Rolling Rack Boutique is providing Arizonans with the L.A. experience
“My brand is Where Sweet Meets Street. We can be pretty in pink but let out an F Bomb if we need to.”
In the city of Scottsdale, Rolling Rack Boutique has quickly earned the moniker “The Beverly Hills on Wheels.” The refurbished, rose gold-wrapped 26 foot U-Haul truck features faux fur ceilings, rose gold fixtures, a fitting room, and two French doors with a red carpet entryway.
Not exactly Rodeo Drive but it is very LA. Not to mention, last week, on May 10th, the high-end traveling boutique celebrated its one-year anniversary by inviting ticket-buying patrons to “sip, shop, and selfie” with Scheana Shay from the Bravo reality TV show Vanderpump Rules.
“Scheana is a friend of mine. We met organically and formed a connection. She wears our looks frequently while filming,” said 43-year-old boutique owner, Susie Diamond – a California native now living in Gilbert, Arizona.
In the midst of a mid-life career crisis plus the untimely passing of her father, the former fashion student turned banker decided to quit her 20 year corporate job and get back to her fashion roots according to a recent podcast interview with The Skyler Irvine Show.
“I was in LA and saw a van selling tees out of the back”
“I was in LA and saw a van selling tees out of the back. I thought it was next level and started researching it,” said Diamond. “I wasn’t going to be the first, but I wanted to be the best.”
Indeed, selling things from the back of a truck is nothing new. Trendy mobile boutiques have been popping up across the country as early as 2011.
In 2012, self-described “mobile retail pioneers” Stacey Jischke-Steffe and Jeanine Romo of Los Angeles made headlines with their pink delivery truck boutique, Le Fashion Truck, including a feature on The Today Show according to its website. Today, the duo, who formed the American Mobile Retail Association, provide “How to Start a Fashion Truck” webinars for aspiring mobile retailers.
Over the years, notable mobile boutiques have included LA’s Selvedge Dry Goods by Monique Cruz which operated out of a fixed-up cargo truck. In Texas, husband and wife duo Jeremy and Kelsey Turner operated The Vintage Mobile which sold retro clothing out of an ‘80s school bus. And in New York City, Joey Wolffer provided A-list accessories with her bus boutique Styleliner.
With Rolling Rack, size and aesthetics are what separates it from other traveling boutiques. “It is very important that I build a brand with brand recognition,” said Diamond. Six months after launching her traveling boutique, Diamond implemented the same interior layout for her new storefront in Old Town Scottsdale.
“We actually have people ask if we have a store while they are in the truck, or if we have a truck while in the store, because they identify with our look,” said Diamond. “So we are doing a great job I think.”
In both of her boutiques, Diamond caters to a mostly millennial and younger demographic by selling high-end streetwear apparel – tops, jeans, and maxi dresses – as well as accessories and novelties with a price point of $49 to $199. Brands include Suburban Riot, Dear John, Just Black Denim, Jack by BB Dakota, Buddy Love, and Just USA.
“My brand is Where Sweet Meets Street. We can be pretty in pink but let out an F Bomb if we need to,” said Diamond.
A highlight of the boutique are the assortment of off-color graphic tees that are reminiscent of social media memes. Some graphics include “Be F*cking Nice,” “Fresh Outta F*cks,” “Alpha Female,” and “Girls Just Wanna Be CEO.” Social media is their main marketing strategy. There’s even a selfie station area with mural walls that feature “Self-Made” in big gold letters, as well as a pair of cut-out angel wings with a halo and devil tail to boot.
“She has a lot of items that push the envelope and almost everyone finds them super funny or relatable.” said Ashley Orr, a Phoenix-based model who has modeled for the boutique.
“I think people really love it, “ said Orr. “She is known for having her truck at all of the big events in town and she sells a lot.”
That was not always the case. “Initials struggles were securing locations, but we’ve proven ourselves now and know the ropes,” said Diamond. She started with First Friday gigs and eventually drove her way up to larger events.
One of those big events include a debut showing within the Style Villa Marketplace at Phoenix Fashion Week’s three-day event at Talking Stick Resort last October.
“At PHXFW, Susie was the top seller throughout the whole weekend”
“At PHXFW, Susie was the top seller throughout the whole weekend,” said Treldy Domingo, Designers & Buyers Leader for Phoenix Fashion Week. The average gross sales per vendor is about $400 per day. Rolling Rack’s total sales per day were three times that number according to Domingo.
“Susie has a lot to offer in terms of providing her customers with an experience along with high quality merchandise,” said Domingo, “My first impression when I walked into her mobile boutique was the décor and vibe. Susie pays attention to details and curates a fun, empowering attitude throughout her boutique and apparel.”
In the age of Amazon, where more and more retailers are closing shop due to competing online markets, Rolling Rack seems to be the exception. With a successful year under her belt, Susie looks forward to expansion.
“We are heading to Orange County this summer for pop-up events and our second brick and mortar in Scottsdale is opening this fall.”