Monica Ferreira with Alvanel

Monica Ferreira was born in Santarem, Portugal and grew up in the region of Cartaxo. As a little girl Monica sat with her paternal grandmother and learned how to sew by hand, cross stitch and crochet; using her knowledge to make clothing for her Barbies. At the age of 12 she moved to Philadelphia. In her teenage years, Monica began experimenting with her own clothing, looking for a sense of uniqueness. She traveled through thrift stores buying clothes she could alter and turn them into something totally different. Something totally her own.

Despite her passion for fashion design, Monica was skeptical about pursuing her dreams in the industry and spent her education majoring in studies that simply did not satisfy her. In her mid 20’s, Monica visited a friend in London who was studying Fashion Design. She fell in love. Her immediate thought was to move to London and practice her talents under the direction of professors and professionals. When she traveled back home to Philadelphia, ready to collect her things and embark on her journey, she fell in love once more, this time with her husband. Monica wed her best friend and put her vision on hold. After having her first born the ambition and dream to go to school returned. She did not want to have any regrets and wanted her children to know the value in following your dreams. Monica began attending The Art Institute of Philadelphia for Fashion Design part-time. Now, with two children and two classes left to graduate, Monica Ferreira has started her own jewelry line called Alvanel Designz.

The name Alvanel came as a way of honoring her late maternal grandfather, adding a pigeon to her logo in reminiscence of the pigeon coop he had in his backyard. When faced with doubts about launching her own line, two pigeons found their way to her, settling on her rooftop. Her grandfather then began appearing in her dreams- these were signs she could no longer deny. Monica honored him and his forever faith in her, putting fear to the side and taking motivation by the hand, Alvanel
was born.

Alvanel Designz has been featured in DY Arts magazine with pieces selected for Three Favorite Gifts For The Holidays in Visually Fly by Flygirrl in philly360.visitphilly.com. Monica's jewelry is currently retailing in three stores, with hopes of many more. MODA III: European Fashion by Portuguese Design will be Monica’s third Fashion Show.