Step into Memphis’ Dazzle and you’re not just shopping at a store with various items for sale, you’re walking into an experience. Owners Amy and Michael Egerman wouldn’t have it any other way.
Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, Michael’s family had friends in the retail industry, and he fell in love with everything about it. What stayed with him is that the retail experience needs to be “fun and friendly,” he said. “The customer should walk away feeling good about their experience even if they don’t buy anything.”
In Atlanta, Amy grew up watching her dad market his business, while communicating with vendors and customers. She recognized that managing many aspects of a retail business was key to success, and she knew this was the curriculum she wanted to study in college.
Serendipity brought Michael and Amy to the University of Alabama, to their intended fields of study and to one another. They married after graduation, moved to Atlanta, began their careers and started a family.
Michael started in department store retail, while Amy’s career grew in marketing and media buying. They loved their work and the people they met – both employers and customers.
Their path led to Chicago where Michael’s work included global sourcing for national and regional retailers. Amy became a stay-at-home mom and encouraged their children’s activities in the strong Jewish community of Chicago’s North Shore.
As Michael’s travel increased, the couple made the difficult decision to leave Chicago for a VP position offered to Michael in Memphis so he could be around for his kids. The family fell in love with the Jewishness and warmth of the Memphis community.
When Michael’s Memphis company wanted a global presence requiring international travel, the couple decided the time was perfect to invest in Amy’s vision of owning their own store.
“My ‘a-ha’ moment came when I saw amazing high-end accessories and low-end accessories. Both serviced their particular clientele, but there was nothing offered in the middle market segment,” said Amy.
Amy wanted to fill this void. So, Michael leveraged his retail contacts, and asked for advice from family, who’d been in retail for decades in South Florida, to write the business plan.
Thus, Dazzle was born.
From the beginning the store caught on rapidly in the community because of the unique assortment of gift items and accessories, as well as the dedication to the community – supporting local sisterhoods, philanthropic organizations, and youth groups with fundraising opportunities and donations.
After 10 years in Germantown, their lease ended. They saw the landscape of the shopping area changing, and they knew they would have to move. Now, in Regalia Shopping Center, Dazzle continues to flourish.
The couple’s success means taking their time hunting down items that are uniquely contemporary or exclusive to the Memphis area and include an array of national and local Jewish and Israeli artists. These include Michael Aram home accessories and jewelry, jewelry by designer Margo Rebecca and pottery by Ruth Samuels. Another Jewish company, New York Lucite, offers a line of matzah boxes, tzedakah boxes, seder plates and trays, which can be ordered in hundreds of designs and custom options. Where else in Memphis can you customize a matzah box? Simon Sebbag jewelry and Daniella Lehavi handbags are two Israeli lines.
Both offer their consumers an updated, European style while supporting businesses that share common Jewish values.
Michael and Amy Egerman not only take pride in the items they offer, but how they treat their customers. They are very hands on with everyone who walks in the store, making sure, “all feel welcomed and appreciated.”
Amy and Michael show up at Dazzle every single day.
“It’s fun to greet our friends and meet the members of the community,” said Amy. “It’s important for the consumer to meet us and know that we are here for questions or to offer suggestions.”
More than anything, the Egermans see themselves as the quintessential “Mom and Pop” store. “It’s vital today for a brick-and-mortar store to offer exclusive items and personalized customer service, especially when competing with those selling online only,” said Amy.
This has made Dazzle a shopping destination for customers looking for that special gift or their own unique items.
And, above all else, the Egermans live by their philosophy that shopping at Dazzle should be fun and stress-free.