Whether in a parking lot or on a highway, a moving truck doesn’t exactly conjure up images of a refined, high fashion shopping experience. But Stacey Steffe and Jeanine Romo set out to do just that when they opened Le Fashion Truck, one of the first mobile stores in Los Angeles.
“While almost everyone was super enthusiastic and supportive, there was a small population of skeptics… most were boutique owners that [felt] threatened that their own business would suffer because we [would] come onto their block once a month,” says Steffe, adding, “after two-and-a-half years in business, most of those skeptics have come around and acknowledged that we aren’t just a novel act, but a full-fledged retail store here to stay.”
The two women drummed up the idea in 2010 while promoting their own items at a local farmer’s market: Steffe was selling vintage handbags, and Romo her own handmade jewellery. “A food truck rolled through with their loyal fan base, and I both admired and envied their mobility and thought, ‘what if I put my merchandise on a truck and had a store on wheels?’ I told Jeanine about the idea and her response was: ‘I love it, let’s do this!'”
Mobile boutiques like Le Fashion Truck seem to be a more attractive business platform than traditional stores for young entrepreneurs with an independent spirit. No lease (for land, anyway), lower overhead costs and the ability to drive directly to your geographically-targeted consumer base, have also put a new spin on the old real-estate adage: location, location, location. Even on the East Coast, where weather conditions aren’t so dependable, parking for business has proven to attract customers. READ MORE