Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fashion Trucks on the square

What a BIG surprise.

On Saturday we were down at Jack London Square attempting to buy some organic fruit for our Sunday discussion meeting. When we arrived at the square instead of a farmer's market we found a Jack of All Trades, which is a curated mix of local makers, indie designers, antiquers, collectors, artists, start-ups.   

As we approached the area, lo and behold there were three fashion trucks! I was really excited to see them up close and personal since I had just written about them. It was still very early in the morning so they were all just setting up (which actually was perfect time to talk to each of the owners) NO customers to get in the way.  Introducing myself as a new fashion blogger I explained to them that I was also contemplating the possibility of owning a truck in the future and that I wanted to concentrate on the needs of women 40+ with particular emphasis on women of retirement age. They were all very receptive and I chatted with them while they set up (which by the way did not look like much fun!)

First up - The Bus Shoppe

I spoke with Melanie Stammler from Petaluma
Melanie is a jewelry designer and the fashion truck is a good way to have a place to sell her jewelry. She told me all about purchasing the bus she uses as her boutique. She hired contractors to gut the bus but she oversaw the entire project herself.

She invited me in as she put the final touches.

Melanie: "I had a brick and mortar store In Petaluma for almost a decade and decided to downsize and reduce my overhead. I enjoy fashion, sales, styling and people so I wanted to continue down the same path but just differently and more cost effectively! I stumbled upon this 1980 Chevy School bus with a 350 Small block from Craigslist and decided to go for it! I likened it to one BIG window display!! So the transformation began with the help of some of my amazing artesian friends together we transformed a typical school bus into an amazing rolling mobile fashion boutique offering jewelry, costumes and accessories all on the go! Find Sweet and Unique fashions for men and women including apparel, lingerie, custom up-cycled sterling silver wire~wrapped jewelry, vintage finds and stellar stage wear for men & woman… Expect a custom stylist on board and private parties Galore! Get the good stuff on the go and enjoy the ride! I have been vending at music festivals, private parties."

Classy Closet is out of Manteca, CA. A mother and daughter team who specialize in sizes up to 4X. Bravo! A niche that is very much needed!

Lastly, I spoke with Christina Ruiz as she was just getting her truck parked in it's spot for the day's shopping. TopShelf entered the scene in 2012, as San Francisco's first ever Fashion Truck! The Christina first launched her "pop-up" store at Hayes Valley's Urban Air Market.

Christina, a self named drink slinger and fashionista, hand selects the clothing and accessories for sale in her cozy, well lit abode. She serves up such local designers as Stolen Sunday, Sea Pony Couture, and Lady Noir.  Her goal is to set a pretty fair price for her goods and at the same time connect with San Francisco's diverse, hyper local communities while offering a shopping experience that's unique and a great alternative to Union Square.

Wish I had the time that day to hang around until the shopping fun began but we had to run. I’ll be sure to catch them again at some point and I’ll post more about my shopping experience.

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  1. oh.my.gosh...how cool is that! what a perfect/fun business!

  2. Yes, it was so weird because I just wrote about Christina and Top Shelf. She is very pretty. Looks like a model.

  3. I want a fashion truck...how much fun would that be!!

  4. Pam
    Me too. Have you seen trucks in your area?

  5. A fashion truck? What a great idea! The only problem...I hate to drive. :-(

  6. Hi Darlene

    That's exactly my problem, I HATE to drive too :) And its a truck or heaven forbid a BUS!!! lol Trying not to think about it. Maybe I can get someone else to drive (like I do now) haha. Thanks for your comment!