Combine breezy summer fashion with the convenience of a pop-up shop — and put it on a food truck: That’s the idea behind Penelope Traveling Boutique, New Jersey’s first-ever mobile shopping truck. The truck officially hit the road in April 2014, and in just two short years has earned itself a legion of fans, thanks to its diverse combination of show-room samples, designer labels, and one of a kind clothing and accessories.
The truck is the brainchild of Jillian Jaques, a graduate of New York’s prestigious FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), who has 15-plus years of fashion and marketing under her belt.
A Wandering Wardrobe
“I had always worked for myself and did a lot of pop-up shops. I needed to find an easier way to transport the clothing,” she said. “After watching the food trucks come into play, and seeing how big they were already, I said to myself, ‘Well, if food trucks can do this, then why not have mobile fashion?'”
And it’s fashion for everyone: Inside, the truck is packed with vintage-inspired, bohemian-type clothing ranging in sizes from extra-small to XXL. Best of NJ met up with Jillian and the fashion truck as they were camped out in Highlands; in fact, this is one of the trucks most popular spots. (Penelope Traveling Boutique visits Highlands, Sea Brite, Long Branch, Keyport, Toms River, Rockaway, and even as far as New Egypt).
The fashionista-on-the-move shared some fashion tips that are perfect for those sweaty summer days — that can unexpectedly turn into long summer nights:
Cute, gauzy, dress-like cover-ups are key, Jillian said — paired with a hat to tame beach-mussed hair. That way you can rock the beach in style, then head out to dinner while still looking fabulous. Looking for a more casual outfit? Some of Jillian’s most popular items this season have been the graphic tees with quirky, upbeat sayings, such as “Beach Hair, Don’t Care,” “Tonight’s Forecast: 99% Chance of Wine” and “Real Mermaids Smoke Seaweed.”
A Personal Touch Makes All The Difference
All of the clothes are specially hand-picked by Jillian herself. She shops the show rooms in NYC and works one-on-one with a few wholesalers in Miami and LA; she also scours the sample sales in Manhattan to cherry-pick items for her truck. “I jump on the ferry with my suitcase in tow and come back with a bunch of goodies,” she said.
Prices of the clothing vary just like the sizes. Jillian keeps the budget-conscious shopper in mind, with items typically starting around $10.00 and capping off no higher than $50.00. Jillian also offers free shipping on any online order you place, so if you can’t make it to the truck, you can still shop the sales!