I love highlighting the little hidden gems of Philly. And Ritual Ritual has been my favorite so far. Located right on Second Street in Northern Liberties, owner Angela Monaco has created a solace for the raddest gals (and guys) in the city. Anytime I go down to second street for tacos and beers at Dos Segundos, I make sure to stop and look in the window at Ritual Ritual. Their visual displays are insanely beautiful. Geometric, wooden shapes, add a clean yet rustic edge. And the greenery throughout the store is just beautiful! I have trouble keeping one plant alive, so props to the girls at Ritual Ritual for keeping a small jungle healthy.
I got to hang out with Angela for a bit and pick her brain on everything she's done in her career so far, which started with her jewelry company, Concrete Polish. Read below for our interview! We played dress up so you all can see some of the amazing things the artists here at Ritual Ritual have to offer. I also had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Dana, the owner of Material Poetry, Franklin the pup, and Mackenzie their new Reiki master! The store just recently started offering Reiki and massage services. To make this happen, they are looking to expand. For more info, click here and donate if you can!
Nicole: How did Ritual Ritual start?
Angela: I first started my jewelry line called Concrete Polish, and have been making jewelry for 10 years now. After a few years of having a home studio I felt the need to separate my living and working situation. In 2011 I opened my first brick and mortar on 3rd street, called Concrete Polish. At first I sold only my jewelry and had a small studio in the back. I felt inspired to showcase other independent artist and this grew the idea of the collective. We were open on 3rd st for 2.5 years until I decided to rebrand and launch the space as Ritual Ritual. In June of 2015 we moved to our current space and now carry over 50 independent designers and artisans from all over the country!
N: Did you go to school for jewelry making?
A: Yes I did among other things. I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and did a 2 year program there. After that I have taken a few intensive workshops where I learned most of the processes I use now.
N: What is your biggest inspiration?
A: Most definitely crystals. I have a serious obsession. Before I made jewelry I used to sell and collect gems and minerals. The first time I made a jewelry line and started thinking of fashion, I would use the forms of the crystals as inspiration sculpturally.
N: What has been the hardest part of getting to this point in your career?
A: I don't think I could pin point any one thing. Everyday is new and possibilities are endless. I've always been a person that dives right in and doesn't think much before making big decisions. It sounds scary and sure feels like it sometimes but it's gotten me to where I am now and I've learned to trust my intuition.
N: What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?
A: Meeting all of the amazing people over the years. I have developed so many outstanding relationships that I don't believe I would have, not had the space to open up so much community and opportunity to connect. I have been working with some of these artists for a few years now and it's awesome to see how far everyone has come.
N: Do you see yourself staying in Philly?
A: I see the shop staying in Philly (because it's the best city in America!) but I do dream about moving to the desert from time to time. I believe in our city and think it's a great place to explore creativity and being an entrepreneur.
N: Do you have any advice for people who want to break into the industry?
A: Experience is everything. Get involved and try out many different facets of the field you are interested in. Connections are key and making good relationships with people will forever keep giving. Keep a PMA (positive mental attitude) and be yourself! Believe in what you do and know that you're offering something special that people are going to want to see.
N: What would you like to see Ritual do next?
A: We are super excited about our new expansion to create a healing room at the shop. After we complete our fundraiser there will be space to get affordable reiki and massage by two of the members of our collective. Please check out our campaign here!
Thanks for reading! If you're in the Philly area, make sure to pop into Ritual Ritual in Northern Liberties and say hi to these wonderful ladies!
Till next time.
All photos from this series are by my talented dear friend Andrew Hector. Go check out his adventures and more of his insane work!