“Zayver literally means jewelry in Gujarati and Hindi," says academic-cum-jewelry-designer Bela Thacker. "Growing up, my mom and aunt taught me that Zayver is not simply a piece of jewelry but rather a piece of art that you wear around your neck, your wrist, or in your ears.”
Like the PhD herself, Bela Thacker’s jewelry line, made up of semi-precious stones, crystals, brass, silver, and gold plating, is full of contrasts: academic and creative, contemporary and traditional, local and global. After years studying immigration and gender, Thacker left a career in academia—her worsening Rheumatoid arthritis rendering it difficult to put in the long hours of teaching required—and was searching for what to do next.
“It was really hard to accept the fact that I had to give up my teaching career, and even thinking about what to do next was very difficult. But as I started thinking about alternative careers, I realized I should focus on my other passion: jewelry.”
In 2011, Thacker opened her own business, Zayver Jewels. The limited-run, artisan-made collections are designed to give clients the feeling of owning a one-of-a-kind piece instead of something mass-produced. She works with manufacturers in North America, Europe, and India to bring her designs—and her designer collaborations—to market. While it’s a thrill to design pieces, her favorite moments are when she sees Zayver jewelry on others.
“I love it when I run into women wearing a Zayver Jewels piece at a gala or a luncheon or around town,” said Thacker. “I believe we have pieces to suite every mood and every moment in our lives.”