Living On Velvet: Meet Lisa!

Hello! Here is another fun addition to the “Meet the Owner” series on Honey Kennedy. I hope you enjoy the interview with lovely shopkeeper, Lisa Mastrangelo from Living On Velvet Vintage. Before we get to the interview, Lisa is offering a 20% discount in the shop through September with the handy dandy promo code: HONEYVELVET.

She is one of the rad people I’ve met through my blog who I know could be an “in real life” pal. I so wish I could go hang out with her and “Eloise”, her dress form. We’d drink pots of tea and watch old movies. And maybe she could show me a side of Vegas that seems to have eluded me when I was there, like the famed Liberace museum!

Lovely Lisa Mastrangelo, owner of Living On Velvet Vintage.

Where do you live? What’s it like?
Las Vegas. Hot and touristy. The areas of “old Vegas” are few and far between, but there are still some neat things to be scoped out, like The Atomic Testing Museum.

What is the #1 most awesome thing about owning your shop?
I love that I get to ship globally. If only I could go all the places my dresses do!!

What’s your sign?

Tell us something people don’t already know about you.
I make a mean mole chili!

What are some other shops online that you love?
The Impossible Project supports my Polaroid addiction. Harney & Sons is a good place for tea. (massive crush on their Paris tea) Adeline Adeline is a nice shop to snazzify your bicycle (a bell is next on my list) or to swoon over bikes I wish I could have.

Current snack of choice? Current fave restaurant?
I have been making this apple mint mousse dessert that is perfect for summer. My favorite restaurant is Ichiza. They serve Japanese bar food. It’s worth it for the dessert alone.

What’s your poison? Current cocktail or soft drink of choice?
I am a tea fiend and as of late, Oregon Chai’s matcha green tea with coconut milk over ice has me over the moon. Seriously, try it!

Ooohhh... nice vintage magazine at Lisa's house.

How did you get into vintage?
When I was in high school, I would go to thrift stores and antique malls with my mom and just felt a connection with all the old wares. And I have always felt like I was born in the wrong era, an “old soul” as they say.

What was the first piece of vintage that blew your mind?
I remember watching old movies with my mother and fawning over all the costumes.

Do you collect some specific things for your own home/closet?
I like collecting things made of jadeite and bakelite. I love vintage glassware and kitchen items. I also love old photos! I have photos of my great aunt Audrey and my grandpa’s WWII buddies on my mantle.

Do you have a favorite era?
This is hard because there are things about each era that I dig. But if pressed I would say the 20s. I like that women were rebelling. Cutting their hair in bobs, shortening their skirts and dancing wildly to “forbidden music.” Plus, that’s where all the good slang comes from!

What is your fantasy vintage score that you hope to find one day?
The collection of an old Hollywood actress.

What is the vintage score that got away?
I had the chance to go to the Vintage Expo in Santa Monica (which I highly recommend if you like vintage clothing) It’s HUGE!! And I have never seen that many amazing pieces all in one place before. I was so overwhelmed and just wanted to admire each garment that I lost track of time and didn’t even get to finish looking through it all. I’m going to go again in October with more of a game plan.

Lisa's sweet fireplace at home.

Do you have actual dreams that involve vintage?
Yes, sometimes I actually wake up thinking I get to go through a huge mountain of clothes only to be disappointed.

What is your ritual for getting down to really work on your shop updates?
I am the kind of person that is easily distracted. I make a to-do list, put on some good music, have a cup of tea and a snack nearby and try my best not to let my mind wander. Occasionally, I do allow myself a dance break though.

Any vintage shopping pro tips?
Do research on labels and union tags to help determine era. Make sure you give items a thorough going over before purchasing. When possible take a pal along.

#1 dream vacation?
I need to see what Paris in the spring is all about.

How do you unwind?
I watch a lot of TCM and have an at-capacity DVR to prove it. I learned how to knit about 2 years ago, and I like finding projects to construct. My boyfriend and I like to have date nights at the Pinball Hall Of Fame; they have a bunch of old machines from the 40s and 50s. $5 can last you an hour!

Living On Velvet dresses!

Dream concert. Living or dead, Top 5 bands who are playing for you?
I would love to go back to some of the old jazz clubs and see people like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cleo Brown, Thelonious Monk, and of course Miles.

Top 5 albums of all-time that you would have to have if you were stranded on a desert island?
Oh geez this is hard and it’s always changing, but at the moment:
Sun Kil Moon–Ghosts of the Great Highway
Psychedelic Furs–Forever Now
Dave Brubeck–Time Out
Frank Sinatra–Watertown
James Brown–Please Please Please

Are you reading or watching anything lately that inspires you?
I am currently reading All The Kings Men by Robert Penn Warren. I love his writing style and he paints a really vivid image of the 1930s south. I am really curious to read his poems. Also, I recently discovered the films of Yasujirō Ozu. He depicts life in Japan in such an intimate and beautiful way. He’s also has quite the sense of humor.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

#1 pet peeve?
Bad manners.

Thanks for the interview and the gorgeous photographs, Lisa! Make sure to check out Lisa’s amazing vintage shop, Living On Velvet and remember to use the 20% off promo code: HONEYVELVET!

More sweet things at Lisa's house.


Images courtesy of Lisa Mastrangelo.


8 Responses to “Living On Velvet: Meet Lisa!”
  1. Chelsea says:

    Love this interview! Just lovely…and the photos are so sweet. xoxo

  2. Caitlin Rose says:

    that’s so funny that she dreams of vintage clothes! I dream of serving tables in a restaurant and not having enough time to finish all their requests. but I have had a few dreams where I’ve went to a yard sale that happened to be full of couture clothing. I had my first one when I was pretty young, like 12. It hasn’t happened but I’ve been to a few good ones.

  3. Melissa says:

    lisa is a babe, and as far as i’m concerned, one of the few things in Vegas that is awesome and not gross. though that pinball museum looks amazing…

    also, totally agreed on the SaMo expo. lots of the wares are way pricey but i always go straight to the easily-mendable for deals, ha.

  4. Anabela says:

    Whoa, so cool! I corresponded with Lisa and she had an ad on my blog for a little while, but I hadn’t seen her picture before or thought to ask her questions — this is great! What a babe.