| photography by Alexandra Plancarte |
Colorfully painted trailers with built-in kitchens line the edges of the Clearfork Food Truck Park. Among the miniature mobile restaurants sits what could become the next popular traveling business – a fashion truck.
“I definitely think that this is something that is up and coming; it’s just like the whole food truck scene,” Amber Paschal said.
Paschal owns The Soulful Gypsy, a mobile boutique that travels the streets of Fort Worth and makes frequent appearances at food-truck parks, local breweries, art galleries and more. Paschal said that her business started out as an online-only boutique. As a new mother who had just left her job as a hairstylist, it was a way she could work from home.
“I just wanted my creative outlet back,” she said, “so this was kind of a way for me to stay home with my son, but also be able to be creative and live out one of my passions.”
As The Soulful Gypsy grew, Paschal decided to open up a brick-and-mortar location. However, there was a problem. Her husband travels for work in the oil and gas industry, and the possibility of having to uproot and move at the drop of a hat is always there. So, Paschal made a compromise.
“This fashion truck was a way for me to have essentially a brick-and-mortar without putting roots in the ground.” she said.
The truck, affectionately named “Merle,” is a 1980 Ford Step Van, which was originally used as a Mrs. Baird’s bread truck. Paschal found Merle on Craigslist; it had been sitting in a field in Hillsboro for a couple of years.
“I knew right when I saw her that she was the one even though she needed a serious overhaul,” she said. “My husband and I gutted it and renovated it ourselves with help from a couple family members and friends.”
Today, Merle is decoratively painted and made to look exactly like a miniature store inside with The Soulful Gypsy’s collection of eclectic, bohemian clothing, jewelry and accessories.
“I try to do some really funky pieces and tone them down with not-so-basic basics,” she said.
You can catch the one-of-a-kind fashion truck at spots like Martin House Brewery, Panther Island Brewing Co., Stir Crazy Baked Goods and local events.
“It’s a crazy journey being in the truck, and things just kind of happen all of the time, and you just have to keep on truckin’,” Paschal said. “I mean it is totally an adventure.”