From a Mobile Business to Brick-and-Mortar Store

Have you ever wanted to have your own store but didn’t have enough money to get started? If so, consider following the example of the vintage and handmade clothing experts at Wanderlust. They overcame the expensive hurdle of a physical store by starting a mobile business mobile.

Dan and Vanessa Lurie began their business about ten years ago in Portland, Oregon. Because they didn’t have much capital to start, they decided to put a new twist on the old food cart idea. They converted a 1969 Cardinal Deluxe travel trailer into a mobile store called Wanderlust. Here they sell handmade accessories and vintage goods.


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Andrea Jenkins

Just two years later, their resounding success allowed them to expand into a brick and mortar store. Don’t worry — the couple did not give up their mobile store. In fact, the famous trailer still makes special appearances.

Their example teaches us that anyone can achieve their dreams. By making the best out of a trying situation, the Luries were able to gain needed experience. This experience help boost their confidence and propelled them towards new goals.

Want to learn more about this unique, but surprisingly simple, approach to business? Check out some of the lessons that they learned during their business journey.

Pros and Cons of Starting A Business in A Trailer

According to Vanessa, the biggest advantage to starting a mobile shop was the lower startup costs. On the flip side, the limited space for holding inventory was challenging. But operating out of such a small store forced them to be creative with merchandising.

Tips for Those Who Are Interested in Business with a Mobile Location
If you are interested in opening your own mobile shop, you must learn about city codes and ordinances. Every city deals with mobile businesses in different ways. Vanessa suggests,

calling the city, telling them exactly what you’re planning and asking them what you need to do so you can open legally.

Be True to Yourself

One of Vanessa’s most important pieces of advice is to be “creative and true to yourself” when formulating your mobile business plan. Remember that an RV isn’t able to hold a lot of merchandise so you will have to get creative.  You will also have to figure out how to set your shop apart from similar mobile businesses. The best way to go create success is by discovering what you love and focusing on that specific market.

Having a quality shop and merchandise you are knowledgeable about will give you lasting success.

Opening up a Storefront

When it’s time to expand to a storefront, there are many hurdles to overcome. You will need to find a space that’s within your budget in a location that will benefit your business.

The space that the Luries wanted was available months before they planned to expand. When they received the news about the space they had to crunch the numbers to figure out how much everything, including more inventory, would cost.

Once they had a basic idea of their financial status, they hired a lawyer to go over the details. Doing so provided them with the peace of mind that they needed to make a wise business decision. Finally, they sat down with each other and discussed if they were mentally ready for this next step. It was after this talk they were able to make the decision to expand.

Based on the above picture, it seems that they made the right decision. What about you? What dreams are you trying to achieve? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: DIY Business Association

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