When a brick-and-mortar establishment was a bit out of aspiring shop-owner Sarah Platt's budget, she got creative. Enter Urban Izzy, the first mobile boutique to roll onto the Houston scene, a bright blue truck filled with Texas-made goodies. Along with her trusty shopgal, Jessica Dolan (who offers her own items for sale in the shop), Platt has been taking the streets by storm with one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories, and gifts from local artists.
At Urban Izzy, expect to find items that would be right at home on your favorite indie fashion blogger's Instagram feed, with a Houston (read: warm weather) twist. Graphic printed scarves, billowing ikat tops, and dresses that pair easily with a pair of ribbon-laced Keds.
What made you want to open the first mobile boutique in Houston?
Sarah: Honestly, I’ve worked in retail a long time and always wanted to have a boutique—this was an affordable option. Plus, you get to travel around and go to different places. Bringing the shop to the people instead of the other way around. Being mobile is awesome!
What are the biggest challenges in having a shop on wheels?
Sarah: Setup is brutal. Getting everything up and running in this Houston heat is a killer, but it’s a learning thing. It gets easier each time.
Was it difficult to decide what to carry in your unique space?
Jessica: We were trying to figure out how to maximize the space because it’s so small and also make it versatile so we can change things around. We’re doing a rotation of vendors now to keep things new. It also helps us mix up our merchandise with the consignment pieces our vendors offer.
Where do your vendors come from?
Jessica: From all around Texas. Mostly Houston, but we do have some from other Texas cities. All different kinds of things—like jewelry, hand-screened t-shirts and some handmade/hand-dyed clothing.
Has it been hard to set-up a mobile business in Houston?
Sarah: Parking is always a challenge, but Houston is getting much more welcoming to businesses like this. Things like Houston Food Park and the Creeks [Dry Creek, Onion Creek and Cedar Creek] have been great. As long as we can find a place that’s willing to have us, it makes our lives easier.
If you had to name a favorite part of having Urban Izzy, what would it be?
Sarah: The people! I love seeing people excited when they come in here and it makes my day to see them light up. This one time we were at Fox News for a story and the head of the station came in to buy things. The employees were telling us that they never see him out and about, and that it was such a compliment for him to come down.
Jessica: I love how friendly people here are to local art. They are all about Texas pride—they like local!
Any upcoming events where people can find Urban Izzy?
Sarah: We have a Fall Fashion Truck Festival coming up on September 28th from 4-10 p.m. at Liberty Station [2101 Washington]. You can come see us, the Shoe Bar, Stella from Height of Vintage, The Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library, and Fat Cat Creamery!