Waiting to be seated for brunch one morning, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a mobile boutique parked right outside the restaurant. First thought was - wow what a smart idea, kill time by shopping (hello, heaven!).
From the moment I walked into Seventy West I was in awe. The level of quality, creativity and attention to detail was incredible. It felt spacious, inviting, light and airy - complete with skylights, a true fitting room, custom cabinetry and finishes resembling what you’d find in a brick-and-mortar shop.
Inspired to learn more, I met up with owner and creative designer behind the project, Laura Coates. Here is some of what she shared with me…
Tons of reading and research led to a Craigslist ad for a truck she just couldn’t say no to. Together with her friend and their husbands, they spent the next 6 months tirelessly working nights and weekends to transform an old, grungy bakery bread truck into what has become her “Happy Place.”
Goal for the Design
Laura wanted customers to fully enjoy their shopping experience - to feel comfortable and forget that they’re spending time in the back of a truck. She strived for openness with a simple, classic, clean aesthetic.
Challenges to Solve For
Nothing was square, level or plumb - everything needed to be custom measured, cut and installed to unusual specs
Storage - with such limited space, creative solutions were critical
Lighting - the one and only fixture that existed was dim and unflattering, and hardly any natural light came through from the front windows… both needed to be significantly enhanced
A replacement for the metal roll-up back door - to be more visually appealing and inviting while structurally sound
Creating a sizable, private fitting room without infringing on too much floor space in the open area
How to securely install everything to avoid movement or damage when the truck is in motion (a regular occurrence)
How to create clothes hanging racks - stable enough to hold the clothes steady while in motion, and positioned as close to the walls as possible but just far enough to accommodate normal-sized hangers
Solutions & Other Major Considerations
After insulating the interior, she opted for a faux brick wall covering which they white washed - giving texture to the design while keeping it feeling light and airy
Hardwood floors, doors, cabinetry and the checkout counter were sourced and repurposed from a friend’s home remodel - this significantly transformed the space from feeling industrial and truck-like into a charming boutique with character
They installed cabinets with countertops covering the wheel wells to increase storage space and create spots for displaying folded clothing and accessories
A large cupboard installed above the driver’s seat and a trap door below the front entrance provide additional storage
They cut out skylights and windows, installed battery-powered track lighting and sconces - again, drastically altering the feel from truck to brick-and-mortar boutique
They built the fitting room at an angle to preserve space for a walkway and opted for a real door to create true privacy (as opposed to a curtain).
Spray on mirror paint was added to the interior and exterior of the fitting room door, enhancing the amount of light coming into the space
An intricate (custom) framework of metal piping created the perfect space-saving and stable solution for the clothes hanging racks
They opted for a Marine deep cell battery to avoid a loud generator often found in mobile trucks
Creative installation of folding stairs at the back allow for easy egress
The exterior was wrapped in a faux wood covering, enhancing its brick-and=mortar-esque appearance from the outside
As much work as the project was, it was also an incredible learning experience every step of the way and ultimately very fun. They endeavored a number of obstacles to create this character-filled business on wheels, which Laura is proud and excited to share with the world!
Until next time!
To Learn More About Seventy West
Check out their site Seventy West to shop online, and their Insta @ShopSeventyWest to view their current location and the latest styles featured on the truck. The boutique’s mobility allows them to participate in local markets, festivals and other pop-up events, as well as offer private in-home parties and style consultations. The truck often frequents Denver hotspots such as Snooze on Larmier St., Jeff Park Pub and Hogshead Brewery.
Coming Soon! Seventy West is expanding to become part of Fetch Shop, a new brick-and-mortar opening up within the Denver Dairy Block. Seventy West is honored to be the only women’s clothing brand chosen to be featured among other specially curated products from local and national brands. Launch date to be announced!