Food trucks: make room. Mobile retail stores are making their mark on downtown Harrisonburg! The Gypsy Catwalk is the Shenandoah Valley's first fashion boutique on wheels. After a year in business, owner Kasey Fuller is parking her boutique in the Downtown Parking Lot (between Taj of India and Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint) alongside withSimplicity. And this self-proclaimed "mommy-preneur’s" story is a reminder that following your dream is always possible -- it might just take a different route than you expect.
Kasey had always wanted to own a store, continually daydreaming and researching the possibilities. Though she wasn’t quite ready to pursue a brick-and-mortar option, her plans changed after reading an article on mobile boutiques. After deciding to stay at home with her first born, she realized a mobile boutique was the perfect model for her lifestyle. It would allow her to follow her dream while having the flexibility of location and time to spend with her family. “I am so excited about this venture and couldn’t be happier, but more than that, I’m happy it allows me to be present in my children’s lives.”
Specializing in a rotating selection of women’s clothing and accessories, The Gypsy Catwalk was founded in the summer of 2015. Though Kasey had a solid plan for her mobile business, that doesn’t mean it was smooth sailing to get to where she is today. When she was finally set to debut The Gypsy Catwalk at the Belle Grove Plantation, her engine blew on I-81 on the way to the event. She was absolutely devastated and embarrassed. But Kasey continued on, got the truck fixed, and set up at her first event on a rainy summer day in Front Royal. That day, she received so much love and positive feedback that she knew she had come out on top.
The Gypsy Catwalk products are all hand-picked by Kasey who is inspired by designs that are feminine with a cool twist. She strives to select unique items that you won’t find elsewhere in the Valley. Fans of Bluetique, located a few blocks away, will certainly want to stop in here. The selection stays fresh as Kasey orders items in small quantities and then opts for new pieces instead of restocking. Your Gypsy Catwalk purchases will not only be unique, but have an exclusive quality as every item may have a limited run in the store. This mobile boutique has something for everyone and is perfect for the daring, fashionable woman who isn’t afraid to experiment with her style.
Kasey is so excited to bring her boutique to a new location and hopes to add to the downtown charm. Having watched downtown Harrisonburg grow over the past 10 years, she is looking forward to joining the mix of great local businesses. Having seen how various cities incorporate mobile businesses into their markets, Kasey thinks Harrisonburg is off to a great start, even saying, “How great would it be to have a mobile retail park in Harrisonburg one day!”
The Gypsy Catwalk is celebrating its grand opening today from 5-8pm. Stop by for sips and snacks while you shop. And remember, if you see something you love, it might not be there for long! Kasey's normal business hours downtown will be Thursdays and Fridays from 11 to 7pm. You can also shop The Gypsy Catwalk online.
Written by Ariana Shirzadi. Ariana is the marketing coordinator for JMU's Outreach & Engagement and a member of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance's promotions committee. She's lived in the downtown area for the last six years, and loves frequenting the local businesses, especially the dog-friendly ones!