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.



The Team

Lisa Rowan of Beltway Vintage

Photo credit: Stacey Viera, StaceyViera.com


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 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 and Lisa toast the acceptance letter
for their shared studio space.

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.


Julie spends a lot of time
with this mannequin.


Julie Smolinski is online merchandising associate and assistant buyer for Beltway Vintage. She photographs and posts all the lovely vintage you see online and is the maven of the Etsy shop! You can also find her at Analog creating displays and petting all the neighborhood dogs. When she’s not working around pretty clothes you can catch her working for local DC mag luri & wilma, or reading feminist blogs. She has an interest in the intersection of fashion and culture, so send her your reading recommendations!





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 hello@beltwayvintage.com 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?

Not usually. It all depends on the season and the style of what you have. It’s an awful lot like dating. Feel free to email a few pictures of your best items for consideration, but please note that I don’t take items on consignment, and I may not be able to meet what consignment shops can offer you.

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: hello@beltwayvintage.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.


5 “Thrifty” Fall/Winter Fashion Trends — Luri & Wilma
Quarter Life clothing gets shown off in this music video filmed at Nana! — Dance for the Dying, “Mannequin”
Borrowing from the boys: Menswear for women — Examiner.com
Quarter Life pieces featured in “LF and Scoutmob do Nana” — My Closet in Sketches
Quarter Life Presents: The Most Complete Vintage Map Ever — Scoutmob
Blogger Q&A: Where to shop and what not to wear on Halloween — Washington Post
Quarter Life clothing gets shown off in this music video filmed at Nana! — Dance for the Dying, “Mannequin”

Visit us in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC!

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