with Edinburgh’s homeless community here.