“You will never influence the world by trying to be like it,” says Joelle Chebli Boujacli, citing the popular quote often spied on the likes of Pinterest.
“Being a creative person reflects in my lifestyle. I never settle for the norm – from organising dinners to decorating my house, to getting dressed, it all takes a lot of imagination and thinking,” says the director of Bahrain-based jewellery brand, Joelle. “Looking different and being true to yourself makes you shine in a crowd.”
It’s a mantra the mother of two reminds herself of when selecting her outfits. “Not long ago I went to a wedding and I wore a long Carolina Herrera skirt in fuchsia, and matched it with a top from Le Croft 271,” she says of the quirky Beirut boutique. “That outfit was a big bang!”
While the Bahrain resident is adamant you don’t need to spend your life-savings to make a style statement (“Why not mix a Zara or H&M top with a Lanvin skirt?”), one thing she won’t compromise on is shoes. “The shoes should always be designer!” she laughs. “My favourites are Valentino, Louboutin, Sergio Rossi, Casadei and Dior.”
While her brand Joelle, which launched in 2002, is going from strength to strength, she’s insistent on using her success to help emerging businesswomen. “As well as being a fashion jewellery designer, I’m a manufacturer and buyer, so I can support other, upcoming designers,” she explains.
And it’s these people that Joelle feels most at ease with; “I’m passionate about what I do, I love people and it’s essential that I’m surrounded by family and friends. My best friends and most people I click with are artists and from a creative background. We all use the right side of our brain!”
Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Charlotte Blair. Words: Kerrie Simon-Lawrence. Location: Riffa Fort, Bahrain