Meriko London instantly taps into that LUXE, bohemian style that I lust for and LOVE. Think gorgeous, delicate, statement pieces dripping with azure blue stones (the Gold Coast collection), darling leaf motifs beautifully adorned (the new Colorado Escape collection) and much, much more. Happily, I got to speak with the founder and designer behind the brand, Meri Hovsepyan about what makes her tick, her inspiration and who she'd loved to see (celebrity-wise) rocking her pieces! Read it below....
Discover the Meriko London HERE.
Have you always been interested in jewellery and stones? Where did your love for them stem from?
'I can’t remember wanting to be anything else! As a small child I could watch my father make fine jewellery all day. Precious stones and gems were like toys to me, instead of learning colours out of a book I was introduced to the colour blue by being taught the difference between Turquoise, Lapis and Aquamarine stones. I specifically got my degree in Art History to understand the evolution of design, and then went on to study accountancy and business…the perfect stepping stones toward my vocational nirvana. Which is where I am now.'
Do you have a particular designer or jewellery-making icon that you adore the style of?
'I take more of my inspiration from nature, but of course there are many inspirational female icons I admire. I’d like to think that what Coco Chanel did with the Little Black Dress is what I have done with my designs - timeless, elegant pieces that go with anything; something that every woman can adapt in her own way. I’m also a huge fan of contemporary jeweller Jacquie Aiche. The way she has branded her designs to epitomise that wonderfully inspirational Californian Boho charm is something that I have always enjoyed. Plus her Instagram account is my biggest addiction!'
Tell us about a typical 9-5pm day for you.
'Well, I’m a mother to an energetic three year old, plus married to a very busy man, so I think the word ‘hectic’ was invented just for me...although I do love my life! My average day starts with the school run, then once I dropped my son off I get in the car, check my emails on my iphone and reply to my morning emails before I have even reached the office. Then every day is different. I either have a meeting with associates to brainstorm marketing or design ideas, or I go back to the office (or sometimes a cafe) and work on our social media, liaise with our distributors in New York, LA, Spain or the UK...or (my favourite) go for a walk and wait for more inspiration to hit me.'
What kind of jewellery pieces do you yourself often fall in love with?
'I love the beauty of simplicity, I like my pieces to be eye catching but not fussy. I also have a big obsession with the colour navy blue and emerald green...so without thinking I tend to always pick up pieces in those colours in yellow or rose gold, never white gold or silver. At the moment, my favourite Meriko pieces are the Ear Jackets shaped like leaves and the hand bracelet from the Colorado Escape collection, and I never go anywhere without my Malachite limited edition 4 stone ring from the Gold Coast collection.'
I love your hand chains and ear cuffs (right up my street style-wise) - who would you love to see (celebrity-wise) wearing these pieces?
'Well we are already really lucky to have had our pieces worn on TV on UK reality shows such as Made in Chelsea, as well as on the wingers and wrists of gorgeous celebrities like Kimberley Walsh and Vanessa Simmons. In fact Hollywood star Vanessa Simmons never takes her Meriko off!
My fantasy line up of the top three fabulous women I would also love to wear our collections would be Rita Ora, J Lo and Sarah Jessica Parker. So if you are reading this, ladies...put on a bit of Meriko next time you go somewhere fancy. Please!'
Where do you discover and source your materials and stones from?
'My father has been a jeweller from as far as I can remember. He is my mentor and we have travelled the world together for years visiting jewellery exhibitions and shows. Therefore, through my travelling, I am very lucky to have built up a great list of suppliers from all over the globe that I am able to source the very best stones from. There is nothing I love more than getting new gems delivered and going through them, it’s like being a child again and playing in my mother’s jewellery box!'
Do you have any fabulous stories of when you stumbled upon certain pieces?
'People really enjoy the story of how I came up with the leaf concept for Colorado Escape. I’ve always been a big fan of the film Thelma & Louise, the way it evoked in me a sense of freedom and excitement...as if life can change in a blink of an eye. I love the transformation that the character Louise goes through - from the rigid existence she leads in a small town at the beginning, to discovering who she really is at the end and totally letting go. So back in Autumn 2014 I was thinking of ideas for my next collection (it normally takes us a year from concept to launch) and I was walking through the woods, waiting – as always – for nature to inspire me, while thinking about this film. Then I saw a leaf fall from the tree and before it landed on the ground the wind caught it and it flew through the air, as if it was finally free to dance in the breeze. It sounds silly but it moved me so much, the same way the film does, that this leaf started off hopeful and green and stayed still for so long, clinging on for dear life, until it finally got its chance to let go and escape its restraints...just like Louise in the film. And that’s how our collection Colorado Escape and the Leaf emblem came to be, because for me that collection is about hope, self realisation and complete freedom. And our desert shoot? Well...what’s cooler than hitting the desert road on a motorbike, with nothing but the wind in your hair, and driving off into the sunset?'
What's your own most prized jewellery possession?
'My father gave me a beautiful topaz and diamond ring on my wedding day, it is a very large and very sparkly statement ring. Whenever I wear it to a special occasion people are speechless...it’s a real show stopper!'
What's your own personal style like?
'I would describe it as a cross between Casual Naval Chic and College Preppy look. I love stripes, the colours navy blue and emerald green and tailored cuts. I’m just as likely to team a crisp white shirt with a pair of fitted Levis and pumps, as I am a little pleated skirt with a light pull over and blazer. But for me it’s all in the detailing, so I like my jackets to be lined with interesting fabrics and for my shirts to be worn with cufflinks – Meriko cufflinks, of course. Needless to say though, I spend more time agonising about what jewellery to wear than what outfit!'
What celebrity would you love to dress with your pieces for a red carpet event?
'Jennifer Lopez. I love everything about her. She is the very embodiment of Meriko and as a fellow working mother I admire her immensely. I love the way she has worked her way up from a humble beginning to her huge stardom remaining classically feminine and composed throughout. She has managed to change with the times, her look is always current, but at its base is an elegance that money can’t buy. She looks after herself, she looks after those she loves and she is always smiling. To dress J Lo for the red carpet would be an ultimate fantasy of mine. Here’s hoping if I continue to stay true to my routes and hard work ethics I can achieve as much as she has.'
Where would you like to see your business in the next five years?
'Well, considering how much has happened in less than a year since we launched I get very excited thinking about where Meriko will be in five years time! Ideally I would love to continue the way we are going now and appear in even more shops and online retailers across the world. I’d like to see my pieces on more gorgeous big named celebs and appear in more glossy fashion mags. Plus I plan to work on some non-stone collections in the future and maybe even something for men. Basically I’d love to have what we have now but bigger, better and shinier! Who knows, there may even be a Meriko store on Bond Street and in Bloomingdale’s one day.'
FINAL QUESTION: Your wardrobe is burning down - and you have 5 seconds to decide what three pieces you save - what do you grab?
'My navy Chanel bag. The Diamond and Topaz diamond ring my father gave me. Meriko Lapis hand chain (I love it and I wear it every day).'
A BIG thank you to the lovely Meri Hovsepyan for taking the time to answer my questions!
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