What image comes to mind when you hear the word beauty?
For Nikki Zazzali, the answer has always been nature. As a jewelry designer and founder of Revive Jewelry, nature has always been the basis of her work.
But, nature doesn’t end at a mountain, nor does it begin in a flower. Rather, nature begins with cells.
Just like there is beauty in the trees and the sky, there is beauty in these cells, no?
That’s what Nikki thought when she saw them back in 2009. The swine flu pandemic had just started, and she wanted to know more about it.
“I Googled the H1N1 virus, and this picture of a cell popped up. I was like, this is so cool and organic and beautiful, I’m going to make a brooch out of it,” Nikki says.
At Revive Jewelry, Nikki takes microscopic images of cells affected by various diseases, from Alzheimer’s to heart diseases to Lupus, and turns them into beautiful pieces of jewelry. Ten percent of all profits are donated to a charity working to find a cure for the associated cause.
“In society, we tend to have a negative view of disease. It’s something we don’t want to talk about, we don’t want to know it’s there, and we block it out of our minds,” Nikki says.
Therefore, when Nikki shows people her pieces, they have mixed reactions. “I knew there was sort of this visceral reaction, either you were really into it or you really didn’t like it.” She continues, “to me, that’s what fashion and art are all about: having an opinion.”
While diseases are an inevitable reality, a lot of disease research is underfunded. Nikki saw this fact firsthand when her brother was diagnosed with lupus.
“I was stunned to learn that there is an incredible lack of information on [lupus] and no known cure,” Nikki explains on the Revive Blog. “I want to help change that.”
Pictured: Jewelry from Revive supporting Lupus Research. Click here for a closer look!
5 years after starting Revive, a lot has changed in Nikki’s life. For one, she now has a newborn baby. “My mantra right now is just keep going. It’s been really challenging [with a newborn] to do everything I used to do,” Nikki says.
Luckily for us, she has kept going. Today, Revive supports 19 different causes and hosts a private, community support group; a safe space where someone battling an illness, working as a caregiver, or just feeling overwhelmed can find support. It’s on Facebook – click here to join.
“Now when I think about disease, I see possibilities, and I see avenues for change,” Nikki says.
On Tuesday, November 30th at 8 pm EST, join Nikki live on GNL to shop charitable jewelry from Revive: click here to sign up. We hope to see you there!