Megan Currie could see the world of retail was changing.
Six years ago she managed a brick-and-mortar boutique that she loved as if it was her own. When it came time to open a store for herself she was able to take the parts that she liked - like shopping parties - and identify creative solutions to the ones she didn't.
"I knew the landscape of retail was changing so I didn’t want to open a traditional brick-and-mortar store, particularly due to high costs and the uncertainty of which location to choose. So I decided to create a business that combined the fun element of shopping parties and pop-ups with a mobile component that allowed me to reach multiple cities."
How does the Fashion Truck work?
Currie created the Vancouver Fashion Truck, a roving women's boutique that pops up all over the Lower Mainland, to allow her the freedom to figure out which city would be best to open a permanent space or give her the option to keep a mobile business model. The business model comes "with the excitement of 'here today, gone tomorrow,'" she adds.
The truck usually pops up at markets or celebratory events so the experience of shopping is slightly different each time, which Currie says is part of the fun as opposed to the same stagnant setting.
However, she also launched an online store at the same time as the truck so that customers could still shop for the things they liked after she hit the road again. There's a "find the truck" function on the website that tells people where they can expect to see the boutique on wheels next.
"Also, what store rolls up to your driveway and brings the shopping to you?" asks Currie. "Being able to gather your friends at your home, have a glass of wine, then pop out to your driveway to do some shopping with your besties is a lot of fun."
The Vancouver Fashion Truck does have a permanent set-up
During the pandemic, like many other businesses, the truck was forced to take a two-year hiatus. Mercifully, The Vancouver Fashion Truck has a warehouse in Burnaby that gives Currie a home base for inventory and online orders and which also functions as a retail shop. "People also like to know that they know where to find us if our truck isn't out and about," she says. "We lucked out finding a space that allowed us to also have a retail shop, house our truck and be right off the highway so we could easily go anywhere with our truck. It ticked all the boxes."
The truck stocks pieces that can transition from day to night. "There's nothing we love more than versatility," says Currie.
She looks for clothes that can be dressed down with denim and runners or dressed up with a skirt and heels so that people "have a closet that's ready for anything" without shelling out money for exclusively dressy outfits that will only get worn once or twice.
Currie also often looks to her followers on Instagram for feedback, asking them in polls what they're looking for next season. Over the last five years in business, the Vancouver Fashion Truck has built up a dedicated fan base in the Lower Mainland. "We love that our customers are so loyal and will often ask us if we are getting in something specific, and if we are, they'll wait until we bring it in so they can support us," shares Currie.
Where to find the truck next
The truck caters to a wide range of women and the inspired roving business model allows Currie to meet them in multiple cities. People can expect to find the truck at the Hopcott Farms 90th Anniversary Event in Pitt Meadows on August 15 and then at the PNE from August 20 to September 5. After that, it's popping up in Surrey on September 17 at Mainland Markets.