Fashion hits the road

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Robin Wahl, owner of the Hairport in Brocton, has a new business venture.

“I’ve been doing the Anela Boutique for three years,” said Wahl. “It’s a vintage-inspired clothing style store with shoes, jewelry and accessories to go with it.”

She also has a way to take that store on the go as the Mobile Bohemian.

“The actual truck started February of 2018, we got an old Aramark uniform truck and redid the whole thing,” she said. “We had to gut the whole inside to put burned paneling to look like a store on the inside. When we got the truck, we decided it needed its own name, so now it’s the Mobile Bohemian.”

The truck has made running her traveling boutique much easier. Before acquiring the truck, the work involved setting up a tent and bringing a trailer for big shows.

“We got the mobile boutique so we don’t have to load and unload every time,” Wahl said.

It’s opened up other opportunities for her and her mother, who helps with the boutique. When hired to do a home boutique party it is a simple matter of pulling into the driveways and opening the doors.

“They shop, we drink a little wine. It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “We call them my Bohemian Parties.”

For the most part, she takes the Bohemian to festivals and shows, which she mostly finds through Facebook.

“In summertime, I do the different hometown festivals, but I do bigger hobnob markets – antiques, handmade, boutiquestyle type stuff,” said Wahl. “We’ve been to St. Louis, the Chicago area, haven’t quite been past Indy. Before we even had the truck we set up at Sturgess and Covered Bridge.”

While most of her items are purchased from a trade show in Atlanta, she also has local products for sale.

“I make some jewelry, and some burnwood paintings – different signs or pictures,” Wahl said.

In addition to the jewelry Wahl makes, the Mobile Bohemian stocks jewelry by other local crafters. She is also finding a market for repurposed clothes made by others and said an example is taking an old shirt, removing the sleeves and attaching a ruffle to make a vest.

“It always surprises me that people have no clue about the stuff that’s around here,” she said.

Wahl is the driving force behind Anela Boutique, adding her mother helps frequently at the bigger shows where it is too busy for just one person to handle sales. The business is more than parties and festivals as Wahl also rents a stationary booth at a nearby business.

She is happy with how Anela Boutique is doing and is always looking for ways to improve it. A couple of priorities for this summer are adding an awning and finding a way to air condition the truck. The biggest event on the summer schedule is Hippiefest Sept. 14 and 15 at Angola, Ind.

“It gets pretty hot at shows outside,” she said.

Affiliation with Anela Boutique and the creation of the Mobile Bohemian merges well with Wahl’s life goals.

“I love fashion, but I’m also an entrepreneur, I just love being in business for myself,” she said. “I always wanted to have a boutique.”

Wahl can be contacted via Instagram or Facebook at Anela Boutique.