Back in 2000, Sarah DeAngelo was running around a steakhouse in Beverly Hills taking food orders as a server. On impulse, DeAngelo quit her job after a customer was rude to her, and the next day, she started selling her handcrafted jewelry. At the time, she was going to school for occupational therapy, but once she saw the positive feedback from boutiques that were purchasing her jewelry, she saw the potential to make a career out of her creations.
“I never intended to become a jewelry artist, but life has a way of taking you places you didn’t expect,” said DeAngelo.
One of the places life has taken DeAngelo to is Englewood at 16 E. Girard Ave. where she has opened up Sarah DeAngelo Jewelry, a store that sells her handcrafted jewelry and other products such as candles, handmade cards, artwork and small pottery. Sarah DeAngelo Jewelry opened on Dec. 17, and DeAngelo is planning a grand opening celebration on Jan. 25.
DeAngelo, who went to metalsmithing school at the Howard Academy of Metal Arts in Wisconsin, describes her jewelry as feminine with a Southwestern flair. She says she is inspired by the work of traditional Native American silversmiths and ancient jewelry from Africa, Europe and India. Her products include necklaces, earrings and bracelets.
This past year saw DeAngelo’s jewelry featured in the lifestyle retailer Sundance catalogue and in over 50 stores across the country. She says her jewelry isn’t meant for special occasions, but rather for everyday tasks like going to the grocery store.
“My intent for my jewelry and for my new store is to help women feel beautiful. Not superficial beauty, but deep appreciation for the beauty within,” said DeAngelo. “As women, we feel so much pressure to be a certain way. It’s very easy to feel not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough (and) not woman enough. I want my customers to feel like their jewelry is an extension of their own natural and unique beauty.”
David Carroll, executive director for the Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce, said businesses like Sarah DeAngelo Jewelry are an example of a rise in a “boutique mentality” that he’s seen in Englewood. He named Englewood businesses such as Sarah DeAngelo Jewelry, the Peace Cellar boutique and Sweet Caroline’s Confections, a customizable lollipop shop, as examples of retail spaces that are set up for success, even with the popularity of online shopping.
“They’re successful because they are more than just a store, they are tastemakers,” said Carroll. The Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce advocates for Englewood businesses.
DeAngelo called Englewood the perfect spot for her business. She said she loves the vibe of the city, the historic buildings and the small-town feel Englewood has.
“We welcome (Sarah DeAngelo Jewelry), and we are happy (she) chose Englewood,” said Englewood Mayor Linda Olson in a statement.
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