Eat the Globe sat down to have a chat with Patsy Meecham to talk about her stylish travel accessories brand VoeurnChea.
I have always been passionate about design; I love the creative process of designing wearable things. I was inspired to start VoeurnChea after a lot of travelling a few years ago. I realised that there wasn't any functional, yet stylish travel accessories available for me, to allow me to travel lightly.
VoeurnChea is all about creating stylish, classic travel accessories that are practical for travelling, such as our leather travel clutch wallet which carries your crucial wallet items and travel documents. With this little beauty, the important things in your bag are always in the one place. There’s no more fumbling to the bottom of an oversized handbag for what you need at customs and duty free shops. Now even when I’m not travelling - my whole life is in this little clutch wallet. I rarely use a handbag anymore. It’s taken the weight off my shoulders!
I have also taken VoeurnChea designs one step further; I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time when it comes to packing. I just want to take everything with me! A pair of shoes for every occasion, (just in case…) different handbags and small purses to match all my outfits. When I finally got tired of packing too much, I started designing accessories that helps the wearer travel light, transform easily from day to night and travel around the globe with style and grace.
A few years ago, I was up late one night watching a documentary about a young Australian of the Year talking about her experience as a seasonal volunteer for an orphanage in Cambodia, and how the whole program just didn’t seem ‘right’ to her. She later went back to Cambodia and set up her own facility which helps both the children and their families escape poverty together.
As I was born in Cambodia myself, her story resonated with me. It occurred to me that I too could have been orphaned during the Pol Pot regime period. I can’t imagine what my life could have turned out to be if my family and I were unable to escape the war. When VoeurnChea was finally an official brand, supporting the children of Cambodia came as a natural instinct.
VoeurnChea gives back to the children by donating a percentage of our revenue to this cause. For more information about our partnership, visit our website.
Fashion is such a noisy and competitive world that sometimes, in pursuit of ‘popularity’, I feel that humanity can be left out of the process. Success to us (as well as seeing our designs materialise into timeless and quality products) is about serving our customers well.
Our customers love the way we create a personal touch in every parcel that leaves our premises. We give thanks by giving back to our customers and the community.
Because Voeurnchea is a Cambodian name, at first some of our audience expected a Cambodian heritage style influence. We are focusing on communicating a little clearer, that the brand is rather about being ‘global’, it’s about being carefree, vibrant yet classic and stylish, invoking a feeling of nomadic-wanderlust. The fans of VoeurnChea are confident individuals. They are not so-much, dictated by trend.
The second challenge is the pronunciation of the brand name. We have almost all the vowels in the name. Thanks to the New Zealand immigrant officer whom decided that my family names should be spelt this way (laugh). VoeurnChea, simply pronounced ‘V e r n – C h e a’. It is a combination of my Cambodian name, my late father’s first name, and my late grandfather's family name. The brand name as you see, is very close to my heart, honouring my Cambodian ancestors and, as such, it is a source of motivation and inspiration for me.
I enjoy the sense of achievement every time we launch a new item. I enjoy the whole process of designing, from the initial idea and concept through to the materialisation of the product. It's a great journey. The greatest sense of achievement comes from feedback and compliments from our customers. This gives us validation on what we’re doing right and what we need to improve.
A good chef never measures. This has always been my cooking style and a lot of the time my best dishes are accidental and never to be repeated. So, here are a few of my favourite recipes:
I would love to go back to Bhutan and explore more of this little country. Their cuisine is so unique and very much influenced by Chinese, Tibetan and Indian culture. Lots of spices were used and I was in my element. Their national dish is Ema Datsi which is chilli cooked in cheese, served with seasonal vegetables from the land.
One type of vegetable that took my fancy was a type of edible fern grown in the forest. I couldn’t get enough of it while I was there. I bought a recipe book in hope that I could replicate some of the dishes, but unfortunately, I can’t get the crucial ingredients here in Sydney, not even the right type of cheese. So, this cookbook is now a much-loved souvenir on my book shelf.
I would go anywhere there’s food! Most people would seek out places to see and do. I seek out the best places to eat and where I can later lie down and rub my belly (laugh). On my latest travel trip through South East Asia we stopped in KL for one night and experienced the Gourmet Safari. A progressive six course dinner. What a magical night of gastronomic experience that was!
To find out more, you can visit our website, we ship our products internationally: https://www.voeurnchea.com
We are also on Instagram: @Voeurn_Chea
VoeurnChea is also occasionally featured at fashion events:
This video was a local fashion designers’ collaboration for Creative Uncovered. The costumes, (the Travelling Hearts series), were a one off, designed and made by myself to accompany our travel accessories on the catwalk. In exchange for a kind donation to our chosen charity, the costumes are also available on loan for aspiring photographers needing creative costumes for any special photographic project. Just get in touch at: Hello@VoeurnChea.com
We offer 10% off for the first order for any readers. Use the code: VIBRANT CULTURE
Everything is possible in my creative mind. A new collection of dresses designed especially for our nomad-wanderlusters has recently been launched called the "The Dream Catcher Series". You can check out a video of the new dresses here.
Province/State: New South Wales
Zip/Post Code: N/A
Location Tips: N/A
N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc