Astoria, Featured, Shopping, Small Business Owners Spotlight
Feb 28, 2018

Small Business Owner Spotlight: LIPSTICKBOWTIES!

One of my favorite parts about writing for WHA is learning about inspiring business owners in our neighborhood. We are so lucky to have so many kickass go-getters among us, (…)

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One of my favorite parts about writing for WHA is learning about inspiring business owners in our neighborhood. We are so lucky to have so many kickass go-getters among us, and today’s Small Business Owner Spotlight, online fashion/beauty shop  LIPSTICKBOWTIES, is no different. (And like me, they’re identical twins, which I just think is the coolest!)

Ashley and Kimberly took some time out of their quest for world domination to answer a few of our questions. Take it away, ladies!

Name of Business:


Owned by:

Ashley Carvalho + Kimberly Carvalho (Twins)

Year Created:



We’re an online shop based in Astoria, Queens.

What are you known for?

We started with, like our name says, lipstick and bow ties. They serve as two symbols of femininity and masculinity and our intention to break those gender lines. Men can rock lipstick just like women can rock bow ties. If you’re not into that, that’s okay too! The heart of LB has always been to encourage others to express themselves fully, to be bold, to embrace their multiple personas. We should all have the freedom to gravitate towards what speaks to us. Our belief is also to be as sustainable and eco-conscious as possible, from the fabric/materials we use to packaging. We make sure to support small businesses as well. Our lipsticks are made in the US and are made with natural and organic ingredients. We design and hand-make our bow ties, bolo ties, and collar wraps. Since we’re both hoarders though, obsessed with anything old, we now have vintage clothing! We love hunting at flea markets and estate sales for treasure. It’s hard not to keep everything we find! Now, we’re really excited to be working on designing a small collection of sustainable, vintage-inspired garments, so we’re happy to say we are in the beginning stages of that.

Do you also live in Queens? If so, where? How did you end up here?

We live off the 46th St M/R stop. We moved there a couple years ago from 37th St and Astoria Blvd. We now have an office in our apartment so we LOVE it! Five months after graduating college, we came to Astoria. We really loved the energy of it. We knew we wanted to move here when we saw a group of older men playing cards in a garage. We’re Portuguese and we come from a big family, so when we saw those men, we saw our uncles.

What made you decide to start a business in Astoria?

We’re actors, writers, and producers originally from CT, so we had started a production company in Astoria before we started LB. We couldn’t think of another place to start a company than NY. The people, the culture, the creativity inspires us so much. It’s addictive. People leave their homes expressing themselves in so many different, amazing ways. How can we not feel that energy and be changed for the better?!

What’s been your favorite moment since launching?

Producing our first pop-up back in November has so far been our favorite moment. We were able to see our vision come to life. The designing and envisioning process is so much fun, and then watching it become tangible was really rewarding. It was also really helpful to meet our customers and have awesome conversations with them.

What’s your favorite place to grab food when you’re working?

We love to eat at Max Bratwurst und Bier (we’re regulars lol), Pye Boat Noodle, and Shuya Cafe de Ramen. We also love The Sparrow Tavern and Roti Boti!

What’s a hidden Astoria secret you feel like people don’t know about that you absolutely love?

After seven and a half years, we’re still discovering Astoria!

What’s your favorite place to grab a drink?

For cocktails, The Last Word. For coffee, Kinship. #obsessed

If you have friends or family visiting Astoria, where do you take them?

We take them to Max’s, Queens Comfort, and The Last Word.

How have you seen Astoria change since you’ve been here?

We’ve been here for almost seven and a half years, and we’ve seen delicious coffee shops pop up, more ramen places and awesome cocktail bars come in. It’s so cool to see chefs really competing and putting fresh, delicious food first (we watch too many food shows). We’re happy to see that Astoria still maintains its mixture of cultural roots while welcoming new businesses. It’s a good balance thus far.

What’s your favorite part of owning a business in Queens?

We love how Queens makes us feel. We love the other boroughs too, but Queens has a specific sort of honesty. We can leave the house in half pajamas/half outfit and feel like no one is judging us. It also goes back to the amazing diversity of culture. That’s the best thing about Queens. There’s an energy and language of Astoria that fits us. Maybe it’s because we’re Portuguese and the commitment to keeping a culture alive makes us feel connected.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Yea! We’ll be at Artists & Fleas (Williamsburg) on March 10-11, 10AM-7PM. We’d love to see you! We’re also planning our next pop-up in Astoria for the Spring. Stop by our events page on our website to find out where we’ll be next!


We can’t wait to see what’s next for you! Thanks ladies :)


About Lindsay Goyette

Lindsay has been eating and drinking her way through Queens since 2011. A casting director by day and Astoria explorer by night, you can usually find her checking out live music, theatre, or the newest neighborhood spot to enjoy a craft beer.

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