- Associated Press - Saturday, May 6, 2017

KINGWOOD, W.Va. (AP) - A new Preston County startup is delivering in style.

Three Kingwood natives have converted an old FedEx truck into a mobile women’s clothing boutique.

Sisters Moriah and Miranda Peddicord and their friend Chelsey Greaser recently debuted their new mobile business - Fernweh Boutique - at the 2017 Cheat River Festival Albright.

The novel business concept lets the women combine their passions for fashion and music festivals.

“We love going to music festivals and hanging out outside,” Moriah Peddicord said.

The friends had talked about opening a clothing store a few years ago, but it wasn’t until Peddicord logged onto content-saving website Pinterest that they considered a mobile boutique.

“It sparked a whole bunch of ideas, and I realized it was a thing you could do,” she said.

The partners bought an old box delivery truck and, with help from family and friends, installed wooden wall paneling inside and added shelves and racks.

“There will be a dressing room within the truck,” Peddicord said. “It is something I personally really wanted. Sometimes at a music festival, I want to try on something, but there’s not always the space to do it. With a truck, we have a private area already.”

Shoppers won’t need to crowd into the 19-foot truck’s 12-by-7-foot cargo hold. Merchandise will be displayed under a pop-up tent outside on various clothing racks and shelves.

“We have a ton of inventory,” Peddicord said. “We’re doing mostly thrift clothes. A lot are from cleaning out our own closets. So we had a good stockpile before hitting up local thrift stores. Our mothers have helped us.”

Some of the inventory is vintage.

“We have some pieces we like to call our ‘signature pieces,’” Greaser said. “They’re a little bit nicer and more vintage. We are trying to keep things affordable, but also fashionable and casual because that’s pretty much our style.”

Also in their stock are jackets, blankets and tapestries, handmade jewelry, including leather necklaces and bracelets, purses and shoes.

In addition to setting up at outdoor concerts and markets, the women welcome residents to schedule the Fernweh truck to host pop-up parties at their homes. The hosts would invite guests to shop like they do at makeup, purse or other home parties.

“We would like to partner with different companies and piggyback on different events such as the opening of a brewery, store or restaurant,” Peddicord said.

Right now, Fernweh Boutique sells only women’s clothing, making a visit from the truck a good fit for a girls’ night, Greaser said.

The partners like the flexibility their business plan gives them.

“It’s an easier idea than having a storefront location,” Greaser said.

“It’s a way to keep overhead low or upfront costs down and still keep our day jobs for now,” said Peddicord, who recently quit her job as an abstractor to work for the mobile business.

Her sister, Miranda Peddicord, is the finance director at the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties, while Greaser is an abstractor doing title work for oil and gas companies.

“Fernweh” means “wanderlust” in German, and also translates as an ache for travel, an ache for distant places, Greaser said.

“We were trying,” she said, “to incorporate a ‘traveling’ or ‘gypsy’ theme that wasn’t too cliché that fit with our theme of not sitting still.”

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Information from: The Exponent Telegram, https://www.theet.com


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