Mobile boutique brings the bling to customers
In addition to women's clothing, shoppers can also choose from handbags, jewelry, children's clothing, and other items
- Mobley also plans to use the bus to collect business clothing for women needing a new start
- During Saturday's Ladies Day Pop Up event, women owners of home-based businesses gathered to network
- Customers wishing to host a party in the mobile boutique can earn credit to spend or give to charity
FARMINGTON – There is a new option for women who like boutique-shopping but prefer the store come to them.
Sheila Mobley, former owner of the Danz Force Gym Force studio in Farmington, now operates the Detailz Mobile Boutique out of a bright red, 15-passenger bus, which she plans to use to bring unique fashion to her customers.
To celebrate the grand opening of her boutique-on-wheels, Mobley organized a "Ladies Day Pop Up" gathering that took place last Saturday at The Force 2.0 gym, and she invited many of her friends who also have home-operated retail businesses to participate.
Mobley explained how she made the transition from owning a dance/gym studio to operating a rolling fashion wagon.
"I retired last May, and found that I just needed something to do," she said. "This provides a way for me to stay busy and to also be able to do a lot of my work from home."
Mobley said her son purchased the bus from an Albuquerque man who operated Breaking Bad (the television show) tours. She and her family refurbished the van using old, re-purposed wood to give it a rustic look, and equipped it with hangers and shelves, and even a dressing room.
Mobley said her vision is for potential customers to call her to come to their home or business and shop in an intimate setting and at their convenience.
"It's like any other home party," said Mobley. "If you are having an event such as a luncheon, or you and your friends just want to shop for an hour, I'll come to you."
In addition to up-scale yet affordable women's clothing, shoppers can also choose from a variety of handbags, jewelry, children's clothing, and other specialty items.
Mobley describes the clothing style as "rustic gypsy."
"Friends have told me it's a unique type of clothing," she said. "Some of it's simple, while other (pieces) have rhinestones — sort-of a Texas-style. You either really like it or you don't."
Mobley stresses that she doesn't intend to park the van by the side of the road or at city events where other mobile vendors typically sell their wares, but instead plans to go directly to her customers, even if that means serving one customer at a time.
"A person could contact me and say, 'come over Thursday at two,' and I can do that," she said. "If they buy something, great. If not, that's OK."
Like some other home-based retail businesses, Mobley is offering a hostess credit for customers wanting to host a party.
"If I sell a certain amount at the party, the hostess gets a credit, just like any other home party," she said. "You can either apply the credit to something you want, or you can use it to donate to charity. I also have gift cards that schools and other organizations can use to raffle off to make money."
Helping those in need is something Mobley hopes will become an integral part of her new business. Although the boutique items she sells out of the van are new, she plans to occasionally hold clothing drives to collect used business attire to help women needing a new start.
"I do a lot of work with the Family Crisis (Center), and sometimes women leave with just the clothes on their back," she said. "If people donate clothing to me, I will work with salons and the women can go get their hair done, then come in the van and shop for clothes they need, so they'll be ready for a job interview."
At Saturday's event, businesswomen — many of whom operate out of their homes — gathered to socialize and show off their products.
Nancy Anderson sells Scentsy, which is a no-flame, light-heated candle-based product. Anderson normally attends various events to sell her products, and also sells during home visits.
She said owning a home-based business has been a good option for her.
"You get to set your own life, and it's great to be able to stay home with the children," she said.
Trudy Cundiff is a LipSense distributor. She displayed a full array of her lipstick products at Saturday's event, and said she appreciated the chance to come together with other businesswomen to network and exchange information.
"Not everybody can have a shop, so this has really helped me to get my name out there," she said.
Stephanie Lobato, who owns a cleaning business and recently started a home-operated catering business called Delightz, agreed that events like the Ladies Day Pop Up are perfect examples of how businesswomen can help each other.
"Sheila not only gets business for herself out of this, but she wants everyone else to benefit," she said. "Farmington's pretty small, so women have to network with each other – we need to support each other."
Mobley said Saturday's gathering was so successful she plans to hold another one in the summer. She said she's looking forward to getting her mobile boutique "rolling" within the next few months.
"This is the most exciting thing I've ever done," said Mobley.
Information on the Detailz Mobile Boutique can be found by visiting the Detailz Boutique Facebook page, or by calling (505) 320-3310.
Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-436-0853.