Shop Tour: How a Truck Became a Fashionable Boutique
Why should food trucks have all the fun? Two Vancouver friends take their retail ambitions to the streets.
All you need is a Doritos truck and a dream.
Drawn to the allure of a mobile and consequently rent-free business like countless food truck entrepreneurs before them, childhood besties Karolina Jasinski and Kora Pridy built their very own sartorial store on wheels, packing a change room and 300-plus jewellery, clothing and home décor items into just 310 square feet.
“We both love design and furniture and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to design our very own space,” says Pridy. Thankfully both women have similar taste, something she says kept arguments to a minimum.
The Lower Mainland duo got their hands on the out-of-service Doritos truck and fed makeover ideas to Pridy’s very accommodating husband over the course of five short weeks. He had his own small renovation business so he did all the construction work and decided what was feasible. “Almost everything is feasible if you pout and whine enough to my husband,” she laughs.
The interior style is decidedly Scandinavian, as both women originally hail from Europe, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see Scandinavian accents like warm woods, ample whites and industrial details throughout.
Inside the Ardillas United Fashion Truck Makeover:
Before: Jasinski and Pridy bought “Beastie,” the former Doritos truck, for $3,500 and restored it in five weeks with the help of friends and family.
Before: Beastie was a bit of a fixer-upper.
“We’re both European and we love a minimalist/Scandinavian approach, so that’s where we drew our inspiration from,” says Pridy. White walls were a must and so was wood throughout: they went with vinyl plank flooring for its durability and flexibility; wooden beams on the ceiling gave it a warm, rustic feel.
“We chose simple kitchen cabinets from Ikea because of the cost and versatility. We originally wanted to have marble counters, but that idea got shot down quick! Too heavy and impractical for a moving store.” The truck store owners also incorporated copper for its good looks and versatility—it was strong enough to hold up shelving and serve as clothing racks.
What about when the truck is in motion? “All the product displayed has to be properly put away before we drive the truck and we think we have it down to a science!” says Pridy. “It only takes us about 20 minutes to pack up the product before we’re on the road.”
Left: “We decided to install frosted acrylic within the back wall design because we wanted to get as much natural light into the space as possible, while still providing privacy for the change room and the cab of the truck.” Storage is also a big issue in a shop this size, so they ended up using the cab for bins and products when the store is open.
Right: The boutique entrepreneurs thought a simple wooden feature wall would add some warmth to the seating area across from the changing room. “This is where the guys are spending their time when their ladies are in the change room, so we wanted to make it cozy!”
WHERE TO FIND THE FASHION TRUCK
The Ardillas United mobile boutique will be rolling to various events and festivals throughout the Lower Mainland, including North Vancouver’s Car Free Day on August 22 and Bowen Island’s Bowfest festival on August 29.