Jewellery

Meet Melinda Zeman of Boochier

Melinda Zeman only founded her fine jewellery brand, Boochier, in 2019. The Hong Kong jeweller’s edgy yet elegant combinations of enamel, diamonds and precious metals embody a playful yet luxurious approach to accessorising

Though Melinda Zeman only founded her fine jewellery brand, Boochier, in 2019. The Hong Kong based jeweller’s colourful designs have already secured her a legion of loyal fans from around the world. Zeman’s edgy yet elegant combinations of enamel, diamonds and precious metals embody a playful yet luxurious approach to accessorising. This she says, perfectly encapsulates her mixed Ghanaian and Chinese heritage. Here, she reveals her thoughts and inspirations with us. 

Melinda Zeman of Boochier

What inspired you to become a jeweller?

I’ve always been a creative person and I’ve always loved jewellery. Growing up, I lived with my mother and my Chinese grandmother, who were both quite traditional. My grandmother, in particular, was always groomed and took care of her appearance. It wasn’t about being vain, it was about knowing the value of feeling put together. Jewellery was a big part of that and as a youngster, that left a big impression on me. I also grew up watching historical Chinese dramas on television with my family and was struck by the way jewellery was so integral to each of the characters. Every emperor or empress wore ornate bangles, beaded necklaces and earrings and their hair was full of jewels. I became captivated by the power of jewellery to transform people, and its ability to tell stories about who you are. 

A few years ago, I was working in marketing but felt I needed a creative outlet, so began designing a few pieces just for myself. Then I started making pieces for friends who asked me to design things for them, and it basically became my side project. The more I made, the more I fell in love with the idea that things I make today can be worn by my children and passed down through the generations. That was it. I founded Boochier in 2019, just before the pandemic struck. 

How would you describe the Boochier aesthetic?

I’d like to say Boochier is all about bringing together the modern and classic, with nostalgic nods to my MTV-loving childhood. It’s fun and bright and colourful, like the fashion I grew up with in 80s and 90s, but still luxurious and elegant. When I founded Boochier, I wanted an aesthetic that represented my multicultural heritage. My mother’s Chinese, my father’s Ghanaian, I was born in the UK, studied in the US and live in Hong Kong. I feel like I’ve finally created something that’s a visual representation of all the different things that make up my life. It really seems to resonate with people who grew up at the same time as I did, as well as a new generation who are re-discovering 80s and 90s fashion via social media. 

Where do your ideas come from?

I get a lot of inspiration from looking at vintage toys and sweets. I like to use their shapes as a jumping-off point and try to recreate the kind of fun and joy they brought us as kids, without being too literal. Our Ties collection, for example, was inspired by the curly shoelaces we all wore as kids. They stand for the hope and optimism we felt on new school days and are a visual reminder of our ties to our loved ones and our lives. The Fruit Hoops Marshamallow rings were inspired by twisted marshmallow sticks. I think they were called Flumps. When you look at the rings, candy isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind, but there are marshmallow-like elements, like the puffiness, that are designed to make you smile. And the Slinkee collection is a modern interpretation of the toy – I wanted something that embodied hopefulness and positivity, as well as the human ability to bounce back from anything. What’s better than that than a spring? 

Which pieces do you personally wear all the time, and why? 

I feel naked without rings on, so I wear them all the time. My favourites are the Fruit Hoops rings – I wear the blue ones every day because I love the colour and they go with everything. I also like to wear a Slinky ring in hot pink mixed in with other, more classic looking diamond rings for a flash of colour. But if I had to pick one of our collections to wear forever, it would have to be the Ties collection – I like to think of it as a reminder of our journey through life and of the good things that have gotten us through the crazy times we’ve all just had. 

What’s coming up next for you?

There are quite a few things coming up for Boochier. I’m currently working on a collection that is reminiscent of the childhood friendship bracelets we used to swap with each other at school, but in a more elevated way. And I’ve got another collection coming up that was inspired by ‘Magic 8’ balls. It’s really fun and will be launching in the coming months. Other than that, I’m looking forward to finally being able to travel at long last. It will be great to get back out there and do some work presentations and spread the joy of the brand again. 

Like this? Read all about the jeweller Sophie Bille Brahe

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