It's official. Desvalido is saying a tearful goodbye to The Lingerie Truck!
It's kind of funny. What started as a distant dream turned into an obsession, then into a reality. My parents got a new delivery van & gave me their old one (that's every Christmas & birthday sorted) then my lovely lovely boyfriend did the rest. I mean, I did paint the walls, but he went over it again to fix up the runs. If he was trying to make a pair of shorts I'd probably redo them just the same! We all have our talents.
Once I set the date for the grand opening, the inside was finished in a matter of weeks. We launched on the 16th November 2018
I'm writing this almost exactly a year later, knowing closing is the right decision.
The Lingerie Truck was like this really complicated cake where the flour was chalk dust, the sugar was salt, & the chocolate chips were ... not. chocolate. chips. It was the big result of small things that went wrong, & I honestly didn't predict any of them.
I reallllly wanted to focus on private bookings & to be honest, I never got that first enquiry. Maybe I didn't tell the right people? Maybe my city was too small? At 320,000 or so, Newcastle is big but Sydney is bigger. Maybe I should have launched it there instead?
I wanted to partner with hair salons, dance studios, all sorts of small businesses to do something different. What's in it for them? Where do our customers cross over? DO they AT ALL?
I wanted to take it to markets, but council restrictions & lack of both space & access meant that wasn't really going to happen. It isn't a question that could have been asked beforehand either. The responses to my pitches were all along the lines of "we'd love to see some photos" but the only thing I heard was "GO, BUILD NOW! We can't wait to let you in!"
I wanted to take it to every country town I could get to. Even in Newcastle, there simply isn't a lot here in the way of lingerie stores & we're in the top 10 biggest cities in Australia. I was sure people in rural towns would have appreciated the chance to shop something a little different.
I wanted to stock every other independent lingerie brand I could think of (hey Lace Grenade, Dantelle, Dream and Drive, Rebecca Jones!). I'm all about community over competition, we'd all bring such different things to the table & fill so many gaps. I even wanted to have guest labels every 2 months, so TLT regulars could experience something they hadn't seen before. A lot of these labels are online only so getting to touch & try on these handmade pieces simply isn't doable majority of the time. You can probably tell that this was the bit I was most passionate about
The most important factor in this train wreck was my relentless optimism. I'd never really failed at anything I'd cared about before. Okay, there was one other time. I auditioned for performing arts school & didn't get in, not even close! The letter basically said hey if all our students drop out or move away, then maaaybe we'll call ya. I don't talk about it *cry laugh emoji* but it didddd send me into high school textiles -> fashion school -> Desvalido -> now
I know deep in my soul that I would have done this thing eventually. If I had to wait, save up, & buy a van a few years down the track, I would have spent even more time & money on it. Maybe it would have ended the same way, no matter what. At one point it was going to be a minibus... Twice the size. Anyway, this goal was not going away because I'd already talked myself into it a thousand times over. Relentless. Optimism.
Now that we're hanging up the keys to The Lingerie Truck, I'm excited to channel my relentless optimism into something else. Join us on the 7th of December at Mansfield House for the final goodbye & maybe even a cheeky hello at what's next for Desvalido