While chatting with Stacey Chambers, it was priceless to see people’s expressions as they boarded her bus. Their eyes invariably lit up as soon as they caught sight of the interior design.
“Ohmygod, this is sooo cute!”
“You mean the clothes are IN the bus?! I love it!”
“Wow!” [speechless joy]
Rather than sell vintage clothes in a brick-and-mortar store, Stacey decided that she would rather go to people rather than wait for customers to go to her. Her answer: a mobile bus boutique.
“I had the idea on a Tuesday, and got the bus on Friday. I didn’t have time to be afraid. You know, we have so many ideas, but often you find that you’ll talk yourself out of it, or other people talk you out of it. Sometimes a good thing happens, and you just have to believe in it and make it happen.”
She started GoGos Retread Threads in 2010, but spent the first year working part-time while running her business. “In February 2012, I quit my job to do this full-time and thought: “Holy smokes! I’m doing this!!””
However, running a business comes with a bag of challenges.
“It’s important to stay motivated. You are your own boss. It’s different when you clock in and out of a job: you might not start working till 12pm, on Thursday you think, well it’s almost Friday. When it’s your own thing, it’s different, you always have to be present.”
So how does Stacey fuel her motivation?
“It motivates me to know that others find my work inspiring. Being able to see someone take a risk – and succeed at it – inspires people to do something different. I hated my previous job, I didn’t feel like anyone valued me and appreciated me. My overall satisfaction and happiness has increased so much since doing this!”
Above all, her exuberant personality allows her to relate easily with her ‘passengers’ whom she has had a chance to meet along her journey.
“It’s neat to have so much power, it’s the power to help people. Sometimes people really like an item and if I know they can’t afford it or they’re falling on hard times, even though I could do with that extra $6, I can make that decision to let them have it. Because, maybe it’s the skirt that gets them that new job, because they feel that much more confident and more beautiful.”
Competition can be tough, but she doesn’t let it zap any of her energy.
“As a small business, we’re all trying to grow together. It’s easy to feel threatened. Here we are, rubbing our few pennies together, and it’s easy to think, here’s another business trying to take away one of my pennies. But, we need to remember that every small business has someone who has put their heart and their passion into it. Instead of feeling threatened, we can all pursue our passion together, and grow together.”
Board her bus, and you’ll probably leave not only with a fashionable item, but with a smile from her joyous energy!
Find Gogo’s Retread Threads online! (now rebranded to Shop Gogos)