You guys! It finally happened. I can officially say it. Hyde and Chic MKE is a mobile boutique!
If you read the first blog post you know this was part of the original vision / business plan. And while it did take much longer (4 long months to be exact) to get this boutique on the road, I now think the timing was actually perfect.
Towards the end of July, I stumbled across a Facebook post from a boutique owner selling her custom-made pop up shop in Illinois. A few days later, hubby and I spent the day driving to pick it up and bring it home to Milwaukee.
This is what it looked like when she had it setup for her mobile boutique.
Cute, right? And not a canopy tent you typically see which is what caught my attention.
This is when the work began...
*Notice my cute little work buddy? :-)
Over the next few days I hired a handyman to reinforce the actual structure for obvious safety reasons, and as soon as he was done, I filled holes, patched parts of the wood, sanded and painted.
I also stained the wood that was left natural because I thought the contrast of darker wood would look great.
Once I was done with the cosmetic part of the setup came the next big question.
“How am I going to set this up by myself?
Good thing I married an engineer! We searched and searched, and made a sketch or two to figure out how we could make this happen. Once he figured it out, or so we thought, he sent me out on a shopping adventure while he was at work to find the things he needed to build this contraption that would help me set up this pop up shop.
Mind you, this whole time I was trying to figure out how to merch-out the display, shopping to buy things I thought would work, making signs, registering for local events, etc. Around this time, I also registered for some events.
I’m SO glad I had the energy to put all day and night into this thing because it took everything I had!
While on the shopping excursion, I noticed a Kmart right before I was about to head home. I think I have shopped at Kmart twice in my life but I needed pool noodles to padding the setup.
This is where I started to feel everything was happening the way it was supposed to!
I walk in, and realize I hit the JACKPOT!
The store was closing and everything, literally every single thing in the building, was for sale!!
I started sending the hubby pictures of dollies, clothing racks, displays, etc trying to figure out what to buy. Because the store was closing, as soon as they wrote up the invoice, the stuff was mine. I was worried I would make a mistake buying all these things that wouldn’t work.
He told me which dollies he thought would work best and I picked out a 4-way clothing rack.
When he got home from work, we hooked up the trailer (that we bought with the pop up shop display) and went to pick up the jackpot.
I ended up buying another 4-way clothing rack because the hubby knows more about retail and said it was in good shape and worth way more than they were asking.
So, $140 later, this is what I got.
Hubby and I got to work (more him this time around because a 29-week clumsy pregnant lady and power tools don’t mix. I can barely get around the house without walking into walls, door jams, door knobs, etc. Haha!)
We (again, more he) spent a few days working on the dollies. I won’t go into the details of what he did because it was a few days of working until midnight, including the night before the very 1st event.. which ended up not happening.
One thing we had not figured out was a rain cover.
And living in Wisconsin, you honestly never know what you're gonna get when it comes to the weather. It can be sunny, hot, and humid one minute, and pouring rain the next. The forecast wasn't looking good and called it off at the last minute because I didn't want all our hard work to be ruined by rain.
GOOD THING! The event was rained on three different times. Phew.
Since I had everything loaded and ready to go, I reached out to the family of a local brewery, Biloba Brewing Company, to see if maybe I could do a pop up shop for the following day since there was no rain in the forecast.
They said YES!
I got there an hour and 15 mins before they opened and started getting to work.
Here's what it looked like all set up and ready to open.
One thing I was concerned about was people not wanting to walk inside the pop up shop so I tried to make it feel almost like a little home.
And details. I am a fan of little details and here are some things I came up with.
And here's the full setup which I am SO happy with how it turned out but since this is all new for me, I also learned a few things so for the next pop up shop you will notice some changes.
Not only am I happy with how it all turned out, but we did so well for our very first pop up event. I am s thankful for Biloba Brewing Company, those who stopped by to see all the hard work that paid off, and to everyone who shopped! I can't wait to do more. More dates will be announced soon on Instagram.
I'm currently in LA about to go meet with one of my vendors.
Happy Monday and happy shopping!