A few years ago while perusing good ol’ Pinterest, I came across a few mobile boutiques from back east and was immediately enthralled with the idea of a shop that didn’t have to be brick and mortar PLUS the thought being completely mobile brought up so many possibilities!
Fast forward to just 2 weeks ago, we finally decided to bite the bullet after attending fairs and markets locally and practically being blown away by the notorious Idaho wind. Half of the stress from markets comes from set up time, you have around an hour to cart your display in past other bustling crafters, set it up, and throw your merchandise out before crowds hit! Hopefully you would be indoors, but this year most markets had been moved outdoors. If the wind didn't get you the heat/cold would!
We started by scouring local ads and business for the perfect trailer, should we go small? Big and walk in? After looking for a few days we finally happened upon a local trailer company in Shelley, ID and found the perfect trailer! 8.5’x20’ of amazing retail space along with built in shade, power, and a ramp with a door and window. Now the hard part, renovate this beast in less than five days and fill it with merch!
One thing we did want to do was make sure the trailer could be used almost year round and especially off fair season. I created a mockup on my IPad in Procreate and designed all of the displays and even the check out desk to be completely collapsible or removable. Hooks come off the grid walls, shelves off their hangers, and the checkout is secured using only a few screws for easy removal. Now using it off season allows us to throw a full sized futon at the front and cots for the kiddos and wallah! We have a cheaper and LIGHTER camper completely with electricity, two doors, a window, and three ventilation holes!
To renovate the entire trailer we spent around $300, mostly on hardware and scrap wood from the discount pile. I knew I wanted an outdoorsy-cabin theme and stuck to a black, white and wood color scheme. We had previously purchased black metal grid walls from Craigslist which had been abandoned in our garage after a few markets due to their size and weight. We simply cut them down to size and following the already drilled holes and studs in the trailer, we secured them to the walls and purchased additional hooks from Amazon to hang our tees from! On the reverse side of the trailer we used black metal shelving tracks we found at Home Depot along with matching black supports. We then purchased barn wood slats meant for walls and modified them to work as shelves! It saved loads of time sanding a staining in the short time span we had.
After the merchandise was sorted out we created a check out stand at the nose of the trailer by the main door, allowing customers to walk in from either side and out the other. The checkout stand was a simple box framed in and screwed to the deck of the trailer. We used a scrap section of barn wood paneling for the front and one side, and ripped wood down for a butcher block top which I ended up keeping blonde for now and not staining.
As for the outside of the trailer we did purchase stabilizing scissor jacks locally for all four corners, built a step of steps for the door, and enlisted the help of a local small business to install our logo in black vinyl across three sides of the trailer. The benefits of this were to create a moving billboard plus it helped spot our trailer from the bystanders point of view! Eventually I will put my artistic touch all over this bad boy!