Queenie Singh Sethia & Tiara Dhody Interview© HelloIndia

Queenie Singh Sethia & Tiara Dhody On The Importance Of Family

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Jeena J Billimoria

Queenie Singh Sethia and Tiara Dhody give HELLO! a glimpse into their glamorous and charmed world, all while emphasising the importance of family life.

Queenie Singh Sethia is no stranger to the most exclusive social circuits in cities across the globe. And how could she not be? The former Miss India has become a widely recognised name over the past few decades for her signature style, eponymous jewellery brand (Jewels by Queenie) that’s gone international, and most recently, for founding her clean beauty skincare brand, BIE. But behind the glitz and glamour, the jetsetter is also a devoted partner to businessman Rishi Sethia and mother to three beautiful children, Tiara and Rajveer Dhody and Sahana Chitra Sethia.

HELLO! sits down with Queenie and her eldest, Tiara, in Mumbai, who’s charming, soft-spoken and also dons many creative hats, proving that the apple seldom falls far from the tree. All of 26, she’s already the author of a book, Unmask, designed gloves during the pandemic that flew off the shelves in London, has hosted a solo art exhibition, and is a jewellery designer for men under her brand, Treasures by Tiara.

She also designs affordable, ready-to-wear jewellery for women and even has a startup in the works. The dynamic duo talks about life as they know it and the strong bond they share.

Queenie Singh Sethia

Queenie Singh Sethia & Tiara Dhody Interview©HelloIndia

HELLO!: You’ve been in the jewellery business for many years. Share some of your most recent career highlights.

Queenie Singh Sethia: “Yes, I’ve been in the jewellery business for 19 years now. It’s taken on another dimension because it’s become an international brand. We’re doing shows across the globe and now have clients from all over the world. It’s been an exciting time! Our designs cater a lot to international jetsetters, and our designs have always been more classic and less trendy. So we’ve just upped everything, be it the designs, the stones, or the quality.”

H!: Where’s home now? Which cities do you move between the most? 

QSS: “Home is between Mumbai and London. These are the two main cities I move between. I travel a lot because I have shows all over the world, and now, with my latest project founding a skincare brand called BIE, it’s grounded me a little more towards Mumbai.”

H!: Walk us through a day in your life. 

QSS: “I have no time to breathe! (Laughs). I don’t know when it’s the end of the day because it’s all between my older kids and Sahana, my husband, who’s quite demanding, and my work, which involves a 24/7 watch on numbers because online business is not time-centric. It’s all integrated, so there’s often no respite. I work on the jewellery brand at night and sometimes keep my staff late at work as we brainstorm on the designs, plan the exhibitions… This has been going on for 19 years, and the operating system is very set. I definitely roll out my exercise mat for at least 20-25 minutes a day and do some form of a disciplined workout, whether it’s yoga, or something on the bicycle or Pilates, just to stretch myself out wherever in the world I am. I meet friends late at night if we have to go out. They are important to me, and as we got older, they became more and more integral to my life. My life is hectic but I love it all!”

H!: What’s your brand’s USP?

QSS: “The USP is definitely that they are statement pieces. A woman expresses herself through her jewellery and should pick pieces that suit her personality. I make jewellery that’s timeless, pieces you can enjoy over the years because they are precious commodities that you don’t want to store away after the trend passes. One of my USPs is having people say, ‘I wear your ring or earrings all the time’. And this has been from clients the world over because my designs are so easy to wear.”

Queenie Singh Sethia©HelloIndia

H!: Is it difficult to be a wife, mother to three kids (one of whom is a toddler), keep up appearances socially and run a thriving business simultaneously? 

QSS: “The pressure is always there when you have two brands, or two jobs, and have a family. Sometimes, one may suffer because of the other, and then I have to compensate for it. My priorities keep me focused and grounded. Because I have so much going on in my own life, I don’t have time to look at what others do and just focus on what I’m doing. My mantra has been discipline and to have a routine, and I stick to that no matter what. I have lots of messages when I wake up, especially when I’m in London because India starts earlier. I play with Sahana, my baby, and then go straight into some form of discipline and then back to work. In London, by 2 o’clock or so, my work from India stops, and it gives me more time for myself. But when I’m in India, I don’t know where the time goes. The day passes by in the blink of an eye, so I take my responsibilities and routine seriously. I feel routine is the saviour.”

H!: Your vision for the future of your brand. 

QSS: “The sky’s the limit. As you grow, you find that there are more and more avenues. Even though the brand has reached a certain stage where it’s quite well-known, I have ideas of making it a little more mass-y. But with little free time in my hands, I fail to do that. Tiara has started a line that’s more trendy and less expensive, so that should be able to reach everybody.”

Queenie Singh Sethia & Tiara Dhody Interview©HelloIndia

H!: How do you bond with Tiara? 

QSS: “We have our moments of bonding. It’s the trips we take together as well as our shopping sprees. Otherwise, it’s just sitting together and chatting for hours, and the time just flies… She’s the one person I can completely trust with everything. As a daughter, I know she will always give me good advice and is somebody I can really lean on when I need it. She gives me a lot of comfort… I’m strong and sometimes don’t show that need for dependency. But when I need it, she can always sense it.”

H!: How do you define family? 

QSS: “Family is a place where you seek comfort; you are not judged and can have conversations about anything and everything. It’s where you can just be yourself without pretence and don’t need to have your guard up. It’s a place with my siblings, where I seek ultimate warmth and companionship. With my kids, they are my soulmates and I love my family.”

Tiara Dhody

Tiara Dhody©HelloIndia

H!: You’ve had a robust last few years with writing a book, hosting an art exhibition, creating jewellery for men, designing gloves during the lockdown, and more!

Tiara Dhody: “To me, it’s all about being able to express myself to the world. I started working on the art exhibition when I was at a very low point in my life. I had to dig deep to find the hope, the love, the luck, and the positivity that kept me alive. From there on, I went on to write a book that highlights how it was like struggling to find my voice growing up with strong male figures around me. It was an amazing way for me to explore my inner voice. Writing is dear to me, and I make it a point to write every day. I see myself writing a lot more in future and hopefully publish a lot more of my stories.”

H!: What are you currently working on?

TD: “Currently, I’m tackling the modelling and acting industries, while continuing to work on my jewellery. I also have a startup on the way and am working on another book as well as some music!”

H!: You’re a jewellery designer like your mum. Was it an organic path for you? What’s your aesthetic when it comes to baubles, and what kind of people are your pieces most suited for?

TD: “It was definitely an organic path. I used to watch my mum work with her jewellery. The way she handled her business was something I dreamt of being able to do. I had to jump in headfirst, but I was confident I’d be able to achieve what I wanted. There was no better place for me to start as a creative person. I like to believe that my jewellery is of two types. In my collection, there’s always a vintage style, which is inspired by Jack Sparrow with a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe. Then there’s a mystical, classical side, which has pieces that are gentler, lighter. We keep the designs ethereal and eternal but fun. My designs pieces are suited for stylish people of all ages.”

H!: How does your mum inspire you? How did she mentor you in the jewellery business? 

TD: Mum inspires me in every way possible. Everything I am is because of her. Watching the way she communicates with her employees, the way she handles her work, her discipline, her work ethic, her beauty rituals, her fitness regimen… She gave me a strong foundation on which to take off. She gave me complete freedom to play around and do what I want. She never got in the way of my vision, for which I’m truly grateful, considering I’m working off her brand and can go to her with any concerns or questions.”

Queenie Singh Sethia & Tiara Dhody Interview©HelloIndia

H!: How do you bond with your mother?

TD: “Mum’s schedule is very hectic, so when she’s in town, we just chat, eat dinner together and are always in contact on the phone. I share every small detail with her so we’re very close to a point of detriment (laughs). I think we need to start a few more special rituals together!”

H!: What do you envision for the future of your brand? 

TD: “My vision for Treasures by Tiara is to make it a staple that every girl would want to keep safe in her locker — like a piece by Tiffany & Co. Something that lends elegance and simple beauty to a wardrobe. I’d also love to add some spice and be the trademark of ultimate spicy, luxurious jewellery.”

H!: What do you do for fun, when you have some downtime?

TD: “I love to write, read, dance, do yoga, lay back and have good conversations. I also love to party, go to the studio and sing. My favourite pastime is getting physical and partaking in some sort of activity. I love board games, too. As long as I’m in a good mood, anything can be fun!”

H!: How do you define family?

TD: “For me, family is a place of comfort and warmth where you can freely be yourself without the fear of being judged. They take the bad and the good with a pinch of salt.”

Interview: Jeena J Billimoria; Photos: Ryan Martis; Junior Stylist: Anushree Sardesai; Hair & Makeup: Sandhya Agarwal; Location Courtesy: Koishii at the St. Regis Mumbai

This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s February 2023 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!