Today we are introducing you to Donae Chramosta as our BethieLife Woman Crush. This super Vintage Contessa will not only bring you the perfect designer handbag or jewelry, she will tell you her many tales of her world travels along the way! She not only gives her time to her work and family, she also gives back to Houston charities every day.Welcome, Donae!
I was born and raised in Houston.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three beauty products would you like to have with you?
a. Obagi Medical’s Sun Shield SPF 50 with tint from Dr. Nina Desai
b. Pink lip gloss by Chanel
c. Parry Botanicals Restorative Cream
Aubrey Hepburn is a big influence of mine, not only for her impeccable sense of style, but also for her humanitarian work. She is classic with a twist of whimsy. My favorite image of her is when she’s wearing the pink coat, dress, and tiara from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I also grew up dancing from age 5 to 18, which has impacted my personal style. After year’s of ballet, tap, and jazz, I still have this love for everything vintage dance inspired like tutus, ballet flats, and high heels like the ones Ginger Rogers wore when dancing with Fred Astaire.
Dark chocolate and a glass of Pinot Noir.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given comes from Theodore’s Roosevelt’s Citizenship in a Republic speech. Specifically, the passage referred to as “The Man in the Arena” really resonates with me: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives violently; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he falls, at least fails while daring greatly.
a. Toulouse, where I just hosted my 50th birthday party to benefit KNOWAutism.
b. Tootsies, shopping with Terry Rambin because she knows my wardrobe and pushes me a little outside of my comfort zone, but never tells me I look good just to make a sale.
c. Sloan Hall, they have the best gifts, cards, and trunk shows.
I recently co-chaired for the upcoming KNOWAutism gala on February 22nd. I sit in on the 2018 Crime Stoppers board and have been selected to receive the Safe Schools Award in May. I am most recently involved with Houston 20, a growing group of influential and committed Houstonians forming a movement to advocate for the end of sex trafficking and sex trade in our city. I have participated in Fashion x Austin in early April and will be participating in Fashion x Houston as a Style Setter in October.
My travel schedule is so crazy!! I was in Hong Kong in early March, followed by Beaver Creek with my family for Spring Break. I am heading to Las Vegas this month for the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show. In June, my husband Rob and I will take our daughter Bella with us on a buying trip to Prague, Rome, and Italy. July 4th will be spent back in Colorado (Beaver Creek and Vail) for family time and trunk shows. We have another jewelry show in Brooklyn in mid-July, the back to Colorado for the International Dance Festival. In mid-August, we head to Pennsylvania for a coin and handbag show, followed by Milan Fashion Week in September.
As you can tell, I am not one to have much down time. When I’m home at night on the couch, I’m usually watching Fox News while simultaneously sending emails to friends about charity events, booking air and hotel for upcoming trips, and browsing Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
We love walking from out house to Cafe Rabelais in Rice Village on a nice Houston night. It’s a quaint and cozy French restaurant, the menu is written on the chalkboard, and the food is delicious.
a. Dolcegabbana.com — I love the brand, their style and love for family
b. NeimanMarcus.com — I use Ken Downing’s suggestions for pieces to buy but love shopping in store for shoes with Julie Dang.
c. TheWebster.us — They have the most beautiful curated collection of designers. I love stopping by the Houston store so I can try on the pieces
a. For hair: Keratin treatment, gloss, highlights and cut from Souki and Gigi at Lot 8 Salon
b. For body: I do pilates with Heather at Sculpt
c. For skin: Renew skin and Laser with Dr. Nina Desai. She knows all the newest and best techniques for skin rejuvenation including Ultherapy and Microneedling. It is painful, but you know what they say, no pain, no gain.
a. Pillow talk with my 10-year old daughter, Bella
b. Date nights with Rob where we do dinner with friends, get dressed up and attend a charity event, or cuddle on the couch with popcorn and Netflix
c. Travel, it opens my mind and soul
Yes, I repeatedly dream I’ve moved back into my childhood home with my parents. It’s the craziest dream, so it must be my biggest fear
Beaver Creek/Vail, Colorado and Forte Dei Marmi, Italy
I would be a professional speaker for young women, inspiring them to follow their dreams and teaching them that they are worthy of love
a. Book: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
b. Movie: My favorite movie ever is Gone With the Wind
Founder/Owner/Curator of The Vintage Contessa
I just celebrated my 50th birthday with friends and family in River Oaks District! We had cocktail hour at Dolce & Gabbana and spent the rest of the night eating, drinking and dancing at Toulouse! In lieu of gifts, I asked my guests to consider a donation to KNOWAutism
Well it’s more unexpected than humorous, but I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad and am a huge country music fan. People just don’t expect that when they meet me today