Hello! My name is Elizabeth, and I live in Melbourne, Florida with my husband and our four children. I purchase and restore women’s vintage clothing and wedding dresses for my shop, The Vintage Mistress.
I’ve been an avid collector of vintage clothing for over 25 years. This passion comes from my grandmother, who taught me about the history and fashions she grew up with – from the Edwardian period on through the Roaring Twenties. As a little girl, I absorbed myself in her mesh handbags, sparkly jewelry, and fancy dresses. About seven years ago, my vintage collection outgrew my closet and began to take over my husband’s closet. It was time to downsize. Thankfully, I discovered Etsy and founded The Vintage Mistress in 2009. Although my personal collection is now neatly confined behind one closet door, I still need a storage unit for the shop’s stock!
“Timeless style” best summarizes my process and approach to making selections for the shop. I gravitate toward mixing the old with the new, and when I spot a potential item, I get a vision of the piece paired with modern clothing to create a fabulous outfit. When choosing wedding dresses, I look for classic silhouettes with bespoke tailoring and high-quality fabrics. The dress must have just the right balance between form, fabric, and embellishment.
Buying vintage online can be tricky because you can’t try a piece on over the Internet – there’s no virtual dressing room to pop into. My goal is to turn the online shopping experience into one that feels more personal, worry-free and simply delightful.
Running a small business and raising a family is a challenge. Etsy offers me the ability to do both under one roof, and for that, I am profoundly thankful. I am available for the children and have turned a hobby into a rewarding career. And even though my grandmother has passed away, holding a piece of vintage clothing is like having her alongside me once again.
All photographs by The Vintage Mistress.