EDINBURGH brand Hannah Zakari has made its mark as the “it” home for indie designers.

The independent boutique is owned by entrepreneur Rachael Griffiths, who founded it in 2004.

Griffiths studied textiles and fashion at the Scottish College of Textiles for two years before she made the bold move to launch her own business, the name of which can cause a little confusion.

Loading article content

Griffiths explains: “People often ask for Hannah, but I’m afraid she’s not a real person! I wanted the name of the business to reflect my love of Japan and its culture. Hannah Zakari comes from the Japanese [hanazakari], which translates as blossoming or blooming.”

Griffiths originally started her business as an online shop, then decided to tap in to the UK’s unsaturated craft scene.

Initially, Griffiths sold only her own range of jewellery through the store. She was particularly inspired by the mobile phone charm trend in Japan and was successful in creating her own products.

She says: “They were picked up by Wired magazine and I remember being really excited when Motorola sent me a new Razr to use in my product photos and the charms were what got my little business noticed.”

Expanding to support fellow designers, she began to make contact with American artists online and began importing and stocking their work in her online shop.

Later looking to gain further exposure, Griffiths applied for and was accepted to attend the first ever Bust Craftacular – a large scale indie craft fair – in London in 2008.

From there, the business continued to grow and in 2010 Griffiths opened the Hannah Zakari boutique on Edinburgh’s Candlemaker Row. The store has since been featured in popular publications including Vogue, Grazia and Tatler. In May 2013, it was also labelled one of Stylist Magazine’s Top 50 UK Independent Boutiques.

But Griffiths’s founding approach has remained the same as she continues to support independent designers; Hannah Zakari has represented more than 180 independent national and international designers and artists.

Griffiths says: “We’re proud of what we do and love supporting small business, creative individuals and cottage industries.”

hannahzakari.co.uk