CUYAHOGA FALLS — Two college friends have turned their love for fashion into a clothing and accessories store on wheels.
Maplewood Boutique is the brainchild of Kristin Beynon and Liz DeCarlo.
"Our friendship and love for fashion started in 2006 when we were attending the Fashion School at Kent State University," Beynon said. "Owning our own boutique and sharing our passion with others was always a dream of ours."
Following graduation, they became roommates and moved into a house on Maplewood Street in Cuyahoga Falls. This is the place where it all began and where they got the name. And although the timing wasn’t right to start their business then, they never gave up the concept.
"Fast-forward to 10 years later and our dream is becoming a reality as we launch our mobile Maplewood Boutique," she said.
Maplewood Boutique is a 14-foot mail truck converted into a store on wheels. The box part of the truck is 14 feet long and 10 feet wide. Beynon and DeCarlo affectionately named the truck Babs after Babs Bunny, the spunky cartoon rabbit with a flair for style from "Tiny Toon Adventures."
"The inspiration for creating our mobile store came from seeing these adorable boutiques popping up across the country," said DeCarlo. "We love the idea of being able to reach a diverse customer base in northeast Ohio."
Beynon said she and DeCarlo quit their full-time jobs to go all-in on their new business venture. On May 6 they hosted a launch party at HiHo Brewing Co. where they welcomed many friends and family members they had invited as well as HiHo customers and passersby who saw the truck and stopped by.
Although they as yet do not have any employees, they are getting help from interns they’ve recruited from Kent’s Fashion School. Maplewood Boutique specializes in women’s clothing and accessories. They currently are selling a mixture of spring and summer fashions.
"Mainly we are bringing the best in women’s clothing and accessories with a modern, classic vibe," Beynon said. "That is how we describe ourselves and the clothing we are purchasing. It is very relevant to today yet a lot of the clothing has an overall classic feeling." She said when they do their purchasing they target women age 20 and older.
"We really try to think about all of our customers that might be in our truck and try to meet as many needs as possible," she said. "We’ve even had some teens in there that found some things they liked. We try to make women feel good about themselves in what they’re purchasing." Beynon said she and DeCarlo want to create a friendly, approachable shopping environment.
"We love to help others find their personal style and feel good about what they’re wearing," she said.
In addition to women’s fashions, Maplewood has T-shirts, bow ties and bandannas for dogs and dog owners by CollarDoos of Columbus and soy candles by Sweet Dish & Darling of Cleveland.
The Maplewood Boutique’s scheduled stops include River Rock Fest in Cuyahoga Falls June 22; the Hudson Flea Market in the JoAnn Fabrics parking lot, 5555 Darrow Road, the last Saturday of each month through Oct. 20; and the Cleveland Flea Market the second Saturday of each month through Oct. 13 at 3615 Superior Ave.
Maplewood Boutique is on Instagram @maplewoodboutique, Facebook @shopmaplewoodboutique and the Web at www.shopmaplewoodboutique.com.
Reporter Steve Wiandt, can be reached at 330-541-9420, firstname.lastname@example.org @SteveWiandt_RPC.