Meet Lisa Przystup

Lisa Przystup for Passerbuys74.jpg
Born in Falls Church, VA Lisa is a Brooklyn-based writer who has written for Garance Dore, New York Magazine, The WILD Magazine, J. Crew, La Garconne and more. She’s also a florist who has done flowers for the likes of Ulla Johnson, Rachel Comey and Stone Fox Bride and her work has appeared in Vogue, New York Magazine and
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Top, J. Crew ; Pants, Belt & Earrings, Vintage ; Shoes, Zara

on her morning routine

I wake up and resent the alarm with every bone in my body, shuffle out to the kitchen to a cup of coffee because my husband is awake before I am 99.9% of the time, procrastinate getting ready and out the door until I have no choice but to madly rush through my “beauty” routine: wash my face with a Clarisonic I got last Christmas (can’t tell if it’s really made a difference but now I’m too paranoid to stop using it), then some sort of eye treatment from my multitude of Kiehl’s Eye Treatment samples, smear overpriced but damn good Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat under my eyes, Diorshow Black Out Mascara, Hourglass Brow stuff for my anemic asian eyebrows, MAC matte bronzer and then this Bobbi Brown stuff in a pot that makes it look like my cheeks are living in a perpetual summer. Then out the door with toast in hand.

how she started out

I moved to NYC because I had my tunnel vision focused on making it as a fashion writer (or really any sort of writer for that matter). What no one really tells you is how difficult/impossible that is. I pursued it pretty tirelessly, checking everything off the list—Master’s degree in journalism, internships, networking, establishing hard-fought relationships editors only to have them leave the publication, following up (always following up) etc. and just really hit a wall after many, many years with little to no results/income/progress and needed to step away from it all for a moment, which is when I started doing flowers. Copywriting was always in the back of my mind as an option that I really didn’t want to embrace but I’ve learned that 1. you can actually make a living doing it and 2. you can actually get pretty creative and still have a voice and still be challenged coming up with smart ways to reach people.

So these books aren’t necessarily my favorite books of all time but rather a snapshot of what I’m reading right now/recently read and liked. I’ve been endeavoring to read East of Eden and started it on our honeymoon—the language is heartbreakingly beautiful in its practicality and sparse matter-of-fact-ed-ness and it reminds me of why I ever wanted to be a writer. It’s too beautiful for ugly subway rides—I almost want to go on a retreat somewhere befitting of its beauty and finish reading it there.
— on her recommended books

on her interest in flowers

After hitting a wall with writing I needed to just step away from things for a moment and separate myself from the tireless pursuit of it all. I had recently done a story on Brooklyn florists for New York Magazine’s The Cut and thought I’d trying playing around with flowers. I have such a Type-A, perfectionist personality that it felt really good to try something that didn’t have all my hopes and dreams wrapped up in it. My husband and I head upstate quite frequently so I sort of used that as a testing ground and practiced form and all those good things with the wildflowers and blooms that are rampant (and free) up there. Then I started reaching out to contacts I had from pitching fashion stories to pitch flowers instead.

on selecting an arrangement

The actual process is sort of different every time. Sometimes I’ll see an arrangement that really inspires me and will work off that, other times I have a specific color scheme I’m dreaming of working with or that a client specifically wants, and other times I go the less thinking route and just go for it. My favorite part is making the arrangements. I’m pretty not great at everything else, which is a bit of a problem since it turns out that arranging feels like it’s actually just 10-15% of the package. You have to be business savvy and be willing to take a pretty big financial risk—getting a studio and a team—in order to grow and I’ve just never been ready for that, which means my business has always had a pretty low overhead. It works for me but it is tough when you see other people pulling off larger, more glamorous installs and projects but then I have to remind myself and my ego that I chose this level of engagement and that it’s what works best for me for now.

Top, Vintage Dior ; Jeans, Vintage Levis

on her beauty routine

I’ve been using Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner for as long as I can remember and I just recently discovered Oribe products—all amazing—but the Surfcomber Mousse is exceptionally so. I just put it my hair after I take a shower at night, go to sleep with my hair wet and in the morning my hair has just the right amount of gritty texture and wave (although my real dream is to get a perm, this’ll do for now). Love the idea of body oil as a moisturizer and I have this great one that smells like roses and earth and makes me feel like I should be at the beach but I like the ease of lotion and I’ve been feeling Kiehl's Creme de Corps for a couple of years now. I also recommend Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque.

on her shopping habits

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of online shopping, mostly stalking Etsy for vintage goods. Stella Dallas in Williamsburg is great too but it can be a real undertaking since there’s so much stuff in there. I usually go with a specific mission in mind. I also feel pretty lucky to know a handful of friends who are amazingly talented designers: Ilana Kohn, Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Marissa Maximo of Anaak…I love wearing their pieces. Rounding all that out, there are the usual big chain suspects: Zara, Madewell, J.Crew. And then there are the designers I covet but can never pull the financial trigger on: Rachel Comey, Apiece Apart, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Caron Callahan etc. I’ve also been working my way up to a pair of Jesse Kamm pants—resolving to do that here really really soon. Oh! And Ace and Jig for textile amazingness.

on her favorite records

That Bon Iver album makes time stop. AA Bondy (paired with Timber Timber) is great for driving around Joshua Tree at night as the full moon rises over the mountains. Melaena Cadiz has a voice like a train. The Iron and Wine album is perfect for playing Gin Rummy in bed with a mezcal gimlet in hand—actually, it’s the perfect soundtrack for peaceful contentment. 


Top, Vintage Dior ;    Jeans, Vintage Levi's

Top, Vintage Dior ; Jeans, Vintage Levi's

My man and I just went on our honeymoon in February—we sort of drove all over the desert-y areas of the west coast and hit other little spots along the way too. Joshua Tree and Ojai were great but we really fell in love with Tucson—it’s a real gem of a town that for some reason a very specific demographic (ahem, people who live in Phoenix) tend to hate on but don’t listen to a word they say. I like to think that the people who end up drawn to it and loving it are the exact people Tucson wants in its arms anyway.
— on her favorite place

Dress, Ace and Jig



lisa's recommended books

The Lover by Marguerite Duras, Blue Nights by Joan Didion, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein, East of Eden by John Steinbeck

lisa's favorite movies

Cinema Paradiso, Finding Nemo, Amelie, Ain't Them Bodies Saints

lisa's favorite records

American Hearts by A. A. Bondy, Around the Well by Iron and Wine, Deep Below Heaven by Melaena Cadiz, For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver

lisa's favorite places in nyc

Achilles Heel for stupidly good small plates and cocktails (and the occasional chicken/lamb/goat roast)

Alameda for the best unpretentious burger

Troost for the best backyard hang—go on a Monday for their bratwurst and sauerkraut night

Acapulco diner for huevos rancheros 

Porter James = furniture eye candy