Eddie James got his first passport stamp on his way to a buying trip in California, ‘cause when your mom owns fashiontruck that’s just how you roll.
Eddie James rocking his look
If you haven’t heard of fashiontruck let me explain: it’s a chic, adorable mobile boutique featuring great style at reasonable prices. When it’s not on the road attending festivals, events and home parties fashiontruck lives at King and Portland in Toronto and Harper’s Landing in Oakville.
Launched in 2014, fashiontruck is Ashley Mitobe’s first baby. As co-founder and now sole-proprietor, she selects, touches and tries on almost every piece of clothing and every accessory, all with Eddie James in tow.
“I love it all,” Ashley says. “I’m lucky he’s such an easy-going baby. He comes to buying appointments in the city with me, and he travels. Everything takes a little longer but it’s all doable.”
When I first heard about fashiontruck my reaction was, “That’s nice, call me when Joe Fresh goes mobile.” Intimidated by the boutique feel and the gorgeous pieces I saw online at fashiontruckcanada.com, I felt certain I couldn’t afford or pull off most of those looks. But I went ahead and joined a friend at an event where fashiontruck was parked (there must have been free wine), and before I knew it I’d fallen deeply in love with its style, simplicity and friendly, welcoming vibe. And yes there’s a change room!
With the majority of pieces priced at less than $100, and personal style sessions available for booking, it’s possible to morph yourself into one stylish mother without having to choose between a great outfit and your kid’s RESP.
“I want everyone to be able to shop at fashiontruck,” says Ashley. “Price point and quality are really important to me.”
It took me a long time to learn that less is more when it comes to stocking my closet. I was well into my thirties before I stopped buying a lot of affordable but cheaply-made pieces and started investing in fewer, well-made items that were versatile and would last much longer. Don’t know where to begin? Ashley recommends investing in things that you love. “If you don’t love it don’t buy it,” she says. “Aim for things that you can dress up or dress down.”
And what’s her advice for those of us struggling to find a sense of style that does NOT include mom jeans?
“It can be so challenging after you have kids, your body changes, your focus shifts. It’s so easy to put yourself on the sidelines. I know boutique shopping can be intimidating but it can also be the most amazing shopping experience, you just need to find that place that you love to go to. Find an experience you love or a stylist or sales person that you connect with, who understands your needs and wants. Trends aren’t for everyone but personal style is. And have an open mind. Sometimes what something looks like on the hanger totally transforms when you put it on. You might just discover something you never thought was “you”.”
Great style aside, the beauty of fashiontruck is that it’s, well, a truck. Meaning it has wheels and can be parked in your driveway, outside your gym or at your next parent council meeting (talk about incenting turnout!). Okay, maybe not the last one but it is pretty easy to get great style to come to you. After all, what could be better than shopping barefoot with your girlfriends, wine in hand, yelling “has anyone seen my kids?” to the neighbours three doors down?
Aside from its local haunts, this summer you’ll find fashiontruck in Muskoka on long weekends and at Boots & Hearts in Oro-Medonte August 10-13. New dates, locations and items are released via social media. Want it all for yourself? Email Ashley at Ashley@fashiontruckcanada.com. All you need is a driveway, an electrical plug-in and, ideally, a minimum of 15 guests to host your own party.
As for what’s next, look for the launch of Ashley’s own line of kimonos called Champagne Hippy this July. It’s a collaboration between Ashley and her sister with the role of Eddie James still to be confirmed.