Truckshop has been successfully operating for more than seven years in the Queen City, making it the state’s first mobile fashion boutique. With a focus on women’s clothing and accessories, the truck’s unique shopping experience allows customers to browse products from the comfort of their own driveways, which is especially convenient during today’s socially distant times. “I think I have truly the best of all worlds,” says owner Ashley Volbrecht. “I can make my hours, and I can go to popular big events and capitalize on high foot traffic.”
Volbrecht had her ah-ha moment to launch a boutique on wheels after seeing fashion trucks in Los Angeles during a visit in 2012. After extensive research, she discovered there weren’t any apparel trucks operating in Ohio at the time, so got to work, creating a “grocery list” of to-dos: buy a truck, get insurance, buy inventory, and figure out a trade show. By June of 2013, she debuted Truckshop at the City Flea. Her truck quickly grew in popularity and eventually inspired Cincinnati-based boutique Fenno Fashion to go mobile.
“The devil is in the details,” says Volbrecht, who makes sure her apparel products are always ironed and organized. “The whole atheistic is very important.”
Truckshop carries an always-changing selection of tops, jewelry, dresses, and accessories that are $65 or less. Volbrecht says, “I get six maybe 12 pieces of one style, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, and that is what I want to happen.”
To get inventory for the shop, Volbrecht attends trade shows Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Los Vegas. Although she could buy products more easily online, she says “there is something to be said about buying inventory in person, physically touching it, and seeing the fit. That takes time and energy, and not everyone’s up for it, but I have always stood by that.”
Volbrecht says the boutique was a popular pre-pandemic activity, with customers opting to host house parties with the truck parked in their driveway. Guests could then enjoy two hours of private shopping time, during which they can try on clothes in their home. Hosts also receive discounts, but there is no pressure to buy anything, says Volbrecht, who is very hands-off during the process.
If you’re not comfortable hosting a small at-home shopping party right now, Volbrecht also hosts Instagram try-on sessions highlighting pieces in her collection and can send interested buyers custom order links through her website.
Although her mother often assists with random tasks, Volbrecht is the truck’s sole owner and operator. She says she feels lucky to be running her business as long as she has and enjoys traveling and meeting new people. “The whole goal was to say, I did it. On the first day at City Flea, I sold out of everything,” she says. “I felt like it was the right time in the right city.”