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Meet Cherry Bustamante and Kim Tuthill of Roam.e Boutique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cherry Bustamante and Kim Tuthill.

Both Cherry and Kim started their journey as buyers in the fashion industry; working their way up through different corporations, until crossing paths in 2013.  While sharing a small office, they quickly learned they had much in common.  Not only did they each have an incredible sense of humor, but both dreamed of one day owning their own store.  Amidst actual work (and hilarious jokes of course), they discussed their ideas for their individual boutiques, not realizing it would soon come to fruition.

The two left the company but stayed in close contact.  Then one day over just about the best pesto cauliflower two girls could ask for, Roam.e, Inc. was born.  They knew with their vendor relationships and knowledge of the industry, they’d be able to hit the ground running. The only problem was picking a location. Here in Los Angeles, there are so many different places to thrive; it’s hard to pick just one. So they decided, why choose one when we can have it all! Mobile was the only way to go. Being able to bring the store to the customer was a benefit not many could offer.  And being a part of multiple communities without being tied to a specific address opened so many avenues (pun intended).

Over the next few months, with the help of just about everyone they knew, the truck was repurposed to become their dream store. Their grand opening was just in time for the last minute holiday shoppers of 2015.  Ever evolving, the girls continue to bring their customer fresh, new pieces each and every week. Slowly making their way to becoming your one-stop shop.

After a year and half of being on the road, they felt it was time to put down roots. Many of their customers from the La Canada Farmers Market (a regular on their roster of events) expressed how they’d love to have them there permanently. Cherry and Kim put out the word and managed to find the cutest 400 sqft storefront in the heart of La Canada. The size and location were too good to pass up and they hit the ground running. Within a month, they opened their doors on August 5th, 2017.

The truck is still out and about on the weekends to accommodate all our customers not local to the La Canada area. Where the store is open 6 days a week.

Has it been a smooth road?
Of course, nothing worth having is easy. To start, neither of us knew how to drive a 22ft truck or how to purchase one. With the help of family, friends & craigslist, we were able to locate, inspect and buy our blank canvas. In the days and weeks that followed we painstakingly took the truck out to empty lots for practice spins. Many tears later and screams later we had enough confidence to take her out.

Not only did we open a boutique, but we were operating a truck as well. We weren’t always allowed at certain events and even some cities. Most cities don’t have a classification for mobile Boutique Trucks yet so needless to say there was a lot of back and forth within each of the municipalities. One of the main issues we learned early on was that weather could make or break our day. Anything other than perfect southern CA weather could ruin our sales.

During our first year, we said, “No” to nothing. Attending any market/event that would allow us. We quickly realized that not every area understood our look. And more importantly, not every location had our customer. We then began to weed through the duds and double down on consistently profitable events.

As for the storefront, while we had regular business at the local farmers market, we are not located in a high foot traffic area. Our challenge has been to make people aware that we are a destination spot. We now work with the local elementary schools and collaborate with other local businesses in order to get our name out. In addition, since we are still running the truck, we’ve not had optimal inventory levels.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are primarily a women’s clothing boutique. Our main customers are active/stylish moms. We decided to elaborate on her and expand our assortment to include kids clothing, jewelry, and small household gift items. People know us best for our laid-back approach to style. We’re not trendy but instead focus on comfort and functionality of each piece.

We’re most proud of the fact that we’re relatable. Our look is understandable and our customers feel they can trust our advice. We are not a fancy boutique that only a handful of people can buy from. We strive to keep our price points at a reasonable amount to encourage repeat business and a consistent flow of new merchandise.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
We definitely feel LA was the perfect city for our business. With the weather considered the best in the country, we are always surprised that there are not more mobile boutique trucks.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 966 Foothill Blvd., La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
  • Website: www.shoproam-e.com
  • Email: shoproam.e@gmail.com
  • Instagram: roam.e
  • Facebook: Roam.e Boutique
  • Yelp: Roam.e Boutique

Image Credit:
Angela Calero – Them Too Productions

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