'Fashion trucks' are coming to a street corner near you
When you want to visit Missie Yachimski's clothing boutique, you need to check her social media pages first.
The reason? Unlike traditional clothing retailers, the Rhode Island-based clothier sells her stuff out of a fashion truck. Much like food trucks, this growing segment of fashion retailing is popping up all over the country, with the American Mobile Retail Association estimating that there are 500 trucks across all 50 states.
In Yachimski's case, she got started after buying an old truck and gutting it with the help of her silent partner. The interior of her mobile store — called Post & Grove — is decorated with wood flooring and crown molding and carries men's and women's clothes from brands like Levi's, True Religion, Red Wing, Lilly Pulitzer, J. Brand, Rag and Bone, Diesel and Ralph Lauren.
Many fashion truck entrepreneurs opted to go the mobile route because the costs and rent associated with opening a brick-and-mortar store is just too much for someone trying to bootstrap their way into business.
"A gourmet food truck came to the farmer's market, and I admired their eclectic menu, young followers, and brightly decorated truck," Stacey Steffe, one of the owners of the popular, LA-based Le Fashion Truck, told Business Insider. "I thought setting up a store on wheels would be an easy and fun way to cart my vintage wares to the different markets I was attending."
A fashion truck creates "a sense of urgency" with customers, because they might only have one chance to buy an item before it sells out or the truck packs up and hits the road.
And it's easy to get out if things go south. "After the recession, we were looking for ways to be self-sufficient. And with fashion trucks, you can always exit quickly," another fashion truck owner, Lia Lee, told BI.