My name is Angela Monaco. I am a jewelry designer, good vibes creator and dog lover living in Philadelphia. I own a jewelry studio and showroom called Concrete Polish where I make and sell my jewelry, crystals, and a carefully curated selection of other designers. In the back of Concrete Polish, you can find us working onsite to bring our jewelry to life.
Concrete Polish started off as an Etsy shop, and over the years my business has grown and flourished into an artisan community workspace and showroom. I have connected with many amazing creators over the years, and we love having a space where we can all get together, share ideas, work on projects or celebrate new opportunities. Everything I make is designed in my studio and cast locally on Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers Row. I use reclaimed metals and locally sourced material whenever possible.
Designing starts from found organic objects – crystals – that I am attracted to as a sculptural form. My love of crystals dates back to my childhood, when my mother adorned the house with their powerful presence. I use the lost wax casting process to alter these forms, marrying mineral and metal.
I have always been an artist. Once I figured out that I could make a living from my work, I never turned back. I love creating things that make the person wearing them feel energized and powerful. Most importantly, I love knowing that the amount of work I put in will always show a return.
Making jewelry and owning this showroom has taken over my life. I constantly am reminded how blessed I am to be doing what I love. When you own your own business, it becomes your family and you never stop thinking about it. Having my creative business has given me so many opportunities to meet other creators and collaborate.
To me, conscious consumerism means empowering awareness in the purchasing process. Supporting sustainably-run businesses is the key to creating a balanced economy. One of the ways I embody and support this model is through the relationships I have developed over time with the different families on Jewelers Row.
Etsy has grown into a gigantic community of sellers and customers who care about staying connected. It has taken online shopping from simply picking out products on a shelf to a process of relationship-building and really educating the customer on how and where the art is created. It proves that people still do care about the small details that go into each sale.
All photographs by Angela Monaco.