Ask Monica Rich Kosann to share a secret she normally doesn’t tell anyone, and she might admit she was a model child. She had this look: all eyes, super serious.
“When I was on camera, I hated every minute. I was super shy,” Kosann says. “I was super happy to get behind the camera.”
This introspection through photography flourished in high school, where Kosann also played the violin. In college, she studied art history and English. During the summers, she took more art classes, traveled Europe, and began visiting antique and flea markets. Around this time, Kosann began working as a portrait photographer.
These are the seeds that led Kosann to her work now in the jewelry business – a call to be a storyteller, a love of classic, meaningful memories, and a desire to help people feel better.
“Whenever I traveled, I would ask the hotel where the flea markets were,” says Kosann. “I started collecting compacts, cigarette cases and medallions. They were unique pieces that really said something about a person’s life.
As a gift, Kosann would sometimes take one of her old cigarette cases, insert a photo she had taken, and give it to a customer or friend. Frequently, the recipient liked the picture cases and asked if they could get another one, but Kosann knew there was no way to replicate that vintage aesthetic.
Until, as the story goes, she decides she can. Her husband and her own entrepreneurial experience as a first-generation American encouraged Kosann to start thinking about how they could take the objects she loved from the past and transform them into something modern, fresh and personal.
“A locket is the sexiest piece of jewelry a woman can wear,” says Kosann. “When I walked around museums and saw a woman wearing a medallion, she had this expression on her face, like she wanted people to ask, ‘What’s in my medallion? “Is it my children? Is it my husband? Or could he be my lover? He’s a secret message carrier.
Today, Monica Rich Kosann creates dozens of medallions, each with an individual style and unique purpose, she says. Her jewelry appeals to all ages, from her cool millennial daughters, Danielle and Laura Kosann, to her mother, who is now 90.
“The medallions must contain your secret messages, your aspirations. You should have medallions for different things, different stages of your life,” Kosann says.
Her jewelry has grown since the company began to encompass other styles of jewelry, including charms, poetic rings, bracelets, chains, lockets – anything a person might wear to mark milestones in life. his life. Kosann says her goal is to give her customers a piece of jewelry that makes them brave, empowered and inspired.
This continued during the pandemic with Kosann’s creation of the Locket Bar, an online service that allows customers to personalize their locket at home. Customers select a locket, choose a photo from their smartphone, tablet or laptop, and use the site’s website tool to create the perfect size to put in their new MRK jewellery.
From her debut until now, Kosann says there are recurring themes in her work, including compasses because they mean so much to her.
“Some roads are good. Some roads are not. But you get away with it,” Kosann says. “I always say my pieces are daily reminders that you can’t get stuck in the past. You need to go forward. »
Top: Monica Rich Kosann grew from an arts-centric childhood into adulthood with an appreciation for tradition, vintage collectibles and photography. She uses all of these influences in her jewelry business (all photos courtesy of Monica Rich Kosann).
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