It all started with a dream. Making that dream a reality was the exciting part but also the hardest. Creating a mobile shop like no other and chasing my gypsy dreams!
Through the years of doing markets I was challenged with windy, rainy events. Leaky tents, freezing temps and the list goes on. I was inspired by the creative food trucks in Hawaii and knew I needed to put my own spin on one.
Here is how the story goes…
I originally wanted an airstream for my mobile boutique, but after months of searching I decided to switch gears and do a vintage camper and save the airstream for our future family dreams. I spent countless hours finding the perfect one and finally landed on our current gem. A 1975 Scamper Skipper. She was purchased off kijiji and we began demo right away.
It was the first week of July 2018 and also record high temps. Not ideal for demo but we powered through. My husband and I filled 3 trailers full of rotted, moldy wood and contents from the trailer and really saw the layers of her history. There had been a fire in the trailer at some point, multiple layers of flooring and lots of paint over the years. The water damage was so extensive we knew we had to rebuild the whole thing. We also were passionate about doing it right.
Don’t trust the “buy a vintage camper for $500 and renovate over the weekend” Pinterest posts…it’s pure BS! Also, why invest in something and not do it right? We built this to last and ensured it was as pretty on inside of the walls as out.
The frame was in good condition so we replaced the sub floor…not before I fell through the rotted one! Replaced all the studs and rebuilt the entire back end. All windows were salvaged but taken out and resealed…this took days of scraping 40yr old putty off! Re-rubberized the roof and then we waited for the rain. Boy did I ever cry tears of sadness….after all the resealing and weather proofing it literally rained inside the trailer. We didn’t understand! It was like walls were crying! It was coming through the siding material? Water was being wicked up from outside, under the siding and into the trailer. So we did some research and sealed each individual siding panel. Guess what….it worked! We insulted with fire rated insulation and we were ready for electrical.
Who knew it would be so hard to get an electrician. Many of them said yes then told me they would show me how to wire it myself. No one wanted to work on the project. It took 6 weeks and 9 electricians later to finally find someone who said yes! Many took me they wouldn’t touch vintage? We had experts rewire the lights and the election added the breaker, 3 outlets and 3 light fixtures. We ran the trailer via shoreline power when available and also had a generator.
Around this time we brought Kaitlynn Mitchell of KMitchell Design Co. on board. I had a drawn out vision on paper and literally handed it to her and said “help!” My busiest season for Pink Lemon was about to start and I needed help making all the design and decor decisions and knew she was the perfect person to do so! Wow…she brought this dream to life more than I ever could have!
We sourced the best walls that provide flexibility and movement, flooring made for boats and RVs that are weatherproof and stand up to high traffic. We built a storage bench and I even built the desk using Ikea bookcases as a hack! I covered the door with a chevron pattern and was ready to paint!
But like all the things in the project…the temperatures had dipped too cold to paint. We paused on the project for almost 2 months and returned to it in February. We were able to borrow some space at a friends indoor shop and painted the exterior and interior in 3 days.
The interior and exterior decals were added and the finishing touches. I was so nervous. Most people would be beaming that they made it to the finish line, but I was terrified! What if people though this was crazy? Or obnoxious? I have all the second thoughts and I don’t think I slept at all leading up to her reveal.
We gave her a name- the Wildflower. She represents my free spirit, my inner gypsy and can pop up anywhere!
On April 13, 2019 we revealed our baby to our closest friends and family.
The journey is the best part…stay tuned for all the adventures of Durham Region’s first and only mobile boutique!