Adam Torres, Bridget Connelly and Liza McGowan discuss After Hours Vintage.
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After Hours Vintage aims to bring a new style to DTLA. In this episode, Adam Torres and Bridget Connelly and Liza McGowan, Co Founders of After Hours Vintage, explore the DTLA community and After Hours Vintage.
About Bridget Connelly and Liza McGowan
Bridget Connelly and Liza McGowan, each with their unique backgrounds and passions, form an exceptional duo in the world of design and curation. Bridget’s upbringing immersed her in the art of restoration, where she learned the intricacies of transforming spaces, while Liza’s diverse creative journey led her from studying film to exploring painting and writing in Rome before delving into video production in London and eventually settling in Los Angeles.
Bridget’s career in real estate, coupled with her travels in the airline industry, ignited her passion for residential interior design, estate sales, and furniture curation for vintage stores across Los Angeles. She finds solace in elaborate, dramatic spaces, prioritizing aesthetic allure over practicality.
On the other hand, Liza’s professional endeavors in marketing, independent film, and television production have been guided by her affinity for highly stylized, dark, and moody sets reminiscent of films like “Beetlejuice” and “Chicago.” Her personal and professional devotion to vintage aesthetics reflects her commitment to sustainability and her love for maximalist expression, blending Art Deco sophistication with Post Modern flair and a touch of gothic whimsy.
Together, Bridget and Liza bring a wealth of creativity, experience, and passion to their collaborative ventures, shaping spaces and curating collections that reflect their eclectic tastes and unwavering dedication to their craft.
About After Hours Vintage
Bridget and Liza’s journey into the world of estate sales commenced in 2019 with an unexpected encounter in the Hollywood Hills. During a leisurely stroll, they stumbled upon the estate of Barbara Perry, a renowned actress and dancer, and her late husband, Art Babbitt, a celebrated animator. As the family sought to sell the property and a treasure trove of memorabilia spanning a century, including Art’s original sketches for “Alice in Wonderland,” Bridget and Liza found themselves drawn into the captivating world of vintage finds.
Their fascination led them to return to the estate over the ensuing days, where they volunteered to assist with the sale, delving into boxes brimming with historic animation cels. Their efforts culminated in a charitable donation to the AFI archives. Yet, beyond acquiring items like crystal decanters and opera records, the experience ignited a passion within them.
Subsequently, they immersed themselves in the estate sale circuit, forging bonds with hosts and gradually transitioning into roles as curators. Fast forward to 2023, and Bridget and Liza have evolved into esteemed curators for vintage stores throughout Los Angeles. Now, they proudly showcase their own curated collection, comprising personal favorites and occasional impulse buys, reflecting their profound journey into the realm of vintage treasures.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres. And if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to missionmatters. com and click on be our guest to apply. Okay. So today I have Bridget Connelly and Liza McGowan on the line. They are co founders over at After Hours Vintage.
First off, Hey, I just want to say to both of you, welcome to the show. We’re honored to be a part of this. Oh my gosh. So, so much fun. So, I saw you. I can’t, I feel so bad. I don’t remember the exact name of the publication, but I’m downtown. I live downtown. I record downtown and I thought it was either DT News or it was one of those two.
you two remember which, which one it was by any chance? Yeah. Yeah. No, at Downtown Weekly. She’s fabulous to work with. Yeah. Okay, shout out to Carrie over at Downtown Weekly, who I do not know yet, but hope to get to know one day, but I saw the amazing article and spread they did of you both, and I was like, oh my gosh, this is so much fun.
I love the story that they told they did well in representing your brand. I was like, I gotta have you on the show. So that’s where, where it all just for all the audience and listeners, that’s where this you. Particular interview began. And we’ll start the interview, like, like many. So the idea after hours vintage, I need, I need some backstory.
Like, like how’d this come about? So it was like, right after the pandemic, I think we, kind of lived like, on the outskirts of the Hollywood Hills and we were walking 1 day and we came across an estate sale and it wasn’t being advertised or anything. It was just. The family had come from Europe, and they were just in there selling their parents memorabilia and things, like their, like a hundred years of their lives.
And so we just kind of strolled in and checked it out, and everything in there was just fabulous, and it, the family was really welcoming and yeah, one of the daughter of the woman who had passed away, she was an opera singer and then her, her daughter was there helping. And yeah, we, we got some cool stuff, but then like stayed long enough to get to know them and just liked the family.
So we went back a few more days. yeah, so we just, we basically kept going back cause it was. Just so much fun and so interesting. And anyway, we, basically ended up helping with the sale and the, one of the homeowners who was like a hundred years old when he died with art Babbage, who , he was like one of the guys.
That was up against Walt Disney. He was one of the original animators with Disney. And then they parted ways when they were making Alice in Wonderland. Yeah, he like, he created the goofy character. Anyway, we ended up getting to like, hold the sketches of. The original Alice in Wonderland. And Sam. Yeah, crazy.
And anyway, it was like, this one thing we stumbled upon happened to be like a week of our lives and then missed it after it was done. And I think I ended up getting bed bugs after that from something I brought home, but like the gift I kept on giving, but we, but we ended up we still don’t regret it because we kind of missed going to estate sales after that, because it was just a really interesting way to spend our time, but, but yeah, so then we just got on Estatesales. net and started Frequencing them and shopping for ourselves because we love vintage furniture and, you know, We both have good style and like to furnish our own places, but then, yeah, we were shopping too much. So let’s talk about the, the location and the shop and what you’re actually doing. Now the audience is like, okay, so what is this episode about?
It’s about After Hours Vintage. Don’t worry, we’re getting there, right? you didn’t read that. The newspaper article, but I did, so we’re getting, okay, this is interesting. So basically we came across An existing showroom that was renting out spaces inside a modern furniture store.
And so we kind of jumped on the opportunity. It seemed like it was a really great. Yeah, we just had we had accumulated too much inventory and it was either a storage unit or a showroom and we opted for showroom So we got a great idea though I’ve seen a bunch of these come up now and it because it creates this community around it too And then other communities get to see other like things so go ahead, but I love the idea go ahead yeah, that’s what we thought and so we get into this place and it’s a modern furniture store and when we You know, we’re originally sold on the idea.
There was an artist and a photographer and all these other people that were, you know, renting little booths. So, we’d get excited, we’d paint, we’d bring all our stuff in, we’d, you know, throw a party and then, like, a week later, the paint was barely dry. We find out from the other people that were in there, everybody moved out and what’s going on here.
And so, yeah, so anyway, welcome to entrepreneurship. So welcome to go ahead. It was a situation we probably. Shouldn’t be and we should get out as soon as possible. so we just yesterday signed a lease. We’re still in the existing place, which we shouldn’t say. Yeah, but we’re moving this week.
This Friday, we’re moving to a new showroom on skid row, right next to the Cecil hotel. what’s the low? Well, then we’re able to say what it is because I definitely want to get some address and some things out there. I want people to come visit, of course. So we’ll hold this until you’re out and live.
So where is this at? So the new location is just North of the CISO hotel. It’s right by, there’s a business called LA syndicate. Yeah. Next door to us. It’s in the Merchantile building. And we’re the first ones in and what they’re trying to do, it’s really good. She’s creating like a, an artist community.
She wants to find, you know, she’s renting out spaces for really not a lot of money and through lucky cat labs. And they have another like artist community in the art district. I believe we should, yeah, we just, found out. Pretty much before we took your call. Well, hey, we’re news here. That’s the way it is in media, okay? So, like, like, get some smiles over there. Breaking news. First to hear on a first podcast interview there. Hey, the downtown news doesn’t have that one. No, I’m just playing. They’re amazing. I’m just playing. I’m just playing. Yeah, it’s going to be really cool.
They’re going to have, you know, participate in the art walk and they’ve got a huge community space. Like, they really, you know, So what we’re doing is we want to be, you know, part of I don’t want to say gentrification revitalization, revitalization, come on, come on, have Give you some PR training over here on this one.
Well, we don’t want it gentrified because we can’t afford gentrified prices.
Let’s follow this one. You don’t, you don’t want to be gentrified. The gentrified, I know I can’t even do it. I can’t, I give up on. I give up on that word play. A better podcaster than myself would have made that really funny, but I can’t.
Yes, revitalizing is a great word. you know, it’s. Since the pandemic, it’s slowly, but surely downtown is kind of coming back to life. So we definitely want to be a part of that. Be involved in the community. Yeah, we, we love the people that we’ve met through, you know, just since we’ve had our business, it’s been really cool to get to meet all the people.
We , never would have met if it weren’t for. , so many cool creatives doing things we had never thought of. Yeah, yeah. I’m a big fan of downtown. Like, I’ve lived all over since I’ve been here maybe 10 years, and I’ve lived everywhere from Santa Monica by the beach, to Beverly Hills, to Pasadena, to All over the place, really, and I moved in down.
I moved to downtown. After, like, during when everything was, you know, pandemic everything else. I’m like, if this place is gonna, I don’t know, get worse and worse. I should probably have some security. So I don’t know. So I moved downtown. It’s one of those new high rise and I was, pleasantly surprised at like the, the artists and just the other community there, like that’s here and still budding.
And I know that downtown maybe sometimes doesn’t get the best rap. And I know that sometimes like maybe we, maybe we took a couple of steps back during the pandemic. Cause so many businesses closed and this and that. But the story itself and the resilience of the people that are here and that keep on rebuilding and keep on, like yourself, adding these new ideas and new blood and new, traffic really for all the community, like it becomes interesting to me.
And so it’s, I’ve been here now, I think going on two years and it’s definitely carved out a little special place for me cause I’ve been all over the place and the people I’ve met here though is, amazing. And I think the concepts that come out. They’re different, like they’re not, not that I have anything wrong with LA concepts, I mean, in general, but it definitely is distinct, I would say, from some other areas.
And if people want to have a different flavor or a different experience in LA, I always tell people, like, come visit over here. There’s a bunch of little pockets and areas you may want to check out. Other than just the Staples Center, or the formerly known as Staples Center, whatever we want to call it. I don’t know.
It’s always Staples Center to me. So, I don’t know. Yeah, love, like the restaurant scene is so great. I worked at a couple of French restaurants during the pandemic downtown, and it was one that you got kicked out of. Are we allowed to say that?
Cause one of them just hold on. One of them just changed their menu and I. Now it’s like Italian something. I looked at the menu and I was like, this isn’t even a French restaurant anymore. What are you talking about? They have like, like and they have one French like thing on there and it’s like you don’t get to call yourself a French restaurant because you have Escargot on the menu.
Like, I’m sorry. Sorry, that was a little pet peeve of mine. They changed everything. I was like, it’s Not what it was. Go ahead. , both restaurants are great. And it was a really good experience. But what I was trying to say is that I loved You know, the people that came in, I’ve worked, I’ve lived in, you know, a bunch of different areas of the city and I decided after working at those places that I wanted to move downtown because I loved like the people were like, New Yorkers to be down here.
Yeah. And it keeps. The yoga people from Santa Monica out is what the crack dealers do and they can come by our furniture, but yeah, but they don’t want our furniture. They want, like, you know, restoration hardware, but yeah, anyway, we just, you know, I connected with downtown through working, you know, at those restaurants and it was, it was really great.
So, the vision, I know your new location vision after hours vintage, by the way, website for everybody that’s been listening to this. After hours, vintage la.com, check it out. and of course, let me, let me throw in the plug there. But what’s the vision going forward? not asking you to have the crystal ball, but you, I know.
A new, new location, new community. What’s next? We gotta paint the floor tomorrow. We need Yeah, no, I’m just kidding. Yeah, right now we’re just, we’re at the part where we’re trying to just, get out of the other space. Yeah. Clean break new showroom connecting with more creatives and we have a collaboration with a.
A vintage fashion. Stylist a vintage fashion stylist. Oh, no shout out to quirk melinda at quirk. She’s great She’s over on spring and ninth And she’s got a little vintage shop. We’re going to do a Yeah, like a shoot with her. We want to start doing more we’d love to be doing music videos and like set design.
We just want to work with other creatives. Yeah, like get into that scene in addition to the showroom, but kind of build out from there and do more styling and set design. Yeah, and we’re going to be doing, you know, like hosting parties and partnering with LA Syndicate and whoever else moves into the into the Merchantiles.
Yeah. Is it Mercantile or Merchantile? Mercantile. It’s Mercantile. I don’t know. Okay. We don’t know. We can’t even pronounce the place that we’re going to. Lucky Cat Lab. That we’re going to visit. Yeah. She’s like, should we reschedule the interview? No. I’m like, no, let’s do it. Are you kidding me? I’m loving the paint, the the floor answer.
I’m in. That’s what I’m talking about. Paint the floor. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. We do, that’s our immediate future vision, painting the floor and get a, get a giant piece of beveled glass out of your Chevy Cobalt. Hey, this is a entrepreneurs, podcast, just so you know. So everybody listening right now, Hey, they’ve been there, they’re doing it.
Like this is entrepreneurship is not easy for anybody that’s. I don’t know who you are. I don’t know where you’re from or what planet you’re from. Planet Elon, maybe, but he doesn’t even claim it’s easy. So I wouldn’t even say that. So it’s not easy. So that being said, ups, downs, and everything else. What keeps the two of you, what in it?
And what? In the business. Oh, in the business. Algepreneurship. Chasing the dream. Keep them going. Like, what, what keeps the two of you in it? Because the restaurant. No. I don’t know. No. We’re, I’m too old to have a regular job at this point. Oh my gosh, this is the best. No, we’re both struggling writers.
we’re trying to sell a TV show. And we’re, you know, we’re thinking, well, we need to make money in the meantime. And so what are we going to do? Let’s start a business. And just think every penny that we don’t have into it. And then we’ll sell TV shows. the day, we’re good at it.
Yeah. That’s amazing. we’re good with people. We just haven’t figured out the money part yet. Most of the time we like each other. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, I think you two might’ve just you might’ve just surpassed one of my favorite answers before, which is, do you remember Mrs.
Field? Like those cookies. Do you remember that? Like in the mall when you go in the mall and you maybe see those cookies that smelled good. I don’t know. I grew up with them. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The Mrs. Fields cookies. Do you remember those or no? I remember. I don’t think I’ve ever had, but I’ve heard them. I remember though.
she likes sweets a lot. So I had mr. Fields. So the, The gentleman that was the, like, they’re, you know, Mr. and Mrs. Fields, the real Mr. Fields was on the show. and he said that I asked him, you know, what, you know, what makes an entrepreneur, what, whatever, whatever, like the same type of question I just asked you, and he says, he stops for a moment and I thought this guy is going to be all like super positive, this, that, whatever he says.
I think you have to be mentally ill. Yeah, I mean, I’m like, you’re Mr. Fields, how can you say that you’re like my cookie hero, . , but now your answer, your answer. I think I’m too old to have a regular job. Like, or like who? Couple of them. I’m like, you have to be writers.
I’m like, that’s amazing. I’m in. I mean, maybe I was, I worked for Delta for a long time and it was. It was one of those jobs where it was like I was ready to drive a jet way into a plane like and like at full speed and I just I know that I would just end up doing that if I had to go work for someone else and have someone tell me that my skirt’s too short and my heels are too high.
I can’t have anybody telling me what to do at this point Bridget’s been saying that she needs to work for herself the like the whole time i’ve known her So, yeah making it happen now, yeah exactly it’ll be fine we’re gonna be okay I’m waiting for this show to be I know Now here’s the question.
Is there gonna be another party for this launcher? What’s going on there? Yeah We’re thinking about we want one for like valentine’s day We can pull it together, but yeah, we’ll have the paint and that’s ambitious January 30 for everybody when we’re recording this. That’s super ambitious, but my props party.
Yeah. Oh, I’m in. I’m right. I’m right down the street. I’m in. I don’t I’m not doing anything. So I’m in, but I just mean, you’re painting the floor. Florida tomorrow or recently or upcoming. I’m like, man, that’s ambitious and moving everything. Well, well, either way, I want to definitely be on the list whenever the party does happen, because I think it’s awesome.
And then it’s an excuse to have a party. So it sounds like a plan to me and bring people through and build the community, which is what it’s all about, in my opinion, is really building the community. That’s what, I mean, LA syndicate next to us has been wonderful in welcoming us to the neighborhood. And he’s, he’s done a lot.
His name is Sonny. And he is really passionate about bringing the community together of downtown and he’s been a long time resident and we’re excited to be, you know, working with him and he kind of knows a lot of people to bring and, you know, it’s, it’s going to be a good collaboration.
Fantastic. Well, Liza I just have to say it’s been fun. Liza, Bridget, it’s been fun having you on the show today and just getting to know more about, your vision for After Hours Vintage LA dot com. I’m just saying that over and over and over again because I want people to go check out the website.
After Hours Vintage LA dot com. You heard it. You heard it. So go check it out. the grind. I think we need to push the Instagram. Oh, what’s the Instagram? Yes. I didn’t know what’s Instagram It’s after hours vintage LA, but you have to put the little at sign in front of it Yeah, we’re just learning how to use Instagram.
So That’s good. It’s going to be a good it’s going to be a good platform for you because what you’re doing So visual though, like when I look at like the the photos that were taken your website I don’t want to say otherwise, like it’s such a visual expression for yourself, especially for music videos and the other things you want to do.
Like I mean, what I do is boring in that, in that sense, it’s audio, like you got to listen to it. Like, I don’t know. No, no. I mean, for, pictures and stuff like that, like I, the last thing I want to see is a bunch of pictures of me with this headset on, like, okay, yeah, look at that. He’s got his headset on that way and look, he turned the other way and his headset, like, no thank you.
Cool. Bye. You know, you can host a podcast from our new showroom. Yeah. Oh, I’ll do an episode. I’ll do an episode. I’ll do an episode. You always take the sun an hour. We’ll give you a deal Oh, thank you. Thank you Leave your current studio and no No, I’ll come choose some content though. It’ll be fun. It’ll be fun.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, please swing by we’d love to have you All right, one last one last plug on the instagram. What is it one more time? It’s at After Hours Vintage LA. Fantastic. All right. So everybody go check that out. We’ll throw some links into the show notes. And speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or listening to an episode, if you haven’t hit that subscribe button yet.
I don’t know what you’re waiting for a special invitation. Please hit that subscribe button. We got many more business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, dreamers, you name it, they’re coming up on the line. And we don’t want you to miss a thing. Bridget, Liza, thank you again so much for coming on the show.
Thank you, Adam.