Mobile Boutiques: The Boutique Truck
The Boutique Truck operates in Columbus, Ohio and is owned by Catherine Turner. From an early age, she knew she wanted to own a business, but wasn’t exactly sure what kind until about six years ago when she was inspired by an article about fashion trucks in California.
“A light bulb went off in my head — this was it! I love helping customers feel great about themselves and knew this was my next adventure right away.” The Boutique Truck launched in June 2014 and has been rolling ever since. Clients are provided a mix of trendy designer fashions from local and national makers.
Turner sources her merchandise through a variety of national trade shows across the country and online. This approach allows her to stay in-the-know about the latest and greatest fashion and accessory items available.
She said, “Unique sweaters and tops are the best sellers for the truck — items that are fashion forward but still comfy at the same time.” In terms of accessories, she said crossbodies and totes along with jewelry are always popular. These items are sourced through national and local connections. Other best sellers include a pink sweatshirt from Staccato (a popular vendor with Turner), and a long grey and white striped cardigan from BiBi.
This mobile store is often found at local street markets, festivals and private events. Turner said, “I personally do a lot of research (constantly) on what events are coming up, and where we need to be.”
Owners may need to work through some logistical considerations to reach clientele and Turner explained, “A great work ethic is literally everything when you own your own business, no matter the type of industry.” She also said this profession requires long hours which includes many evenings and weekends. Weather extremes are another consideration, as she said at times she contends with very hot or cold weather on her truck.
Turner is all about giving back and supporting her customers and provides additional services for clients. “We frequently do fundraising events with the truck at customers’ homes or at local venues,” she said. “We also do private parties where the hostess receives discounts and incentives for us to come to their homes.”
The Boutique Truck’s success stems from offerings inside and outside of its mobile walls. Items are also sold online and appeal to customers not in the local area. “Most of the time new merchandise hits the website before it makes its way on the truck; it is a great way to find and snag the latest trends first,” she shared.