Racks of contemporary women’s clothing adorn turquoise and gray chevron walls, jewelry twinkles on shelves, and a fitting room stands in the corner.
It’s a boutique, all right, but it’s inside of a truck. Shop Haute Wheels, a traveling fashion truck operated by two Dallas residents, offers speedy styling to on-the-go shoppers.
Last summer, fashion-forward friends Abby Elstad and SMU graduate Kelly Aguilar were eating at Klyde Warren Park when they realized that if a truck could become a restaurant, it could also become a store. In October, Haute Wheels hit the road.
“We go to really popular bars and restaurants,” Aguilar said. “Let’s say you’re working all day and want to meet girlfriends for happy hour, but you would prefer to change. You can show up to where we are, we’ll style you, and when you step off the truck, you’re at the best place in town.”
Elstad and Aguilar also stop at festivals, apartment parties, office lunch hours, and — their favorite — home parties, when they take the truck to wine nights or bridal showers and the host receives a gift card worth 10 percent of the event’s sales.
“If it were up to us, we would do home parties five days a week,” Aguilar said. “It’s kind of the new Tupperware party.”
The fact that Haute Wheels is not limited to one location like a brick-and-mortar store, Aguilar said, allows the women to make connections all over the city. For them, making relationships is one of the best parts of the job.
“We want people to feel like you’re coming into this giant closet and your girlfriend is helping you get ready,” Aguilar said. “It’s really rewarding when you know that you’ve helped people and they’re genuinely happy, and the best is when they come back.”
Elstad believes that their ability to offer personal styling without the fee also keeps customers coming back.
“You get our raw, honest opinion of how things look, and we’re not going to put you out there wearing something that looks terrible,” Elstad said. “Everyone is so set in their ways of what they think they can wear, so we’re pushing people’s boundaries. You’re getting a story to tell when you buy something from our truck.”
Haute Wheels has customers of all ages and has recently started carrying clothes for babies and men. The looks, all under $100 and mostly from local brands, cater to a variety of occasions.
“We have something for everyone — the professional, the hippie, the student, you name it,” Aguilar said. “We like smaller brands because we’re also a small business, the price is lower, and you find unique pieces that you aren’t going to see your best friend wearing when you go out to dinner.”