How a St. John’s small business owner plans to take rare fashion to the island’s outposts
Entrepreneurs selling food out of mobile buses and trailers are a common sight in St. John’s and other communities across Atlantic Canada. But a clothing store on wheels—not so much.
This past July, Aryn Ballet launched Scout Street Style, a clothing store located in a retrofitted 1980s RV camper. With only 125 square feet of space to work with, she’s managed to turn it into a store that has a change room, clothes racks and an ‘environment’ room where outfits can be displayed.
The mobile boutique has a handful of vintage outfits and roughly 500 items featuring brands from places like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Los Angeles that she says you can’t get in most Newfoundland communities.
Ballet got the idea for this boutique-onwheels about two years ago. She says she always wanted to own a clothing store. She also recognized the island’s size and dispersed population allowed her to think outside the box in starting this venture. “The way Newfoundland is, there are pockets of people all over the island. They are pretty isolated and they can’t just drive to St. John’s all the time to shop,” she says. “This allows me to travel to my customers.”
Ballet’s first month of business involved roaming the streets of St. John’s. However, she plans to venture outside the capital several times this year bringing hard-to-get fashion across the island. Time will tell if her business idea will be a hit, but she sounds confident it will work. “I have so much more freedom than other retailers have. I need fewer products and I can change it faster. I can also leave problem areas where construction might be taking place that negatively impacts business.”