For Donae Chramosta, lovingly labeled “The Vintage Contessa” by friends, family
On how she became “The Contessa”:
I started my career in advertising after graduating from Texas A&M University. Shortly after
In 2003, while dating my now husband Rob, I started to collect more and more vintage designer items domestically and internationally. My friends were always so interested in these newly acquired collector’s items, so I started to buy pre-owned pieces. I resold them under the name Times Past Collection, in addition to my full-time job as President of Cangelosi Company.
In 2011, I officially took Times Past full-time, and created and founded The Vintage Contessa as a website and retail arm of the luxury business. It is rare to have something you are so passionate about
On what’s special about The Vintage Contessa:
The relationships Rob and I have cultivated in the Houston community are a priority for our business, as we are passionate about supporting the city in which we live and work. Additionally, we prioritize our relationships with our buyers and sellers internationally. These relationships have allowed us to provide our clients with the most exclusive and highly-coveted designer pieces in the world.
In order to align our brand with others that are like-minded, I coined the term #ContessaCollaborations for my pop-up events, trunk shows and partnerships with other businesses in the industry. This has fueled creativity and innovation in how we market ourselves to potential clientele.
On Contessa in the community:
I am passionate about giving back. My parents were very active in the community, which is something I’ve tried to embody over the years, and I feel it’s important to instill a sense of generosity in my daughter. We wrote a book together called The Vintage Contessa & Princessa that incorporates our love of fashion and emphasizes the necessity of giving back.
A portion of the proceeds from the book
On her personal female hero:
Audrey Hepburn is the biggest influence on me, not only because of her style but also because of her humanitarian work. As a woman in the fashion industry, I’m inspired by her classic style with a touch of whimsy. My favorite image of her is when she is wearing the pink coat, dress
However, my favorite Aubrey Hepburn quote is from her humanitarian heart. She said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” She chose to use her voice to change the lives of children globally. Her voice inspires me in every step I take to help those in our community and around the world.
This profile was (Em)Powered by The Vintage Contessa & Times Past.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.