Boutique on wheels offers bargain-priced originals

2014-05-11T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T12:17:02Z Boutique on wheels offers bargain-priced originalsBy Kristen Cook Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Everything inside Broken Arrow Boutique is a bargain.

Original art and jewelry by local artists, vintage clothing, accessories — it’s all under $30.

They’re deals — on wheels.

Broken Arrow Boutique isn’t a bricks-and-mortar store but a big ol’ truck that rolls around downtown.

Instead of paying rent, she feeds quarters into parking meters, says Nikki Welch, who along with Calley Davenport and David Aguirre, created the mobile gallery and store venture.

The converted San Francisco newspaper truck — tricked out with an extended roof — is surprisingly easy to drive and parallel park, Welch says.

“You just have to keep an eye out for powerlines and low tree branches,” she says.

About 10 artists have their pieces displayed inside the 9-by-6-foot space, which can fit five shoppers inside at a time.

The boutique usually hits the streets Wednesday through Sunday, setting up on Fourth Avenue and Congress Street. With lights strung along the silver exterior and a life-size mannequin (often mistaken for a real person) the boutique attracts attention.

“They see us parked down the street, and it’s lit up,” Davenport says. “It’s a spectacle, a curiosity. People think we’re a food truck. They’re surprised to find Tucson’s first mobile boutique.”

The boutique gets a 20 percent commission, which doesn’t add up to a lot when you sell hand-printed T-shirts and $1 cards. But the shop is meant to be more of a community project than a big-time business venture.

“We’re trying to keep art alive and creativity downtown,” Davenport says.

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