While food trucks, those incubators of independent restaurants, are all the rage in some cities, here in Oak Cliff, there is another kind of truck.
The Vintagemobile is the brainchild and fledgling business of 25-year-old Jeremy Turner and his wife, Kelsey. The Turners wanted to open a vintage store in the Lower Greenville area with their friends. But rents there were too much for them to swallow.
“And then, one day, I just told them, ‘Why not make this store mobile because we’d have more opportunity, and your costs would be way lower?’ ”
His friends thought he was crazy. So they kept trying to work out plans for a brick-and-mortar store. But then a friend sent Jeremy a link to a double-decker bus in Portland, Ore., that is a vintage store.
“Once I saw that, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m doing it.’ I already had the idea, and if someone else can do it, I can do it,” Jeremy says.
He and Kelsey, 27, found a 1980 Chevy school bus on Craigslist (it is older than they are) and drove to Edmond, Okla., to get it. It took about six hours to drive the bus home, as it travels only about 50 mph before it starts making an unsettling noise. First, they took the seats out of the bus and had it painted green, and then Kelsey’s dad helped Jeremy install shelves and clothing racks. Kelsey, who is a graphic designer, painted their logo and stripes in white.
Then it was a matter of filling it up with vintage clothes, which was kind of the easy part. Jeremy started perusing thrift stores and estate sales with his brother as a teenager, and he has an eye for picking out cool old T-shirts, such as a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert tee, and other throwback clothing.
The Vintagemobile is parked at the Belmont Hotel, 901 Fort Worth Ave., every Saturday and Sunday, but you never know where it might pop up. The best way to keep up with it is through facebook.com/vintagemobile or twitter.com/vintagemobile.