Beltway Vintage offers the finest vintage for every day, from the Beltway and beyond. You’ll find vintage clothing, vintage accessories, and vintage home decor items from the 1950s through the 1980s in our Washington, D.C. shop and online.
Beltway Vintage was born in 2009, as a blog called Quarter Life. Quarter Life began as a way to brag about DC’s amazing vintage shops and thrift stores alongside plenty of photos of my favorite finds. Before long, the brick-and-mortar cravings started. I organized pop-up shops, participated in markets, sold online, and spent a lot of time selling and learning at Nana, which was located in Mount Pleasant at the time.
Finally, in 2013, the right opportunity presented itself. I teamed up with Melissa Esposito of Craftgasm to open Analog, a studio/store (we call it “the storio”) in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood near Catholic University. Melissa’s love of correspondence, mail art, vintage stationery, and all things related to the written word combines perfectly with my love of vintage items of all kinds. If you’re at all nostalgic, you’ll love visiting.
Beltway Vintage owner Lisa Rowan (often known simply as Lisatella) is the shop’s lead buyer. She’s been selling vintage for five years as a consigner, reseller, and shopgirl. She’s finishing her Master’s in Liberal Studies at Georgetown University, where she focused on American Studies. Lisa realized her path in fashion and its history when she discovered that her great-great grandfather immigrated to New England from Belgium to open a woolen mill in the late 19th century. Her graduate thesis examines the fall of the American garment-making indsutry, and the factors that would make a modest renaissance feasible. She loves reading about the business of fashion. You may recognize her as the former DC Goodwill Fashionista for Goodwill of Greater Washington.
Lisa’s background is in local journalism and media research. She is an experienced writer and editor, and when she’s not scouting for vintage, you’ll probably find her tapping away at her computer in a coffee shop. Her orange cat, Judas, is the shop’s unofficial mascot and a frequent star on the blog.
Melissa Esposito owns Craftgasm, which shares studio space with Beltway Vintage. You’ll find vintage clothing and reclaimed paper goods mixing and mingling throughout the space. And chances are, you’ll run into Melissa from time to time!
Craftgasm creates reclaimed paper goods with a sense of history using maps, found materials, & some snazzy vintage typewriters. Among the offerings are stationery lettersets with map envelopes, notecards made with children’s book illustrations, and art prints made on a Gocco machine. All products are eco-friendly and were created using paper that would have otherwise wound up in the recycling bin.
Claire Cantwell is an experienced seamstress and costume designer. She is online merchandising associate and resident shopgirl at Analog. You may also know her as resident seamstress for our neighbor, Stitch & Rivet.
Julie Smolinski is online merchandising associate and assistant buyer emeritus for Beltway Vintage. Although she has left us for graduate school, she’s still keeping an eye out for great vintage pieces for the shop!
Where do you get your stuff?
All over the place! My favorite place to buy vintage is wherever I’m traveling. I’ll do research about charity shops and flea markets and build serious shopping time into my vacations and business trips.
I’m looking for something in particular, but I’m stumped. Can you help?
I’ll try! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what you’re looking for and how quickly you want or need it. I may have something in the Quarter Life studio (which is really a glorified home office), or I may be able to recommend another shop that can help.
I have a lot of vintage at home. Will you buy it from me?
I wish I could! But due to the small size of our studio and storage space, we’re not able to buy from our neighbors at this time.
I know a great market/pop-up/circus act you need to get in on. How can I tell you about it?
Just email me: email@example.com. I’m always looking for a fun opportunity to share vintage clothing and accessories!
I have a fashion magazine/blog/TV show/theater company and we could use some cool vintage for a shoot/taping/show/awesome circus act. Can I borrow some pieces?
Depending on the sizes and eras you seek, I may be able to help! Drop me a line at the address above and tell me about your needs. A refundable deposit may be required when picking up items.