One of the first mobile retail stores launches in Abbotsford on Aug. 16.

One of the first mobile retail stores launches in Abbotsford on Aug. 16.

Mobile retail boutique launches in Abbotsford

Owners Mike Wood and Deborah Stark repurposed a Ford cube van

One of the first mobile retail boutiques in the region is slated to launch in 10 days.

InsideOut Home and Floral is run by brother-sister team of Mike Wood and Deborah Stark, and the converted Ford cube truck will be unveiled at 10 a.m. Aug. 16 in the Cannor Nursery parking lot, located on Marshall Road.

“There are a few retail trucks out there, but we believe our unique product mix of home décor, jewelry, floral and fashion items is not only the first in B.C. but the first in Canada,” said Wood.

With several years of combined retail expertise, Stark and Wood felt a longing to return to their passion after selling their 2,000 sq. ft. store in 2009. A conscious decision was made to forego a traditional brick and mortar storefront and return to retail in a new and exciting way – a mobile boutique was their dream repurposed.

A converted Ford cube truck, the boutique is 16 feet long with a width and height of eight feet. It has been outfitted with a fold-down deck and pop-up awning; three-quarter glass entry doors replaced the original roll up door.

“It is surprisingly roomy,” said Stark. “With a ceiling height of 8 feet there is an open, spacious feeling.”

For some, a store in a truck is hard to picture and often strange looks appear when trying to explain their concept. To solve this, the duo uploaded two videos in movie trailer format at insideouthome.ca.

“We created a virtual tour to paint a picture for the curious and perplexed,” said Wood. “As soon as they watch the video trailers, confusion is replaced by a smile and they are all in.”

With a mobile store, followers keep tabs on location changes by connecting through social media such as Facebook, Twitter or the InsideOut website to track the next location the store will “pop up.”

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