“I started to think about how costly and time-consuming it was to set up a tent at an event, hire people to work it, and then pack up and take down your tent at the end of the day,” Hutton says. "With these trailers, I'd just put everything back in them and leave town pretty easily." As Hutton traveled and sold her wares, other businesses began to inquire about her trailers, and thus, Extreme ReTrailers was born.
“We’ll build trailers according to their specs, whatever they want,” she says. “They can change the store layouts, have cabinets, air conditioning and heat, side doors — you name it.”
Extreme ReTrailers have a base price of $6,000. Each trailer is designed like a mini-store, complete with linoleum flooring, insulation, and wall fixtures. (Recently, MSNBC’s “Your Business” produced a television segment on Hutton’s business, you can watch it by clicking on this link.)
There are pros and cons to owning a mobile store, Hutton says. The pros, of course, being the sheer amount of customers attract in a single weekend. “Vendor fees can be sky-high, and gas costs are high,” she says. “But there is a tremendous amount of flexibility, and that’s what’s really neat about it.”
And Hutton does amit to missing her brick-and-mortar store, if only for the company she kept. “We had such a fun group of regulars. That’s one of the things you don’t get with mobile retailing," Hutton says. "I’d consider going back to the brick-and-mortar format, but there would have to be one heck of a lot of consistent foot traffic at all times."