Hundreds of wardrobes on wheels have pulled up along curbsides across the nation over the past year, and two of the Valley’s own movable marts are merging into the fast lane.
The Turquoise Trunk
A lifelong interest in fashion inspired Christy Infantino to hit the road as the bubbly force behind the Turquoise Trunk, a fashionable and cool boutique meant to “wake up your wardrobe.” Stepping inside her vehicle (a renovated water truck) is like entering a girlfriend’s covetable chic closet full of invigorated wardrobe staples.
Broadcasting her passion for style across the Valley, Infantino encounters women who want an experience akin to playing dress-up at a slumber party. One of her favorite things to do is attend private parties, where guests can drink wine and peruse the truck curbside near their home.
As a mother of two, Infantino hadn’t driven anything other than the family SUV before opening her store in 2013. Though the idea seemed absurd to others, she was determined to create a mobile boutique after seeing the success of California-based ventures. What she needed most was to determine her customer base, and she found that in herself.
“This is for the gal on the go who wants something fun, cute and trendy without paying a hefty price,” she says. “And it’s an experience. People can see the personality behind this when they’re looking for something cute.”
That personality, like Infantino’s style, is ever-evolving. While it’s taken time for people to understand the Turquoise Trunk’s place as a retail stop, its burgeoning following is loyal, and word-of-mouth has helped spawn countless connections to curious customers.
Those connections are the gas that keep the engine of her business running. Social media is the biggest resource for acquiring new customers. “I couldn’t exist without it,” Infantino says.
Infantino remains optimistic the Turquoise Trunk will be just one of many mobile boutiques in Phoenix’s future. And Infantino’s wish may be coming true, with the recent addition of GoGo GaGa (facebook.com/shopgogogaga) to the city’s mobile mix. “People will continue to see this industry grow,” Infantino says. “I hope there’s 10 more trucks in the Valley in a couple years’ time.”
Boutique A Go-Go
As the first mobile boutique owner in Metro Phoenix, Boutique A Go-Go’s Amy Falkenberg had to map her own business route from corporate offices to street festivals throughout the Valley.
Falkenberg’s no stranger to mobile retail. She grew up accompanying her father to corporate offices to sell beauty and fashion items. In 2012, she took the wheel as owner and operator of Boutique A Go-Go.
Falkenberg’s azure-colored vehicle – an extensively renovated former camper – is now the home of numerous trinkets, purses, clothes and jewelry items. While the boutique was initially an accessories truck, Falkenberg recently added more clothing to its inventory. Some of the vintage-inspired garments from local designers reflect Falkenberg’s own bohemian, relaxed style, but she insists on featuring an array of clothes to accommodate her customers, who range from high school and college-age young women to mature shoppers looking for a bargain on an eye-catching handbag.
Being the only mobile boutique in the area was difficult at first, as people weren’t accustomed to shopping outside of a brick-and-mortar store, Falkenberg says. But after becoming a fixture at local hotspots like Downtown Phoenix on First Fridays, she’s found not only a way to sell merchandise, but to network as well. “I sometimes have lousy days where I don’t sell much, but I meet 10 people who are interested in hosting parties,” she says. “You never know who you’ll meet and what it can possibly turn into.”
Now, others interested in starting a boutique on wheels come to her for advice on anything from parking to making introductions. “As a veteran, it’s been fun to help and take on a different role,” Falkenberg says. “It’s nice to have other business owners who are on the same page and share new ideas.”
She created her latest endeavor, the Food and Fashion Truck Fest, to bring together couture clothes and culinary crafts. It’s held every first and third Tuesday at the northeast corner of 32nd Street and Cactus Road in Phoenix from 5-7:30 p.m.
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