What do you get when you put a vintage 10-foot travel trailer into the hands of a DIY designer?
A retail shop on wheels, of course.
Riveted is the newest mobile business to hit the streets of Tucson, starting this weekend.
The 1972 Shasta Travel Trailer — affectionately named Tilly for “The Little Engine That Could” — is stocked with vintage barware, table and decor items, art, vintage clothing and a few small pieces of furniture, with prices ranging from $5 to $500.
Inventory will change often, depending on venue, and will eventually include up-cycled and handmade goods created by the shop’s owner, Jenni Pagano, an interior and do-it-yourself designer.
“I have always wanted to open a store, but it is extremely difficult to open a brick-and-mortar store,” Pagano said. “This is a popular thing in other parts of the country. They’re nice because there’s no real overhead cost except for the trailer.”
Indeed, Tucson’s first mobile boutique, Broken Arrow, which is operated out of a converted San Francisco newspaper truck, opened in March. Instead of paying rent, the owners feed quarters into parking meters, said the shop’s co-owner, Nikki Welch.
Mobile retail in Tucson is expected to grow, said David Aguirre, director of the Tucson Food Truck Roundup.
“It’s time for retail to come to the public in a way that hasn’t been done before,” Aguirre said. “It’s happening in other cities. Why not Tucson? We’ve seen the growth of the food trucks expand quite a bit. Clothing, household items, boutiques, spas are just some of the fields that will be rising in Tucson in the coming months.”
Riveted will make its debut at the vintage trailer show hosted by Tucson Modernism Week at Pima Community College, 1255 N. Stone Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Sunday.
After that, Pagano will set up at various locations. “I am hoping to follow some of the food trucks a bit and will look for other businesses that are interested in having stuff set up out front, maybe restaurants,” she said.
Pagano will let customers know where Riveted will be via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the shop’s website.