MEMMobile brings boutique to the streets
(WMC-TV) - MEMFix and MEMShop may ring a bell, but now Bluff City residents can look for MEMMobile. The goal is to take away the physical barriers of starting a business.
Normally, if you wanted to go shopping you would have to drive to the store or hit the Internet, but what if the store came to you for a change? That's exactly what the newly opened Henny Penny mobile boutique will do.
The ladies clothing and accessories store sits on wheels. An 18-foot long, seven foot-wide used Lance Snacks delivery truck is outfitted with everything shoppers would find in a boutique, just scaled down.
"The dressing room is behind me, when you want to try something on, the curtains hook up to there," said owner Cyndii Jo Hartley.
Style did not suffer in this conversion. Hartley, whose been a hair stylist for 14 years, put down hard wood floor, designer wallpaper, and even a tiled ceiling.
All of this possible, thanks the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team's MEMMobile project, which is granting several forgivable loans to people looking to open a business without all the overhead typically received.
"The overhead is so low because you aren't paying rent on it on it. The insurance is lower, obviously electric bill is lower ... I don't have one, I just pay for gas in my generator," said Hartley.
The idea of mobile business is not new in Memphis. Food trucks have blown up in the city, but not retail, despite the fact that they have been all the rage in other cities across the country.
The Henny Penny's grand opening posted up at a party for Memphis Fashion week, still taking place this weekend.
"The amount of cities that have mobile boutiques now are huge. Memphis is actually one of the last ones to get it," said Memphis Fashion Week Director Abby Phillips.
Already the curiosity is here, so if you see the Henny Penny parked at a festival, party, or just around the city, the enthusiastic new business owner hopes you will stop by and browse a while. And, yes, she accepts plastic.
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