Stacey Jischke-Steffe came up with the idea of a store on wheels back in early 2011. Back then, she and her business partner were selling vintage purses and custom jewelry at craft fairs, mainly in Southern California. When she saw all the people lining up for food trucks she figured: If people can buy tacos from a van, why not clothes?
“We started using the truck because it was an easier way to schlep our goods from market to market,” Jischke-Steffe says. “Then we signed up do to a farmers market every Friday for three months. We got tired of parking the truck, setting up the booth, breaking it down. We figured there had to be a more fun way to do this.”
She bought a 1975 Grumman Olson Stepvan, outfitted it with a sales counter, dressing room and cabinets, and Le Fashion Truck was born. To handle transactions, she uses two iPad devices with credit card readers and point-of-sale software, a notebook for record keeping, and a 4G mobile hotspot (plus a generator to keep everything juiced).
So many people asked her questions about the truck that she and her partner, Jeanine Romo, launched what ultimately became the American Mobile Retail Association to help fellow truck-retailers navigate the morass of local regulations and practical considerations when operating a mobile store.
Her advice: Get a good point-of-sale system. “A good POS is key,” Jischke-Steffe says. “A lot of people try to cut corners or rely on Excel. You want to start with a good POS on day one, ideally one that caters to mobile businesses.”
For more on how retailers are using mobile technology to enhance their businesses, check out, "Retailers Tap Tech to Help Serve Customers Anywhere, Anytime."