Merry May Shoppe Sells Thrifty Vintage Goods on the Go
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 14:07
Looking for the kind of freedom that can’t be found in running a traditional brick-and-mortar store, Ashley Eaton opened her pop-up vintage clothing shop, Merry May Shoppe, out of a Shasta Airflyte trailer.
After Eaton found her dream trailer on eBay, she headed to Oklahoma with her family to pick up the peach and cream trailer.
“I was really scared I couldn’t go see it, but it was one of those things were you just wing it and whatever is meant to be will be,” Eaton said.
Merry May Shoppe premiered at downtown Phoenix’s pie social last November. She has continued to set up shop and sell her handpicked collection at special events around Phoenix, such as the Crafeteria and First Fridays.
All of the merchandise — from the floral dresses and boots to the jewelry and home goods — are part of Eaton’s personal compilation that she’s acquired at thrift stores, swap meets and estate sales over the years.
“I don’t want to invest in something I don’t think is totally awesome,” she said.
Eaton hopes to take her pop-up shop to special events across the country, start an online store and design her own dress line.
Between gigs, the vintage trailer is parked in the driveway of her home in the Coronado Historic District awaiting a few more improvements before it can hit the road for events farther from home.
College Times: Why open your vintage store in a trailer?
Ashley Eaton: I’m passionate about old things and things that hold stories. I always wanted to buy a vintage trailer just to park in my backyard to use as a studio or creative space so I meshed the two ideas into one.
What does the trailer look like?
It’s pretty small. I took the porta potty out and made it a dressing room, and I put mostly jewelry and home goods on the inside and I have clothes and accessories set up on the outside. So it’s like a backdrop to the pop-up store. People tend to be really apprehensive about going inside; they think they’re not allowed to enter. But kids, they love it and they think it’s their own little playhouse.
What kind of clothes do you sell at Merry May Shoppe?
I like to stick to my aesthetic instead of thinking about trends or what is going to sell. I really like super girly stuff, but I also like a little edge to it. I personally wear a lot of turquoise rings or boots with fancy dresses. I like to call it grandma chic with a little bit of hippy.
Where do you find all your merchandise?
A lot of it has been my personal collection. When I was in high school I had to wear a uniform, so I was obsessed with thrifting. I’d go to thrift stores, antique sales or swap meets and find different accessories to make my uniform look cooler. It got to a point where I was basically hoarding.
Where do you dream of popping up shop?
I would love to go to music festivals. Really I just like doing events that I believe in or that I would go to myself. I think it’s a good strategy to have. I would love to take it on the road during the summer but we still have a little bit of work to do before that’s possible.
What makes your mobile vintage shop better than a brick-and-mortar store?
It’s awesome because I pick and chose. For brick-and-mortar store you have set hours and overhead. With this I can do whatever I want. That has been kind of surprising — the fact that I can really do whatever I want.
For more information about events visit merrymayblog.blogspot.com or Merry May Shoppe’s Facebook page.