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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    New boutique takes the streets of downtown… in a trailer

    Sally Lynx

    Pink flamingos stand outside of Sugar Shack Mobile Boutique on Saturday, Oct. 10. The enterprise, known online as Sugar Skull Designs, had its grand opening outside Dragoon Brewing Co.

    A 1960s Shasta trailer is parked out front and open for business on a Saturday night at Dragoon Brewing Company. The trailer reminds you of a Florida trailer home with artificial grass in the front and plastic pink flamingos contrasting the white and blue trailer. But when you go up the steps and into the trailer, it turns into a boutique of various accessories called Sugar Shack Mobile Boutique. 

    Gabriela Fleming is the owner of this new mobile boutique, which had its grand opening Saturday night. Fleming began with an Etsy store online called Sugar Skull Designs, and after three years she finally has a space to display her hand-made accessories and a way of transporting them. 

    “I’m really excited,” Fleming said. “This has really been a long time coming. It’s been a long road to get here. Today is actually the third anniversary of my Sugar Skull Design Company, and Sugar Shack Mobile Boutique is where I’m going to be selling the stuff that I make for Sugar Skull Designs.”

    Fleming’s boutique contains various accessories, such as sugar skull earrings, necklaces and purses, Halloween-themed jewelry and what stood out most: prayer candles with faces of celebrities. Faces of characters from “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” replace the face of Jesus, for example.  

    “I have a lot of stuff that people can consider to be, like, retro, kitschy or, like, rockabilly,” Fleming said. “I’ve heard a lot of people describe it as that. Mostly, I would say kitschy, like my prayer candles with celebrities on them, pink flamingos; I [have] crazy glitter stuff.”

    She explained that about 95 percent of the accessories in her boutique are created by her and that her love for crafts began with a trip to Texas. 

    “I had gone on a trip to Texas for a conference, … we ended up just walking around looking at shops, and a friend of mine pointed out a purse to me,” Fleming said. “It was like $300 or $400. I really liked it, but it couldn’t even hold my phone and it was really small, so I decided to try and make it myself. So I made myself one, people saw it, people wanted their own, and I started making things for other people. It got to the point where I was working so hard on things that I decided to start an Etsy store.”

    From the Etsy store, Fleming decided to use the trailer as her own personal shop because she struggled with moving all her products to one spot. The trailer added a certain ease to transporting her products to the public.

    “It was really taxing, so I thought it would be cool to pull up somewhere and open up shop,” Fleming said. “I can be in a few places in a day if I wanted to. I could come to someone’s house if they wanted me to.”

    Fleming said she runs her shop on her own with no employees and loves her freedom to decorate her shop and make the accessories she wants without having to answer to anybody. She is her own boss but also receives help from her mother when she needs it. Plus, her fiance assisted her with fixing the trailer that, before being fixed, had no roof and had been through a lot of damage.

    “I can just put things where I want to,” Fleming said. “I can make what I want to make. I can take people’s opinions, then make them happen without having to consult anything else. It’s really nice just to be able to do this.”

    Kacee Weilacher, a Tucson resident, has been a customer of Fleming’s for two years and said she feels the mobile boutique will attract more customers and increase her sales. Not only that, Weilacher said she enjoys how the trailer really fits into the theme of Fleming’s shop. 

    “I think it’s because it’s an old, 1960s Shasta. You don’t really see those quite often, especially completely gutted and made into a boutique that fits her era, as far as her vintage-style resend earrings,” Weilacher said. “So I feel she’s going along with the theme, and I like the fact that she took an old Shasta trailer and brought it back to life. I love it.”

    Some of Weilacher’s favorite accessories are the unique earrings made by Fleming, along with the purses and the candles that have a Tucson theme.

    Weilacher said she believes people should shop at Sugar Shack because Fleming’s accessories are “handmade, made with love, and she’s Tucson and very local and supportive. She’s fabulous.”

    Follow Erika Parra on Twitter.

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