SISTER ACT: VELVETEEN RABBIT

Photo by Kirsten Clarke

Sisters Pamela and Christina Dylag are the co-creators behind Velveteen Rabbit, a witchy-chic cocktail bar located in the Arts District of Las Vegas. Their mystical vibes are infused in everything from their conscious outlook on how to do business, to the tarot nights they host, and with unique cocktails like the White Witch (that contains white pepper honeydew and meringue if you’re curious).

Here they share a bit about what goes on behind the scenes, being a woman in business, and how they come up with those creative cocktails.

Can you tell us a bit about Velveteen Rabbit?

Velveteen is a community- and art-driven space with a focus on craft cocktails and specialty beer. We’ve hosted everything from live music and comedy to burlesque and guerrilla theater.

What inspired you and your sister to open it?

We wanted to open a bar that would fall into the atypical realm of Vegas, offering something unique and authentic to counter the illusory nature of the Strip. We grew up in Vegas, so we saw the bar as an opportunity to contribute to the culture here.

Photos by A Cocktail of Two Cities

What’s your favorite thing about owning your own business?

When we encounter those people who really connect with our space and understand our vision, it’s incredibly rewarding. Aside from that, the freedom to make creative decisions and see them manifest on a daily basis keeps our job interesting and ever-evolving.

What have been some of the biggest hurdles?

As young women in a male dominated sphere, we’ve definitely felt isolated at times, or people haven’t taken us seriously. A lot of the challenge is staying mentally strong and not allowing the opinions of others to infiltrate your thoughts and self-worth.

What’s your take on consuming alcohol consciously?

We think everything in life is about balance. Alcohol has been used in a multitude of forms in the span of human history. Consciously enjoying alcohol is important for health in one’s life. We strive to create a beautiful and elevated experience in cocktails at Velveteen Rabbit. Ultimately, our goal in manifesting the space which has become Velveteen Rabbit was to forge our community together. We wanted to be considered a meeting place for people from all spectrums to come together and enjoy a drink. Of course, we wanted our drinks to be a focus as well but it all boils down to the essence: connection. Connection to each other, connection to ourselves, connection to our community.

How do you infuse your witchy vibes into your work?

We encourage the mystical element with tarot readers, incense burning, rosemary-smoked cocktails and frozen flower ice cubes. Anything to embolden your intuition and enliven the senses!

How do you stay inspired?

Travel! We love to explore new places and gain inspiration that way. Also, branching out. When we delve into other projects, that time away helps to reinvigorate our passion for Velveteen.

Photo by Ivan Carrillo

What’s a typical work day like for you?

We work a lot of afternoons and early evenings planning things for the business (i.e. a lot of event creation). Recently, a lot of time has been devoted to the development of an online course for how to open a bar.

What’s the process like to create your unique cocktails?

We like to work with fresh, seasonal ingredients and boutique spirits, often times highlighting a specific ingredient or base spirit with each cocktail. Each cocktail usually stems from a singular ingredient or concept, and we go from there. A lot of our drinks use a classic cocktail foundation and we then make modifications from there.

Any advice for people who want to open their own business?

Be persistent! Stay true to yourself and work hard. If you want something badly enough, you’ll make it happen.

What’s next for Velveteen Rabbit?

We want to evolve, grow, collaborate with artists, and continue to be a staple in the Arts District.

Photo by Ivan Carrillo
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