ANGELA MONACO Engagement Ring Designer

ANGELA MONACO Engagement Ring Designer

Owner Ritual Shoppe

Angela Monaco is a Jeweler, Mystic, and Entrepreneur. and she loves Bus Sotp Boutique shoes. She is the owner of the gorgeous & magical boutique Ritual Shoppe which carries apothecary items, crystals, gifts, & unique jewelry. She is the designer/maker of the handmade, ethical fine & silver jewelry line Angela Monaco Jewelry, made right here in Philly.
We adore Angela, she's an old friend & we love her new shop, we loved her old shop, & we are big fans & collectors of her pieces!
We're honored to be featured (alongside many of our favorite local shops) in Angela's Small Businesses in Philly to Support this Holiday Season blog too!
Angela is one of our favorite peeps, and we asked her to take part in our new #BusStopLoves Series.
For our weekly series, we’ve interviewed our favorite Philadelphians... the jewelers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, designers, collaborators, and creative friends who have inspired us greatly and have worked with us to tell our brand story over the last 13 years. They've each played a BIG part in our storytelling with their unique work and abilities. This week, we'd like to introduce you to another one of our favorite folks to you.
1. How long have you lived in Philly?
11 amazing life changing years!

2. How do you describe yourself in THREE WORDS?
Quirky, Vulnerable, Passionate.

3. How would your best friend describe you in THREE WORDS?
Innovative, Chic, Caring.

4. How did you start your career?
On pure impulse! One summer night I was at a concert and was noticing that I was selling a lot of jewelry by just meeting people naturally. I thought that night I want to open a store! I found my first lil spot on 3rd st in Northern Liberties that very next month. I had no idea what I was doing and it just grew organically over the years.  

5. Who’s your mentor?
I was connected with my first official mentor this past year.  Her name is Jennifer Gandia and she is a BADASS! She owns a very well known and successful jewelry store called Greenwich St. Jewelers in NYC.  She keeps me accountable and I have already learned so much from her.

6. What do you fantasize about?
Owning a second shop in LA with a studio/community space that I can welcome all the makers that I love in Philly to.

7. What keeps you up at night?
Worrying about the people that I love and the state of the world, and sometimes many creative ideas swirling around in my head.

8. How has the pandemic affected you?
It has proven to me once again that pain is the touchstone of growth.   The shutdown and forced separation majorly strengthened my skills in leading a team including communication, project management via the virtual life, and we actually did a lot of product development during the lockdown. All of this felt extremely difficult for a few months and now we are on a roll and feeling like a lot of our hard work is paying off.  On a self care note I had to really step up my game on taking care of my mental health and not overworking myself.  Learning  that I need to rest way more than I do and not put so much pressure on myself.  I also fell in love during quarantine yay! <3

9. How has the BLM Movement influenced your life and your work?
It propelled us to prioritize doing social impact work and learned that you can't just do things you need to show it! We re-evaluated how we do EVERYTHING  and are committed to making our brand a welcoming and safer place for the BIPOC communities.  We have gotten a chance to make some great improvements in the diversity of the selection of artists we carry, who we hire, and the projects we decide to create have a focus on amplifying Black artists and donating to organizations that we feel connected to.  We hired a diversity inclusion coach named Erica Courdae who was very helpful and I highly suggest working with her!  Most of all it's made us realize that even though we are a small business we have a responsibility to use our voice to fight for racial justice and contribute to the change that needs to happen.

10: What's one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
I grew up in the foster care system and lived in many different homes as a child.   I have used my hardships of my youth to help others that suffer from childhood traumas and addiction.  In highschool and early college days I  had a plan to be a social worker or therapist.  Turns out I wasn't built for academia nor did I graduate college.  Falling into entrepreneurship has created the ability for me to grow so much as a womxn and create  a safe space for people to be vulnerable and connect with each other.  Forever grateful for the people in my life that have helped me along the way and I hope to continue to return the favor. <3

BONUS Q: What's your favorite spot in Philly?
Oooo that's a hard one because I f*ing love Philadelphia so much! Ever since the Pandemic started my studio has been such a serene place for me to be.  I also am well overdue for a new pair of fly shoes at Bus Stop! :) 
Angela we love you and hope our readers have an insight into your uniqueness & amazingness in this series.