Yesterday I found myself chasing a truck 15 miles out of my way while driving down I-95 in Virginia. It was unconscious really. When I saw a cotton candy pink truck pass by with the words “Jewelry Box” etched on the side, my mind mused over what could be kept inside. Might it be estate broaches and pendants dating to the Victorian Era? Was it glittering diamond rings and dainty earrings? Curated statement pieces from up-and-coming designers I had to know about?
By now everyone knows food trucks are solid dining options. But now there’s a fresh spin on the truck trend, this time catering to the fashion-conscious set. Mobile boutiques are the newest thing to hit the streets with designers, boutique owners, and wanderlusting trendsetters spreading their stylish gospel one parking lot at a time.
In our July issue we told you about Lo Nomada, a Miami Beach-based Airstream run by artist and designer Valeria Tega. The trailer-shop can usually be found parked outside Soyka Restaurant at 55th Street Station, and serves as an artist-collective of sorts for some of Miami’s most progressive painters, dressmakers, and photographers such as Douglas Voisin.
Further inland we found Grey Dog (@greydogboutique) in the college town of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The 1979 Land Yacht parked on the corner of Trenton Boulevard and College Avenue is known around town for stocking some of the best vintage. All the pieces date from the 1920s to 1980s, and Grey Dog also carries rare Japanese vintage dresses tailored by a local seamstress into modern cuts and styles.
Not one to be left behind when it comes to steering the style conversation, Texas is giving much to talk about in the way of mobile shopping. We’ve caught word of three shops in the Dallas/Fort Worth area alone: High Maintenance Couture In a Can (@coutureinacan), which rolls out a pink carpet wherever it sets up camp for the day; home store Urban Cottage Airstream (@theurbancottge); and Mad Men-lovers’ outfitter The VintageMobile (@vintagemobile). This summer, Austin’s South Congress got its own roaming addition with the opening of Curb Service. The four-wheel outpost for retro-inspired boutique Adelante is modernly adorned with sleek white furnishings and electro-hued with Trina Turk fabrics. Not exactly the kind of decor you’d expect to find in a trailer.
Circle back to my hot pursuit of the Jewelry Box (@jbxonwheels), which I found was an extension of Richmond’s Grace Street Accessories. After venturing far enough off track, I had to give up the chase, but a quick Google search and a call to the owner helped solve the mystery. The delivery truck turned bauble shop is based in Richmond, and can usually be found in Carytown on the weekends. During the weekdays, owner Jordan Bruce hits up college campuses in the area with her collection of affordable costume jewelry (most pieces—including earrings, necklaces, scarves, and hair clips—fall under $20!). “People love it,” she says. “It’s fun to be able to hop in a truck and shop. And the deals make it all the better.”
Curb appeal at its best.
Follow the trucks on Twitter to get up-to-date stats on locations.