Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mobile Boutique Goes Brick and Mortar

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mobile Boutique Goes Brick and Mortar

Article excerpt

Sometimes it takes spending time on the open road to put one's plans into place.

Samantha Lugo of Robinson drove her Broke Little Rich Girl fashion truck around Pittsburgh for about a year before selecting a spot for a brick-and-mortar companion for the mobile boutique.

"I was able to go to all different parts of Pittsburgh and see where I was received the best," she says.

While her clients come from many neighborhoods, she opted to call 3816 Butler St. in Lawrenceville home for the Broke Little Rich Girl boutique, which opened earlier this month.

"Lawrenceville is such an up-and-coming neighborhood," she says, adding that the camaraderie of nearby businesses attracted her to the area.

Broke Little Rich Girl is the first of the city's fashion trucks to transition to a permanent storefront, but across the country this is a move that many boutiques on wheels are making.

"A lot of mobile boutique owners open a store on wheels to transition into a brick-and-mortar [store]," says Stacey Steffe, co- founder and president of the American Mobile Retail Association, a group that supports the efforts of these nomadic retailers and tracks mobile retail trends. By the end of the year it predicts that the United States will boast about 600 mobile boutiques, with the greatest number of them in California.

Ms. Lugo has long wanted to open a boutique but was intrigued by the fashion truck concept after spotting it in other cities and wanted to give it a try. The store will give Broke Little Rich Girl devotees a place they can always come to shop for trendy, affordable fashions, rather than having to wait for the truck to come to them. The store also will allow Ms. Lugo to do business year-round (last winter's Polar Vortex made it difficult to have the truck out and about as often, she says) and to carry more merchandise. …

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