Cargo Room is a fashion boutique on wheels — like a food truck, only with trendy clothing and accessories instead of tacos.
Inside, the air-conditioned concession trailer, owner Heather Parsons, 28, has squeezed racks of brightly colored dresses and rows of straw fedoras and handbags into every last inch of the 84 square feet of space.
There’s even a changing room.
“I know I can’t buy clothes unless I try them on first,” Parsons said.
Parsons got the idea for the mobile boutique during a summer trip to South Africa through the Oklahoma State University’s Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa program while studying for her master’s degree in entrepreneurship.
“Out of necessity there, people create their own businesses and there are a lot of shops there that are based out of shipping containers and other spaces,” she said.
Mobile retailers, based in everything from vintage Airstream trailers to converted school buses are popping up in the Northeast and West Coast — there’s even an American Mobile Retail Association. The trade group has members ranging from a mobile dog treat and pet boutique in Hoboken, N.J., to a bridal boutique on wheels in Colorado Springs, Colo., according to its website, but most of the businesses are based on the East or West coasts.