• Desiree Dawn Kschesinski



Desiree Kschesinski never dreamed she’d one day own her own business. Yet here she is, planning to move her store, Desiree Dawn, into a larger space to accommodate its growing success.

Eighteen years ago, Desiree Kschesinski was in a bad place.

She’d moved from Stratford to London, keen to attend a hands-on art program then available to mature students at HB Beal High School. But the strain of living on her own, working full time to support herself, and attending school full time eventually led to major burnout.

“I crashed and burned so hard,” she says today. “I had no idea how to recover or what to do with my life.”

With little choice, Desiree moved back home and took up the same cleaning and serving jobs she’d done as a high-school student. She applied for second-career funding and moved back to London to study Health, Fitness and Nutrition. She moved in and out of several bad relationships. It wasn’t the best of times.

But there was one bright spot during all of this: Desiree started making wire-wrapped crystal jewellery. “I was always interested in the arts, and this was fairly easy to get into – it didn’t require a lot of expensive equipment to get started,” she says.

At the same time, she found that working with the crystals made her feel better. “I started working through some of my trauma and mental-health issues, and somehow the crystals helped.” Intrigued, she began looking into the world of alternative and energy healing. She became certified as a Reiki practitioner. And, eventually, she took a certification in crystal healing as well.

Meanwhile, she was still supporting herself through a combination of jewellery making and part-time work in the retail sector. She knew this wasn’t sustainable. But, more than this, she began to dream of having a business of her own – something that would allow her to combine her love of crystals and jewellery with her new skills in energy healing.

Thus was born Desiree’s store, Desiree Dawn. Originally located at 42 Erie Street, it sold crystals, jewellery and other metaphysical supplies, and allowed Desiree to offer crystal healing treatments. Despite being launched just months before the pandemic hit, the business was successful, and rapidly outgrew the Erie Street space. Desiree began hunting around for someplace that could accommodate a larger treatment room.

As she did so, she realized she was dreaming of something even bigger. “I have a lot of friends who practice other forms of energy work,” she says, referring to techniques such as Reiki, Reflexology, and Indian Head Massage. “What I really wanted to create was a space where all these practitioners could come together, and build the community I needed ten years ago.”

And that’s just what this remarkable young woman is doing. This summer, Desiree Dawn moves into a newer, larger space on Market Square. The new store will include two treatment rooms, a small sitting area, and – of course – crystals everywhere. She also hopes to offer workshops and training to those interested in learning more about the crystals.

“Desiree’s story is a perfect illustration of what we see here all the time,” says Holly Mortimer, Business Advisor at the Stratford Perth Centre for Business. “You’ve got a vision of where you’d like to go, but what you need is a plan. Running a small business isn’t about knowing exactly what to do every step of the way. It’s about taking your dream, slowly building a plan that supports that dream and not being afraid move forward, even when it feels like the odds are against you.”

Follow-up: Desiree has moved to her new location in Market Square and is overwhelmed with the amount of success she’s having.

Stop in and visit her at 9 Market Place, Wednesday thru Sunday or shop online at https://www.desireedawn.com/