The Fashion Mobile boutique: Minnesota's first fashion truck
Teresa Grim outside of the Fashion Mobile boutique
Teresa Grim was flipping through Lucky magazine when she saw a feature on a new trend hitting the coasts: fashion trucks. She shared the idea with her husband, David Grim, and they both thought it would be perfect for Minnesota.
"We saw that fashion trucks in cities like Boston and L.A. were getting a lot of buzz. People were excited about the concept and it seemed like such a cool, different trend," he says. "We wanted to start that here and be the first fashion truck that's actually selling clothing. We took the idea and ran with it."
Named "The Fashion Mobile," this fashion-on-wheels retail shop is in fact the first mobile boutique in Minnesota.
"I just thought the idea was so fun. I love all the food trucks in the Twin Cities. I thought, 'If they're selling food at a truck, why can't we sell merchandise?'" Teresa says. "People seem to be open to different things here in Minnesota. I think people really want unique items and they want that boutique experience. With the Fashion Mobile, people experience something new."
A fashion truck also seemed like a great solution to some of the difficulties that David and Teresa had faced when they owned a brick-and-mortar store, Doozie Chic Boutique, in Stillwater. To start with, the mobile boutique has a much lower overhead, and the Grims don't have to pay monthly rent. They're also able to physically go places with their business instead of trying to get customers to
come to them.
Accessories at the Fashion Mobile
"I love Stillwater, it's where I live. I loved having the store there, but it was very seasonal so it was hard to make it 12 months a year," Teresa says. "Summer was great, and spring and fall were good, but the winter was hard."
Now, their boutique can continually move locations to get new customers. Finding a truck proved to be a bit of a challenge, but once they found one David worked to make it their own.
"We tried to create a walk-in closet type of atmosphere," he says. "It's very chic, modern, and clean. You'll feel like you're in an actual boutique."
Teresa is in charge of all of the buying, and she loves finding unique items to sell.
"We carry a variety of fun dresses, shirts, hats, jewelry, purses, and accessories," she says. "They're not your typical brand-names that you'd think of when you go to a department store, and it's not stuff that you're going find at the mall. I try to get fun, unique things that people aren't going to see everywhere else they go."
The Grims are active on social media sites, and people can follow the Fashion Mobile on Facebook and Twitter to see where the truck will be. The couple also host parties where they will bring the Fashion Mobile to revelers for at-home shopping with friends.
"Hosting a party is low-key, and there's no pressure," David says. "We don't give a spiel or ask people to buy. It's more of a social event for the host and her friends. They chit-chat, and have drinks and appetizers and shop. It gives people a great excuse to get together with their girlfriends."
The community has shown excitement for the fashion truck and David and Teresa are thankful for the public's response.
"The biggest reward has been the overall reception," he says. "People have been really positive and excited about it. It's nice to hear that people are so supportive of something that we just started."
With the popularity of food trucks, the team aren't worried about the concept of fashion trucks catching on locally -- in fact, they embrace it.
"It would be competition, but I think it would create a lot of synergy," David says of people opening other fashion mobiles in the Twin Cities. "In L.A. they have eight to twelve fashion trucks go to the same place and set up pop-up shops. I think it's great. I'd love to talk to anyone who is thinking about doing this."
Teresa adds that she wants the Fashion Mobile to help bring business to local boutiques as well.
"I very much support shopping local, and I want the Fashion Mobile to compliment other local stores," Teresa says. "No one likes to shop at just one store anyway, so I would love to park outside a boutique and have people shop both the boutique and our truck."
As the Grims prepare to celebrate two months of business, they say their experience so far with the mobile boutique has been excellent.
"I knew it would be good, but it's been better than what I expected," Teresa says. "It's been really fun, and it's great how people have supported us."
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