May 22nd, 2017 is when things got REAL. I purchased a 1969 Cobra trailer off of craigslist. I was inspired by fellow artists, vintage collectors and retailers around the country to create my own store on wheels. So I made it happen with the help of the most amazing remodeling crew ever (my mom + Pepere).
The months before purchasing the trailer were filled with endless searching and pinning on Pinterest, shopping around for prices of material, perfecting the design on the interior, and hunting for the perfect décor. Months were also spent searching for the "right" trailer in the right price range. I wanted to go for a reasonably inexpensive trailer so I could spend more on the renovations.
The interior of the trailer was EXTREMELY unattractive. But I saw so much potential. Just two days after the trailer made its way into my driveway, the demolition began. My mom, myself and a hammer managed to get every bit of "vintage" out of there--from the sink, oven, unwanted cabinets and storage spaces, an entire bathroom and everything in between.
After tearing the walls and ceilings down, we realized this was a MUCH bigger project than we had anticipated. The wooden beams were rotted, there were countless numbers of leaks, the subfloor was disintegrating, the electrical wiring needed to be replaced entirely. It was a MESS. But we were determined. Our motto throughout the whole remodeling process was "we got this".
After we got the trailer down to literally just the metal shell and the few wooden beams we managed to salvage, it was game time. Lowes soon became my second home and I'm proud to say that I know the store like the back of my hand now. The electrical was re-wired, subfloors were put in, insulation, walls and ceilings went up, the floors were installed, moldings were put in. Walls and ceilings were painted. Wood accents were stained.
Speaking of wood--we searched high and low for live edge wood forEVER. We had a vision that both, the checkout counter and my studio desktop would be wooden slabs with the live edge (bark) on it. The lowest price we found online and at local lumber yards were between $150-$600 for an 8ft slab. WELL, the Universe worked in a magical way and led me to a family owned sawmill in a few towns over and I scored TWO eight foot slabs for $30! Score of the century.
The check out counter was made with the live edge piece of Oak and tin roofing. Behind the counter is a little wrapping area (which I'm in LOVE with).
Every inch of this baby was done by hand. DIYs were our thing. From sewing the curtains, paper mache, cutting up egg crates to make decorative flowers, cutting up fallen limbs to make a frame for a mirror--you name it, we did it!
My grandfather was my saving grace throughout this entire process. He was the handy man who made my vision come to life. He has worked with construction and woodworking his entire life, so he agreed to take on this pretty large project all out of love. Every morning (even when I had to leave for my office job, which was more often than I would have liked), he would be in the driveway by 7am to begin his workday in the trailer. I would head home on my lunch break to check in with him and see what he had accomplished. He would spend 8+ hour days in the trailer until he was done. I really would not have been able to complete this project without him. He allowed my dream to become reality.
My best friend aka my mother helped me with creating the vision. Jewelry is my thing, interior design is absolutely not. She did so much Pinterest-ing for me, because believe it or not, I'm not a Pinterest-y person. She kept my mind straight and reminded me day in and day out that this IS meant to be. That this is what my business needs, that she supports my dream and sees so much potential. She kept me motivated when times were rough and was the first person to say "so what do you want to do in the camper today?" even on her days off and after long days at work. She drove me INSANE on some days and kept me sane on others.
Without the support from not only them, but my boyfriend, the rest of my my family, loving friends and customers, I would not have been able to be where I am at this very moment. I am so excited to see where the Wandering Boutique will take us. I'm ready for an adventure.
Buckle up and enjoy the ride, folks!
Ps. Here's a look inside!