“Your favorite closet on wheels.”
That’s the elevator pitch from Erica Warren and Alexis Young, the ladies of Trinity Simone, Arkansas’ first rolling boutique.
Fashion devotees and lovers of food trucks, the girls saw the light one night after long attempts to find a way into the clothing industry: Take the truck and fill it with scrumptious style instead.
Their first inclination was toward a brick-and-mortar store, but they didn’t want the tight restrictions that came along with it. By using the truck, they could sidestep those complications.
“No overhead, no contract,” Warren says. “It’s freedom.”
The itch began right around junior high when the Little Rock natives were in school together. Warren realized she might have a flair for fashion when she was nominated for “Best Dressed” by her classmates.
For Young, it was right about at that age most would rather forget ever happened. “I was 13, that awkward stage. It was the first time I moved out of the children’s clothes and into the juniors’ section, and it was Easter,” Young says. “I just felt pretty. I guess that was the first time I ever felt like a young lady.”
They went in different directions post-graduation, but never lost that appetite, with Young getting certified as a nail technician and Warren doing makeup at a cosmetics counter.
Finally the day came in April 2013 when the Trinity Simone fashion truck went mobile at a festival in Memphis.
“That moment, to see our dreams come to life was incredible. The response from everybody was so good and so welcoming. It was amazing,” Young says.
Since then, the Trinity Simone fan base has only grown. Customers are loyal and engaging, even worrisome when the truck is out of town and not in its usual spot on Saturdays in the River Market.
It may be the novelty of the truck that first draws people in, but that’s not what keeps them coming back. The real selling point of Trinity Simone is its impeccable style. Shoppers will find classic pieces that can be mixed and matched and worn season after season.
“We try to make our clothes the ones that you don’t want to get rid of, that never really go out of style,” Warren says.
You won’t find these women chasing after the latest and greatest trends. They’re too busy setting them. Both have a natural eye for fashion, usually agreeing on pieces for the truck at buyers’ markets. If an item passes their personal taste tests, it goes in the truck.
“A long time ago, dressing was a big deal,” Warren says. “You went on a plane, you got dressed up. Now people go in sweats. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing, but we really want to be able to provide that style that makes you want to dress up more often.”
Their drive to cater that style to others is where their entrepreneurial efforts come into play. They both knew that running a business would be much different than working for one, but weren’t scared off by the challenge.
“Neither one of us knew what we were doing, and we’re still learning. It’s a lot of trial and error,” Young says.
Despite any early uncertainty, the Trinity Simone girls have really settled into a scene they helped create. They’ve embraced the community of local boutiques, as well as the idea of leaving a legacy for their daughters, Young’s 16-year-old Trinity and Warren’s 2-year-old Simone — the company’s namesake.
They have plans of expanding their online market and purchasing a second truck so one can always stay in Little Rock. They even have an SEC college tour in the works, with a very important pit stop in Fayetteville, of course.
Maybe one day they’ll have a stationary storefront, but for now, they love the opportunities and relationships the truck provides.
“You see brick-and-mortar stores every day that you pass by and you never thought to go in,” Young says. “When you’re out at festivals, people just want to come in and see what it’s like.”
“For me, [fashion is] self expression, it’s fun. It can give you life, it can rejuvenate you,” Warren says. “There’s always something I can restructure and remake.”
The women of Trinity Simone have done just that for the Little Rock fashion scene, and if their league of trendsetters has anything to say about it, that truck’s not slowing down any time soon.
For more info about Trinity Simone, or to track the truck, visit Trinity-Simone.com.
Fashion Do’s and Don’ts with Trinity Simone
Looks to look for:
Bold prints, knitwear, more structured outfits, lace and lots of fur
Looks to let go:
Studs and chevron
Most regretted style choices:
Young: My hairstyles, oh my god. What was I thinking? Teased bangs? Terrible.
Warren: The oversized shirts with biker shorts days. We weren’t riding bikes.
Little known fact:
Trinity Simone is also available for private events. For personal parties, they offer a discount for guests and hosts. (So much better than a Tupperware party).