We love local businesses!
Wherever we travel or whenever we are home, we go out of our way to visit local business owners. These are the dreamers, the risk-takers, the goodbye-normal-job-and-hello-future-in-my-own-hands types of people. These are our kinds of people.
In local businesses, there is always personality, there is always creativity, and most importantly, there is always a story. Uncontained Life thrives on finding these stories and bringing them to you. We want to hear about leaps of faith and persevering passion and creative entrepreneurship. We want to ask local business owners, “What’s Your Uncontained Life Story?”
If you have a small business that is community-minded, let us know, we’d love to meet you! That’s just what we did with Connie Idyllwild, clothing designer and owner of Idyllwild Designs.
Typically, for an interview lead-in, it wouldn’t be uncommon to say that Uncontained Life “caught up” with Connie to talk about her business. In this case, we, quite literally, had to catch up with Connie because her boutique clothing shop is on wheels! She has designed the interior of a cube truck as a women’s clothing and accessories boutique and travels to various locations throughout Southern California.
Here’s her story.
Uncontained Life: When and How did your mobile boutique get started?
Connie Idyllwild: The idea was given to me by a friend who saw a fashion truck gathering at the Irvine Spectrum (where we both worked) in June this year. That week I called my Uncle in Colorado and mentioned the idea to him. He said “I have a truck that I’m using as a storage unit. If you come get it you can have it.” Two weeks later I quit my corporate job, drove to Colorado and the adventure began. You can read all about it here on my blog.
UL: What does your business provide?
CL: As a mobile boutique we provide a unique shopping experience with the ability to come to you. We sell women’s clothing and accessories with a vintage-inspired aesthetic, a lot of which is designed and made by my assistant and I.
UL: If someone were to visit Long Beach and find your mobile boutique, what would their experience look like?
CI: Very unique indeed! We carry so many one of a kind pieces and offer them up in a very original and hopefully inviting setting. It’s a shopping experience like no other with the chance to take home original designs hand crafted by local designers.
UL: Socially Responsible Travel is about making ethical, community-minded decisions when you travel. Do you agree with that approach? If so, why is that important to you?
CI: I absolutely agree with it. Our world is filled with amazing places. By submerging yourself in a community that you are visiting you get a much more accurate picture of the place you’re in. Tourist traps are by nature built to separate you from your money without offering much in return besides the obligatory snapshot. I always try to ‘live like a local’ in any place I visit.
UL: In what ways is Idyllwild Designs a community-minded, eco-friendly business?
CI: I’m a strong believer in community. One of the best practices I use in my business is to help support and promote each and every small business that my company associates with. By building a strong collective of like-minded small businesses owners, we can come together as a large entity to fight for the changes that our community needs. As far as eco-friendly goes, well that’s another one close to my heart. As an artist, I believe there is beauty in all things and turning what might be seen as trash by some into art is a favorite pastime. For instance, the entire interior of my boutique is 100% salvaged, recycled or repurposed. From our pallet wood flooring to the vintage ladder garment rack and the stacks of books turned into shelving and displays. The only new item purchased was the railing to hold the fitting room curtains.
UL: Looking ahead: what do you hope Idyllwild Designs will become, both as a business and for your community?
CI: For the community I intend to keep networking to build a strong support system for other like-minded small business owners, offering mentorships and eventually starting workshops on how to open your own mobile retail business. I currently offer internship programs to teach high school and college students the different facets of running a small business and I intend to continue taking part in charity and fundraising events that support the local art community. As a business I plan to branch out and diversify the product lines that I carry hoping to expand into a place where other local artist can showcase and consign their creations.
UL: Your shop is on wheels! How do your visitors catch up with you?
CI: We rely heavily on social media to advertise our locations for each week. We post where we will be popping up each day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and we keep a current calendar of scheduled stops posted on our blog.
You can see why we were excited to meet Connie and share Idyllwild Designs Mobile Boutique with you. Connie is a creative mind with a beautiful smile and spirit and a wonderful Uncontained Life Story. With her eye on fashion, her community, the environment…and the road, we hope you get to catch up with her soon!