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We are in serious need of a bit of ‘cool’ to be thrown into the mix at Saffron Souk this August (we not exaggerating – it’s desperate!), so we are rather happy that Hayet the namesake behind Hayet Zerelli Designs is on board to help us out.

Hayet, who is originally from Tunisia but has made Dubai her home for many years now, is well known around town for her classic yet quirky jewellery range that offers timeless style with a regional twist. Her pieces are the perfect gift for the lady with everything (and there are a few of those in the Gulf)! So listen up friends of Saffron Souk, if you are ever on the hunt for a treat for us – this is your go to boutique.  Click here to get browsing for ideas now.

Hayet’s online boutique recently opened its doors on and her stock is very much a reflection of her North African heritage. We are very excited that she will be expanding on her collection to include homewears and accessories, along with the jewellery she currently designs and makes. 

Join us for a chat with Hayet, to see what inspires her, as well as what paperback she will have in her holiday bag this summer…..

2. Some of those classic Hayet Zerelli Designs that the brand has become renown for. 

What sort of products do you make?
I design and make jewellery.
When did you decide to start your own enterprise? Selling?
In 2008 I started making Jewellery for myself, my friends liked my designs and started placing orders and as costume jewellery became a fashion trend it helped my brand to flourish.
What’s the best thing about setting up your own brand?
I get to express myself the way I want and the freedom of working around my family  is definitely a plus.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Not being able to operate legally without a big investment and it can be a challenge if you are just beginning. 
What do you love about selling online?
Worldwide exposure.

3. – 7. Hayet’s jewellery works well with her favourite colour palette of black, navy & nude – although the true appeal of her pieces is that you can really wear them with anything, making them an essential holiday item.

Where do you source your materials?
Primarily from Tunisia but I tend to pick up materials from different countries when we are on holiday, making it more multi-cultural. This makes my jewellery appeal to people from all around the world. 
I like to use different materials in the same piece like silver and copper or silver and pearls or silver gold plated and rose gold plated as well.
Where do you get your inspiration to be creative from?
My main inspiration is antique Tunisian jewellery modernized to compliment today’s fashion. I collect old antique pieces like silver hands of Fatima and I tend to mix old and new which is what makes my line of jewellery quite unique and sometimes a one off piece.
Any exciting news to share?
I have a permanent space at Object & Elements in Al Quoz where my collection is on display.

8. ‘Behind the Scenes’ – Hayet in her Shop at Objects & Elements (photo credit: Peter Hurley)

Tell us 5 words to describe yourself.
Creative, spontaneous, unpredictable, unique and adventurous.
What’s your favourite colour?
Black, navy and nude 
What’s your favourite film?
What are you reading right now?
Nothing at the moment but I am planning on reading 50 shades of grey sometime during this holiday
When did you last laugh?
My children make me laugh all the time.

What keeps you awake at night?
New ideas that turn into new designs. 

9. – 12. Some of our favourite pieces from the Hayet Zerelli Designs online store on And remember, if Hayet doesn’t have exactly want you are after, you can always contact her via the Saffron Souk message system and we are certain she will try her very best to help you out!

Do you have any regrets?
Even if I had it is not worth dwelling on them.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be honest, I wouldn’t change anything.
Who would you most like to meet?
Coco Chanel.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
No one in particular.
Do you have any pets?
An African grey talking parrot.
Do you collect anything?
Antique silver and gold jewellery.

13. & 14. The typical Hayet Zerelli Necklaces…. Hayet mixes both new and antique components into her designs making them truly unique (which is exactly what we look for at Saffron Souk).

Do you believe in luck?
I believe in destiny.
Do you have a motto?
Never give up.
Did you ever run away from home as a child?
What is your golden rule?
Want for others what you want for yourself.
Who is the best super-hero? Superman, Batman or Spiderman?
Superman or shall I say superwomen.
What’s the best career advice anyone ever gave you?
Whatever you do be passionate about it.

15. – 17. We love the career advise you were given Hayet – it shows in your work.

What is your greatest aim in life?
Be grateful for what you have.
Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?
What was your worst holiday?
Every holiday is an adventure, and I always get to experience, see and taste new things. 
How many foreign languages do you speak?
I speak fluent Arabic, French, English and Italian and understand Spanish and Dutch.
What is the oddest habit you will admit to?
I have a guilty pleasure for chocolate.

We are jumping out of our skin to see Hayet’s collection of Homewears and accessories coming to her online store soon! 18. We love this mirror (currently available in a medium and small size) 19. – 20. Our favourite Fouta’s!!! These handy towels are perfect for the home, the beach or to stash in the car. However the quality is amazing and the colours stunning, so we think we will be using them to jazz up some pieces of furniture that are in need of a little love.

Thanks for chatting with us Hayet – we look forward to seeing what new designs those sleepless nights produce in the very near future…..