Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Goddess of Isis Gold Earrings
with Swarovski Crystals and Wood
At 83-years-old the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, Ohio, is still a place of thriving biomes with plenty of flora and fauna.  

The beautiful acres hold the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse; and Ohio’s first garden for children Hershey’s Children Garden.

Cleveland is also home to jewelry design team Chrissy LoConti and Sarah Piscazzi.

Don’t let the glossy allure of LoConti and Piscazzi’s lead-free and nickel-free fashion jewelry brand, Dirty Pretty Things, fool you.

Every glitzy design is ripe with social commentary about the often disingenuous environment of dance clubs.

The story goes that LoConti, a one-time art gallery owner, made a surprising career choice after receiving a degree in fine arts from Kent State University.  She used her entrepreneurial drive to “construct, own and operate” the Ohio night spot Sinergy Night Club

With the passing of several years LoConti found herself growing weary of the duplicitous interactions between the men and women who patronized her club.  So she sold the club “to pursue my genuine artistic calling”—jewelry design.

“I come from a family of entrepreneurs.  My father and grandfather were businessmen and I was inspired by them to create an opportunity—something exciting,” she recalls.  “Owning the night club—and this is not a surprise--I saw a lot of sexual tension between men and women,” explains LoConti. 

“There were a lot of raw things I saw; girls with unpleasant attitudes, guys being careless and disrespectful.  I actually found myself creatively motivated by this scene and I talked with my sisters, Annemarie and Jeannine, to start a jewelry brand that was about empowering women while making a fashion statement.”

Metallic Finish Bling Red and Gold Bangles 
with Charm Details
While LoConti acts as designer, President and CEO, she brought in Piscazzi to serve as not only Vice President but as co-designer and jewelry maker.

“Before attending Kent State, I also attended Columbus College of Art and Design.  Sarah had five years of design and bench work experience with a high-end jewelry brand. 

Within a year we developed the first collection, Marie Neville, and then officially launched in 2008.  In 2010 we launched our second collection Medea Maple.

Marie Neville and Medea Maple are fictional characters developed by LoConti and Piscazzi to express the complexity of a woman.  

Both characterizations command respect, are true to who they are, and never balk at matters of the heart.  A message that is presented in jewelry designs of gold plated metal, resin gemstones, rubber beads, Swarovski Crystals, rhinestones and metal charms.

The mix of edge and feminine elements—skull charms dangling alongside heart charms—is the very affordable brand’s signature.  

Whether the uncertain musings of their He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not pendant necklace; the playful undertone of their Beauty is Pain knife necklace; or the romantic vintage quality of their Peacock Ring Dirty Pretty Things speaks to the heart of every woman.

“We wanted to tap into the collective consciousness of women,” says LoConti.  “We wanted to bring out a fresh, stimulating, in-your-face fashion statement.  For anyone you know who has been heartbroken, it makes perfect sense.”

Gold Plated Beauty is Pain Pendant Necklace
2013 Jewelry Trend Alert:   Dirty Pretty Things’ signature style of charm clusters is on trend for the New Year as well as the brand’s incorporation of beads, cocktail rings and color pops.
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