The Most Unique Design Job Ever!!
Last August we received an interesting phone call from a woman named Mary Ann. She said “I’m not sure if you do this, or would be interested, but do you think you can design the interior of a mobile boutique”? I was caught off guard and curious so I asked for more details. She responded that most importantly she wanted to fulfill a dream of bringing girls together in an entrepreneurial endeavor. Basically, she wanted to purchase an RV, have it gutted and turn it into a “store” with clothing, jewelry and sorority items. She wanted to take this RV on the road and travel to sorority houses throughout the southeast.
Mary Ann toyed around with different names for the boutique and after a multitude of suggestions, thoughts and ideas, she settled on the names of her mother and Grandmother, Mimi and Emma’s. The inspiration came from the real Mimi and Emma themselves… mother and daughter, relaxed, smiling and holding hands. Lifelong best friends, looking at them reminds us that we’re each a Mimi or Emma to someone special, someone you shop with, laugh with, and share shoulders to cry on, or just hold a hand when you really need it. Mimi was the daughter of italian immigrants, right off the boat. Emma was a seamstress sewing and designing clothes for the wealthy on Jupiter Isle in Florida. Unfortunately both are now deceased. Mary Ann felt that it would be a great way to honor them.
Mimi and Emma’s Mobile Boutique is about a lot more than bringing great fashion to your doorstep. It’s having your favorite friends right there next to you when you ask…”How does this look on me”? - knowing they’ll tell you the truth.
I was so impressed by Mary Ann because she was very intent on making sure that we knew it wasn’t just about the “vehicle”. This endeavor was to enable her to mentor young women in business and encourage their entrepreneurial spirt.
Is this not the coolest idea? We were thrilled she called us and so we began helping her get the ball rolling and bring her dream to life.. One of the first things she told us regarding the interior was that she wanted you to walk into the boutique and feel “special”. She requested that the colors and furnishings be upscale, sophisticated and memorable.
She had to make sure she used every square inch of the RV efficiently and have the “wrap” on the outside of the RV portray her brand in the appropriate way!!
This is what the RV looked like “before”
We had a real challenge ahead of us in more ways than one!! Due to the fact that the clothing would be colorful and would also be geared toward the sorority house she would be visiting, the selections needed to be neutral, but with a lot of texture.
Here are the selections we made:
Wide plank laminate flooring in a driftwood finish
A “faux” tin ceiling
A Duralee fabric for the dressing rooms
Reclaimed wood dressing room mirrors custom painted by Rachelle Goering of Beyond The Mossy Tree.
The interior work was done by Joey DiMarzio, Mary Ann’s husband. He worked through the wee hours of the night to have it ready for it’s first “launch” which took place in Mid-December. It was done in the parking lot of the neighborhood Clubhouse where Mary Ann lived and served as the perfect “dress rehearsal”.
Here are the “after” photos……..
The launch was a huge success. Can you imagine this vehicle pulling into the parking lot of a sorority house? First stop is at the Kappa Alpha Theta House at The University of Georgia. Upcoming events to be announced.
We still have a few tweaks and will be adding additional furnishings to add outdoor selling space as well. A large awning is attached so we will include outdoor rugs, some seating and several garment racks for additional outdoor selling space such as this:
Just imagine your sorority having an event where a white dress may be required. Up rolls Mimi and Emma’s (who will know about the events ahead of time) with several styles and sizes to choose from!
Here are the girls (her Advisory Board) who have helped in this endeavor. They assisted with the Facebook page, website and, of course, the clothing and jewelry selection (which is awesome). It’s these girls that make Mimi and Emma’s what it is. As Mary Ann says “it’s all about the girls”!!
Black and white photo credit – Cindy Harter Photography