Jewel Purpose: Elegant entrepreneur and multi-tasking mum, Melinda Zeman does it all…

Aiming to spread joy through her jewellery designs, Melinda Zeman shares her inspirations behind Bouchier and what keeps her going as a strong career woman and loving mother…

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Wardrobe: Earrings, necklaces, rings by Bouchier, available at On Pedder; Oversized blazer top by Magda Butrym, available at Joyce; Heels by YSL

As the founder, can you tell us what led you to launch the Bouchier jewellery brand?
As a jewellery lover myself, I was inspired to start the company because it was hard to find the kind of items that I felt conveyed my personality. I was looking for something that was a little contemporary and playful as I don’t really take myself too seriously. Ultimately, this led me to create fine jewellery pieces that reflected those values. 
Before I started, some two-and-a-half years ago, I was designing pieces for myself as a hobby. Then, one thing led to another, and I started producing items for friends and then for their friends. Eventually, through word of mouth, Bouchier organically grew into the brand it is today.

What do you see as your brand’s unique qualities?
Well, we have a strong emphasis on happiness, playfulness and bright colours, which makes us quite distinct compared to a lot of other fine jewellery brands. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, everyone needs a little happiness and colour in their lives. With that in mind, we give our clients something they can look at that we hope will always bring them joy and automatically lift their spirits. 

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Wardrobe: Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings by Bouchier available at On Pedder; Crop blazer by Christopher John Rogers, available at Joyce; Skirt by Molly Goddard; Heels by Amina Muaddi

Fruit Hoops is your best selling collection, where do you find the inspiration for your designs?
Fruit Hoops is our signature collection and, when I first came to devise it, I was aiming to create a very clean and classic line. As I love stacking different pieces, I try not to over-complicate designs and look to keep them timeless and elegant. I also knew I wanted to inject some fun into the collection, so I experimented with a number of different designs and came to love the symbolism of the knot. For me, it very much represents the bond between people, whether a partner, friend or child / parent.
 Personally, it’s definitely my favourite collection as there are just so many variations to the look you can create. It can be worn with a casual T-shirt or with a suit to make a certain impression. You can also wear one piece on its own or play with few pieces together, making for a process that’s really quite fun. 

What are the challenges of running a company like Bouchier now that it has a truly global footprint?
When it comes to being genuinely international, one of the core values I always try and adhere to with my brand experience is inclusivity. In many ways, I see it as similar to social media in how it allows like-minded women, irrespective of age, location, religion or race, to come together. I want people to feel that Bouchier is a brand that can speak to anyone wherever they may be.
Honestly, when running a business, though, every day is a challenge. I do, however, feel lucky that I live in a world and time where there are so many amazing female entrepreneurs and leaders, people who are really addressing women’s needs and concerns. I genuinely feel there is a sense of sisterhood like never before and that is something that inspires me every day.
In addition, as a mother of four, I find it’s a constant struggle to balance my home and work life. Despite that, I feel blessed that I have been able to turn my passion into a full-time job, something that makes me cherish my children all the more as I never take my time with them for granted. 

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Wardrobe: Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings by Bouchier, available at On Pedder; Blazer by Alexander McQueen, available at Joyce; Bag by Alexander McQueen, available at On Pedder; Heels by Amina Muaddi

How did your own experience growing up impact you?
My mom was in finance and worked very long hours and that was something, as a child, that I didn’t really understand. Looking back now, though, I appreciate all the hard work she put into raising me and realise what an exceptional role model she was. Her dedication inspires me to this day and is a constant reminder to me that it is possible to balance your career and role as a mother. I have also come to believe that being a stay-at-home mum is truly one of the hardest jobs in the world – most men wouldn’t last a day! As with many things in life, quality is just as important as quantity so I try to make every moment with my children count. 

What is the most important piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I think, without a doubt, the most important piece of advice I have ever been given is to remember that “No one knows everything”. I think it’s so important to bear in mind that no matter where you are in life or how successful you are, no one person truly knows everything. So, it’s important to keep an open mind and listen to the people around you. If ever you get to a point where you start to believe that you actually know everything, that’s when you’ll stop learning and you’ll miss out on so many opportunities to improve yourself. I am genuinely convinced that the key to ultimate success in life is to never stop learning and to try and be a better version of yourself everyday – not just for you as an individual, but also for the people around you.

gafencu people interview melinda zeman bouchier fine jewellery

Wardrobe: Earrings and rings by Bouchier, available at On Pedder; Turtle neck and blazer by Marine Serre, available at Joyce; Heels by Amina Muaddi

If you could meet any person, past or present, who would it be and why?
I’d love to meet Michelle Obama. I feel like she redefined what it meant to be First Lady. She has been a truly great inspiration and a role model for so many young children across the world. She was the voice of a whole generation of young girls who had previously gone unheard. In this way, she gave many young people the motivation and confidence they lacked and no doubt changed the lives of many of them forever. 

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Wardrobe: Earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings by Bouchier, available at On Pedder; Dress by Molly Goddard, available at Joyce; Heels by Amina Muaddi

What item is at the top of your bucket list?
I did a safari with my husband a few years ago and would love to go back with my kids for an extended family jungle wilderness holiday. Not only was it an amazing bonding and learning experience, for me, personally the thing I loved the most was the incredible opportunity it gave me to see so many animals in their natural habitat. It really put things into perspective and reminded me how comparatively small we really are in this world… It’s something that humbles you and makes you question your purpose on Earth, while also prompting you to think how to give back – and that’s definitely a lesson I want to teach my children.

Finally, can you share with us a secret, something that most people don’t know about you?
I really enjoy Canto pop and Mando pop. While that’s not wholly a secret, it’s definitely something that surprises a lot of people! 

Thank you.


Interview by: Roberliza Eugenio
Photographer: Jack Law
Videographer: Kes Lei
Hair and Make Up: Angel Arlen Pasco
Art director and styling: Jhoshwa Ledesma