The Lost Girls is a mobile boutique traveling around the city in a bright orange Winnebago. Oh you saw some stylish women standing on top of an Orange Winnebago taking photos well it was probably these ladies. Need an awesome fit on the fly? Well you need to get Lost with these girls.
The Lost Girls: Adventures in Fashion
LG: After lists and lists of potential names – from Green Bean to Happy Camper we decided on Lost Girls. The inspiration came from the Lost Boys of Peter Pan. We also figured if we were going to be traveling cross country with a mobile shop we were bound to get lost once or twice (at least!).
Originally we wanted to get a pull behind camper but since neither of us has a car, and we realized that wasn’t too feasible. We thought RVs were out of our budget – and the vintage ones were falling apart – but after a month of constantly searching, we found her! Our 1976 Dodge RV that we call Winnie. We wanted Winnie to be bold, fun, and unique, just like our clothing so we went for a strong power color like orange and a bright white chevron design. She’s perfect.
Chicago Hustles: You ladies have been doing well since we met you from travel to being a part of the BeeHive collective currently. How long have you girls known each other & when did the idea to initially go into full bloom to travel with vintage clothing?
LG: We just met over a year ago. Our Friendaversery is in May actually. We quickly found that our styles complimented each other really well, both in fashion and in our work ethics. It seemed like we were made to find each other. Only a few months into our friendship we started talking about doing something bigger than setting up a booth at markets around the city. We started producing our own pop up sales last fall and had a lot of fun! We reached a whole new demographic, but we needed an easier way to do them. Sarah brought up the idea of a mobile shop and the hunt for one began! We briefly mentioned opening a storefront, but quickly threw that idea out the window – we didn’t want to be tied to the same location every day.
Chicago Hustles: At what point in your lives did you both realize the corporate structure wasn’t working for you? What was that final straw that made you both say I can do better as a creative entrepreneur?
Sarah: I went to an art school so corporate structure never really was what I was going for. I knew I wanted to have my own business from a young age, so when I got the opportunity to do it, I went for it!
Kyla: I actually went to school for acting, so it was similar for me that I was never striving to climb the corporate ladder. But I did have a great job in retail management before starting Lost Girls. I knew it was time to leave the job when I had to turn down opportunities with our business because of my day job. It made the jump (a little) less scary!
Chicago Hustles: With that said how as The Lost Girls enjoyed your new found success & popularity? Do you regret going into business fully for yourselves yet?
LG: We are completely overwhelmed by the support, excitement, and encouragement we are getting from everyone we meet. We don’t regret a second of it. We feel truly blessed.
Chicago Hustles: Vintage/Thrifting is a tedious task we grew up doing it truthfully. How do you agree on what pieces represent the goal of the company before placement? How often to you ladies re-up the Winnie Closet with New product?
LG: We pick up new merchandise a few times a week. We make it a point to always bring new inventory to every sale we do. Our product has to be representative of us, what we would wear. Both of us have to agree to what we buy however. It does take a certain amount of trust in one another.
Chicago Hustles: Your intern is pretty rad how is he enjoying the journey thus far? Does he ever add input to The Lost Girls collection?
LG: Alex is great! He’s been such a wonderful addition to the Lost Girls Family. He’s Sarah’s sister’s best friend. They’re both involved in the company and have a lot of style input. They’re great trend spotters and stylists so we trust what they have to say. We’re excited to hit the road with them both next Summer.
Chicago Hustles: When you travel with your collection to different cities do you find you’re self-one of many mobile vendors are one of few? Which city has been your favorite o your journeys and which you least?
LG: The mobile shop concept is still a very new one. It’s catching on across the country, but not quite with the same steam as the food truck movement. There’s a cool community of mobile shops across the country that we’ve been able to tap into thanks to social media. We’ve collaborated with a couple in Austin and here in Chicago, but by and large the majority of our customers have never seen anything like us before.
Chicago Hustles: Your orange creme dream machine WINNIE always makes us want creme soda. How did you find this bad boy/girl? Tell us the story of “WINNIE”.
LG: We had been looking for our mobile shop for months scouring forums and classifieds online and across the country looking for the exact perfect fit. We looked at some RVs in the Chicagoland area, but they weren’t it. We were pretty sure we’d have to travel a few states away to find the vehicle we wanted to transform into our shop, but in the end our little Winnie came up on Craigslist in Chicago and we picked her up near Grand and Halsted. She was painted brown, had all the original RV fixtures, and the guys we bought her from covered one wall with a crazy cat collage with neon green accents. We weren’t sure where to start with our remodel, so we consulted with our carpenter/painter extraordinaire John King and he said we could just “beat the crap out of it with a hammer” to get the demolition started. So we did. It took us (and John) about a month total to do the remodel. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome! (Actually, that’s a lie. We’re always thinking of what else we can do and how we can improve!)
Chicago Hustles: You ladies are making a living by your visual fashion taste buds a lone. This in itself is beautiful! If approached by a vintage enthusiast who wanted your wisdom on how to follow in your footsteps using creativity, passion and hustle. What creative entrepreneur advice would you leave with said person, and why.
LG: Don’t focus on following in someone else’s footsteps, focus on what you love. Passion is contagious and people respond to it. If you’re passionate about vintage cat shirts, that’s cool! Go for it! We’ve found that every time we try to alter what we do at a sale based on what other people say, we never have as much success as when we just listen to our instinct. We cannot stress this enough – be true to what you love and people will connect with that! Make friends and have fun!!
Chicago Hustles: Being the goofs we are at Chicago Hustles we would love to know 3 super random facts never printed or displayed anywhere about you both.
1. We’re super close and we talk about everything, Everything! If one of us is constipated, the other one knows it.
2. We both have really irrational fears – Kyla is afraid of wind turbines and Sarah is afraid of whales.
3. We love to barter! We recently paid for some RV maintenance with steak tacos.