By Nyesha Stone
Lishawndra “Passion” Franklin is an entrepreneur who owns Milwaukee’s first mobile boutique: Passionsattire.
“I’m on wheels [and] I’m convenient,” said Franklin. “I can come to you at any time.”
Franklin moved to Little Rock, Arkansas in 2007, and after years of living there she opened a storefront. She eventually got homesick and came back to Milwaukee in 2015. Franklin didn’t like the idea of having another storefront because she didn’t like having an overseer, and plus she wanted to keep her prices low. To afford the rent of her building, she would have had to raise her prices, and that’s the last thing she wanted to do.
Her friend who owns a mobile boutique in a different state suggested Franklin open her own, and after doing research and talking to people she decided to go for it.
“This is really, really fun,” said Franklin.
Franklin loves the freedom she now has with her business. She can setup shop anywhere, sell a few clothing items, pack up, and then find another location with new customers. This was a nine-month process that Franklin is tremendously proud of. Her pink truck attracts all walks of life and she’s eager to help any and every one— she has clothing for girls and women aged 12-65.
“My name is Passion [and] I have a passion for fashion.”
Her pink truck includes a small staircase that connects to a small but variety filled boutique. Franklin buys her clothing items from a reseller, but she does hand make some of the jewelry she sells. Franklin doesn’t have a set time or location for her boutique, but that’s okay since social media exist. “Facebook is really taking me to the next level,” said Franklin.
The day before, Franklin post where and what time her boutique will be available and with a few clicks of the share button, Franklin has business for the next day.
Although social media has played a big role in Franklin’s business, nothing has brought more business to her than the word-of-mouth, said Franklin.
“I didn’t think I would get so much positive feedback,” said Franklin. “It makes me feel amazing.” Franklin runs her own business while helping others start theirs. She gives advice and encouragement to those who need it because she wants to see everyone succeed, according to Franklin.
When a customer buys something off her truck, she puts it in a pink bag along with a business owner’s business card to encourage her customer to shop with that business. Franklin can’t help but to smile when she meets a new customer because “it’s not about the purchase, it’s about getting the word out.”
By the end of this year, Franklin wants to turn her boutique into a corporation. Instead of having one truck in one location, she would like to have a pink truck on the north, south and east side of Milwaukee. She can’t be everywhere, but her business can be.
And even when someone can’t make it to her mobile boutique, they can go to her 24/7 online website: http://www.passionsattire.com, to shop.
So, whenever you see Franklin’s pink truck make sure you honk for fashion.