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January 9th, 2018

Happy Birthday to The Vintage Contessa!

Every month in Tidbits, we recognize a female entrepreneur on her birthday.

Our first Birthday Girl of 2018 is Donae Cangelosi Chramosta who owns The Vintage Contessa & Times Past... and an enviable handbag collection.

Why did you start The Vintage Contessa?
I’ve always had a love affair with handbags. My father is of Italian heritage and he used to buy me the token Gucci bag at duty-free shops when he traveled to Italy on business. Years later, I understand the timelessness of a luxury handbag and I look forward to passing down some of these pieces to my daughter Bella.   
 
Confession time. How many handbags do you have in your closet?
I probably own 30 handbags, which for a collector isn’t really a lot. I used to own more but I don’t get as attached as I used to get with my bags. I think that is the benefit of buying vintage or preowned handbags and accessories. You can wear them for a while and then sell them to someone else to enjoy without taking a big financial loss. 
 
Rarest designer piece you own.
Pink Hermes Crocodile 35cm Birkin.
 
Three words to describe your style.
Bold, daring, feminine. 
 
You are quite the traveler - three unusual places where you have sourced products.
1. Forte Dei Marmi, Italy 
2. Hong Kong 
3. Naples, Italy 
 
One piece you couldn’t live without?
Louis Vuitton Neverfull. I carry it every day as a business tote, on every flight, and to the beach or après-ski. 
 
How has social media changed things at your showroom?
It gives us an open forum to share our most coveted pieces. When we post a Van Cleef necklace or Cartier watch, you wouldn’t believe the number of messages and calls we get right after! 
 
Any bold-faced clients you can tell us about?
I was thrilled to have our Louis Vuitton vintage fanny pack featured in Vogue during fashion week on Houston's Chiara Casiraghi. She is definitely on her way to being a famous international blogger. 
 
Best spot for brunch?
 
Where do you always take your visitors?
I highly recommend all out of town visitors come during the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo BBQ cook-off. It is SUCH a slice of Texas and you can’t explain it. You just have to experience it. For shopping, I take visitors to Dolce & Gabbana in River Oaks District. 
 
Ways you unwind?
For workouts, I go to Sculpt Pilates two to three days a week. For mani/pedi, I go to Susan’s Nails in Rice Village. 
 
What’s something readers would be surprised to learn about you? 
I love old country music, grew up hunting and fishing with my dad as a young girl, and graduated from Texas A&M University. Whoop!
 
Mention Houston Tidbits for 10% off handbags from The Vintage Contessa in January. 10% of your purchase will also go to KNOWAutism, the cause Donae supported with her private birthday party at Dolce & Gabbana this weekend.
 
Want to be featured in Tidbits on your birthday in 2018? Tell us why at submissions-houston@gotidbits.com.

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