Look what we just bought! Macy’s is going out of business at our local mall so we just bought the checkout counter from their shoe department! It ain't pretty but we got it for $75, which is a great price! It’s not the right color but we will fix that! Or should I say…my Husband will fix that! Lol! He will have to refinish it somehow, but it’s the right size and the right price. Can’t beat that!
Now that we have the truck back home, it’s time for us to start with the build-out. At the beginning of this adventure, my Husband was less than thrilled about putting any kind of money into this truck, let alone help me do the work. I’m not sure what changed, but he has been out there every day this week working on it! I’d like to say he’s helping me with it, but really it’s all HIM doing the work so far! He has installed the insulation and the new laminate floors already and he did it all on his own. It looks great so far! I’m so proud of the job he’s done on it.
Our next step is to have an electrician come out and give us a quote to install light fixtures, electrical outlets and wire it for electricity and a generator. I’m pretty sure this will be our next big expense next to the porch and the truck itself. Not sure how willing my Husband will be after we get the bill from the Electrician! Lol! We are expecting to meet with the Electrician this weekend so since that’s our next step, we will have to resume the build-out after that job is done. In the meantime, we will be watching lots of YouTube videos on how to install wall & ceiling panels!
Because of the freezing temperatures, the paint was taking quite a long time to dry, but my truck was finally delivered last night! The Fabricator brought it home around 9:30pm so it was too dark to take pictures until today. It looks wonderful! The porch is extremely heavy though so we will have to install a winch system of some kind so that I can set it up by myself, but it looks great! I love the new French doors! It looks so inviting. J I can’t wait to get started on the inside build-out. I’m also very pleased with the black color. It will look great with my bright pink Paparazzi logo and graphics on it. It’s really gonna stand out and draw attention! And it's kitty approved too! Scooby enjoyed checking out the new porch that he can sit on. :)
I got a call from the Fabricator today. Our plan was for him to start on reassembling the entire porch & door components back onto the truck today and then we planned for him to deliver the truck back to us tomorrow. However, because of the cold weather, it is taking much longer for the paint to set and dry than expected. Boo for freezing, snowy weather! Looks like we will have to wait a little bit longer! It is coming along nicely though! It’s gonna look so cool when it’s done! We are hoping to have it back next week! Now is NOT the time for it to be snowing here darn it!
I haven't had much of an update from the fabricator, but he did send me a few photos. The porch, awning & stairs have been made. The roll up door and lift gate were removed, and because the lift gate and back bumper were one unit, a brand new bumper had to be fabricated so he is currently working on that as you can see in the photo. He's filled in lots of holes left behind from the lift gate as well. The door frame has been made, the doors have been mounted and then removed again until all metal work is done. It will go in for painting next Monday and then all he has left to do is reassemble all of the parts onto the truck and he'll be able to bring it back home!!
Once it gets home, then it's our turn to start on the inside! We have laminate floors that need to be installed, wall & ceiling paneling to be put up, insulation to be installed, lights to be installed...oh man! Sounds like maybe I should hire someone for that too! Lol!
The door frame has been built, holes filled in from the lift game and bumper is being fabricated. It's coming together!
FINALLY! Whoo hoo! I finally found someone willing to create the doors and entrance to my truck for a reasonable price! Is this real? Is this happening?
After MONTHS of searching, I found a Welder to do the work so we negotiated the price and scheduled a time for him to pick up the truck. I bought the French doors for him to mount on the new door frame that he was going to create and he was scheduled to pick up the doors and the truck on Friday, Nov. 18th and work on it that weekend. He planned to have it back on the 23rd so we could start the buildout of the inside. Unfortunately, he had a family emergency and had to go out of town for the weekend, so he didn’t pick it up until the 22nd. Nope...not getting it back on the 23rd now! This project seemed like it was always getting delayed a week here & a week there.
Well, he was finally able to come and get the truck and it was finally on it's way to be transformed into a Mobile Boutique! I was so excited! The work was actually gonna get started, however, he wouldn’t get time to work on it until the weekend of December 3rd, but at least it was in his hands now. My Husband and I were leaving for Mexico for vacation on November 28th and wouldn’t be home anyway, so we were fine with him having it for the next couple of weeks. The Welder planned to have the work done and back to us the day after we returned from Mexico so that would work out perfect!
But…does anything happen the way it’s planned? Um…no! He was called in to work the ONLY weekend he had to work on the truck so he needed to have it for one MORE week. :( Ugh… the weeks keep going by and the holidays are passing us by too. I was SO hoping to get it done before Christmas to take advantage of the holiday sales. Now he is planning on delivering it to us on Wednesday, Dec. 14th....NEXT WEEK!!! YAY!!!
I know that things come up but I’m getting impatient…lol! I have a difficult time playing the waiting game. When I want something, I want it NOW. It’s a struggle for sure! He’s got all the parts made; now he just needs to paint the truck and assemble everything onto the truck. I’m so excited I can’t stand myself!! I'm just thrilled that I found someone willing to take on the job. I know I'm getting a deal with this guy because he's just starting his business so I am very grateful that he took the job. :)
Did I mention I can't WAIT till next week when we get the truck back???!!!
As the weeks went on, I continued to search for a fabricator to create the entrance to the truck. After all, we gotta be able to get into the truck somehow! So we were still on phase 1 of the project and we STILL couldn't find anyone to do the job. I had finally received a couple of other quotes, but they all came back around $3,500 or more. It was really looking like we were NOT going to be able to create the entrance I wanted. At this point, I would be happy with just stairs!
The weeks turned into a month and then two months and then the Fall weather came. We were already up against one roadblock with the fabrication of the entrance and now we'd hit another one. With the rain came leaks! Lots of them! Larry and I (mostly Larry), stripped and resealed all of the seals and everywhere else we could think of. That took care of many of the leaks, but there were still some that we couldn't find. There was NO WAY Larry was going to put money into this truck if we couldn't stop it from leaking.
We ended up taking the truck in to a trailer repair shop to have someone look at it to see if they could trace the final leaks that we couldn't find. They found where they thought it was coming from and we sealed that area too. It seemed to work so we continued to search for someone to do the fabrication. Larry FINALLY felt comfortable enough to move forward with the project. And the hunt continued to find someone to do the work for us.
HOLY COW! I am officially a truck owner! Now what do I do? Lol! Well the first thing on our agenda was to have a mechanic check it out (since we didn't have it done before buying it like my Husband told me to do!). We did realize on the way home that the windshield wipers didn't work so right off the bat...something needed fixed so my Husband got to tell me "I Told You So". I hope he felt better about himself because it's very rare that he is right about something. I'm usually the one that's always right! ;) Who would have thought to check those out right away? It was summertime!
Anyway, a couple of days after we got it home, we took it to the mechanic and it came back $300 and a week later with a clean bill of health and a new windshield wiper motor. Larry & I (mostly Larry), started removing the wood and railing inside the box to expose the bare walls so we could check it all out and get it all cleaned up. My kitties enjoyed playing inside the truck too.
I started searching for a metal fabricator to remove the lift gate and roll-up door and create a custom door frame and stairs. I contacted 8 different fabricators within the first couple of weeks and only ONE of them even responded to me! What...doesn't ANYONE need a job anymore? This is a paying gig here and NOBODY seems to want to get paid! The ONE guy that contacted me came back with a quote of $3,300 to do this ONE part of the project! Uh...no way! There is NO WAY it is THAT expensive to create what I wanted! I've seen this on another fashion truck and she didn't pay that much, so why is it so expensive for me? Besides the fact that that was like 1/2 my budget for the entire thing! So I continued to try to find other fabricator to give me another quote and still nothing!
I decided to shift gears and get quotes to either paint or wrap the truck. Maybe if I just gave it a little more time, a fabricator would get back to me. Well...at that point I was getting pretty deflated. I was getting quotes for $5,000 to paint the truck and upwards of $7,000 to wrap it! What was going on here?! I am a part of a Fashion Truck FB group and other ladies had gotten their trucks done for a FRACTION of that! I swear...Oregonians inflate their cost of service 10-fold! Good grief! How on earth was I gonna get this truck going if it's gonna cost this much to modify it? Things were looking pretty grim...
We had lots of wood to remove on the inside...with kitty's help of course. We also bought the new flooring for it. While it was at the mechanics, we had them also fix the hole on the side of the truck. Just a few cosmetic things to fix. ;)
After many months of convincing (or so I thought), I got my Husband to agree to go with me to look at a couple of box trucks for sale. They were about 2 hours away from our house so I was surprised he even agreed to go. They were a little more expensive than we wanted to spend, but in our area, this type of truck is not ripe for the choosing so people can get away with asking more for them. Go to the East Coast and they are a dime a dozen! I could get a great truck for cheap if I was in Florida! Lol!
It was a Saturday afternoon, and we had 2 trucks to look at in that area. I was excited to finally be seeing one in person. It gave me a glimmer of hope that this could actually happen. Could one of these trucks be THE one?
We stopped to look at the first truck, and it.was.rough. The inside of the cab was torn up, the box was dirty and gross inside and the guy really didn't know much about the truck. It was an easy pass, although my shot at one of these 2 trucks being 'the one" just got cut in half.
We preceded to the car lot where the other truck was (the 1st one was a private owner). After the sales guy finally figured out which truck it was we were there to see, he found it on the lot. It was wedged between a metal fence and a building with building materials piled behind it and a very TIGHT squeeze to pull it out going forward. I'm not sure how they even got the truck wedged into that space to begin with! It was insane trying to get it out! After some very hairy maneuvering, he finally got it pulled out so we could test drive it. Now the fun begins!
I have never driven a truck this size and I was terrified! I drove it in the parking lot, but I had Larry drive it on the road first. We went down the road and found a place to turn around (mind you, you can't just pull into any old space to turn around). We had to go far enough to find a large parking lot to pull into. I decided I was going to try to drive it back. It was terrifying and exciting all at the same time. Driving with traffic around is nerve wracking, but I managed to do it. And we got back in one piece!
We pulled back into the lot and looked the truck over. I really liked it! It was very clean inside, it was a box truck like I wanted, and the price was right. Larry and I talked it over but we still wanted to have it checked out by a mechanic. However...it was a Saturday and where would we find one to do that on a weekend, 2 hours away from our home?
Remember when I said I don't give up? Well...we just bought a truck! Larry wasn't very happy with me because I didn't wait to have it checked out, but it ran strong, it was in good shape and when on earth would we have time together to drive back 2 hours away to do all this again...with a mechanic in tow? We wouldn't. And I knew it. If we didn't buy it then, we wouldn't buy it ever. So we bought it!
And here she is! We ended up buying the second truck we looked at!!
This was the first truck we looked at. We passed it up because it needed WAY too much work.
Now that I had the green light from my Husband to buy a truck, I searched high & low online for the right one. After weeks of searching for box trucks, step vans and uhauls, I finally found the perfect truck...a FASHION TRUCK...already set up and ready to go. I was excited to find it because it was perfect! AND the price was so reasonable! I told Larry about it, but he instantly shot it down. It was too much money he said. Yes, it was more than I said we would spend on a truck but it was a FINISHED truck! He didn't seem to understand that part of it. All he saw was the dollar amount we would be putting out for this truck, finished or not. :( I was so frustrated because I felt that he was not seeing this truck for what it was. So...we passed it up.
More weeks went by and there just wasn't anything out there for a reasonable price and what was out there for a reasonable price needed way too much work. I was starting to think that this really was just a pipe dream. How was it that other people found these great trucks for so cheap and I couldn't find ANYTHING in my area? Everything that we came across was hours and hours away and I knew there was no way I was going to get my Husband to drive several hours just to look at a truck. Remember what I said earlier? He ALWAYS tells me NO so I knew driving long distance would be a waste of time anyway. Ugh...he is always such a roadblock!
If we lived on the East Coast, I'd find a truck for cheap! Fashion Trucks are growing in popularity over there, but here on the West Coast they are a relatively new concept in our area. The trucks that were for sale around here were upwards of $10,000...just for the truck alone! You could find a finished Fashion Truck for that price if I was in Florida! Can't we just fly over there, buy a truck and drive it back? Uh...no! So...the search continued...
Hi! My name is Colleen and I am a Paparazzi Jewelry Consultant. I've been selling this fabulous $5.00 jewelry for just about 2 years now and I am having a BLAST doing it! I have met lots of great people, have lots of fun experiences and I'm loving every minute of it.
My inventory has grown over the last couple of years from about 300 pieces of jewelry to about 3,000 pieces (holy moly...I think I need help! Lol!)! I primarily sell at events and fairs but I also do an occasional home party as well. However...because of the large amount of jewelry I have to tote around with me and set up, it has become quite a job just in my set-up. Because of this, I don't do many home parties just for time it takes in setting it up. SO...enter the crazy entrepreneur in me! I have heard of other Paparazzi girls starting a Mobile Jewelry Store and I decided that because I have so much jewelry to set up every time I want to sell it, that I just NEEDED a truck of my own.
Let me back up to about a year ago. I mentioned the idea of starting a Mobile Fashion Boutique to my Husband around this time last year and I think that he thought I would let the idea go...I'm not sure why he thought that. ?? Once I get a harebrained idea in my head, I don't give up! He of all people should know that! Lol! However, not long after I brought up the idea, my Husband was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. My world just literally stopped. My Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer 6 months earlier and we were already struggling to care for her as she had already surpassed the amount of time the doctors gave her. We knew her time was approaching the end, and now I was faced with possibly losing my Husband too. His cancer was rare and very aggressive, with only a 40% survival rate. The outcome was bleak, but we weren't going to give up, that's for sure! As I said earlier...I don't give up. They assigned a Sarcoma Team at OHSU to his care and we began treatment. His treatment consisted of a week in the hospital every 3 weeks for chemotherapy for 6 months. He also had to have 8 rounds of radiation and surgery to remove a melon sized tumor from his buttock. It was a painful, frightening time for both of us. Not knowing if the treatment will even help or if it will do more harm than good, missing a week of work every month while in the hospital, countless hours in Portland traffic to get him to and from his appointments, watching him become dependent on extremely high doses of pain medications just to be able to make it through the excruciating pain he was in, watching your spouse endure the sickness from the chemo drugs, wondering how we were gonna pay our bills and the mounting medical bills too, worrying about keeping our jobs, worrying about losing our medical insurance if we lost our jobs, wondering if he was going to be able walk once the tumor was removed, not knowing if he would have to be on disability or if he would qualify for it even, trying to stay strong while watching your Husband go through the emotional roller coaster on a daily basis, and all the while, still struggling to take care of my dying mother. These were all things I struggled through during the scariest months of my life.
On December 10th, 2015, while I was in the hospital with my Husband during his week-long chemotherapy treatment, my Mother passed away. I decided to go home for a night during that week so that I could see my Mom while she was in respite care in a nursing facility. I thank GOD that I did, because she passed away the next day. It was a terrible internal struggle whether to be with my Mom or my Husband, who both needed me, and that's why I decided to leave him in the hospital to see her and I'm so glad I did. I would never have forgiven myself if I didn't get to see her one last time. After she passed away, the days became even darker for me. It was difficult to get through a day without tears (and even now as I write this). But, I still had to be strong for Larry so my grief was set aside (which I found out later is called delayed grief, and it can be even worse to deal with). I found that out the hard way in May, during her birthday and Mother's Day. That was not a good month for me needless to say.
So after my Mother's passing in December, my Husband had his surgery to remove the tumor, which went very well. Things were looking up, however, we were not in the clear. He had 3 more chemo treatments to go and we would not know anything until several weeks after the final treatment. In January, Larry was recovering from surgery and would not be able to return to work for 6 weeks and I had run out of paid time off so we both had several weeks of unpaid leave. Thank God for friends and loved ones. One of his co-workers started a Gofundme account for us and that helped us get through without missing a bill. We still had tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills to pay, but we were able to stay afloat.
So, needless to say, with all of the struggles we were going through and the financial state we were in, my dream of starting a Mobile Fashion Boutique was just that...a dream. After all, we were still going through cancer treatments for him and we both knew that the timing wasn't right for an investment like that. And because we were not sure about our future, or whether he would even survive this cancer, we really couldn't invest in anything but doctor bills at that time. Basically, my world stopped when Larry was diagnosed and my business came to a screeching halt anyway. Honestly, I didn't even know if I still had it in me to keep my business going at that point. I had barely sold any jewelry in months, but then at the end of February I attended my first sales event in what seemed like forever. It was a Relay for Life Cancer Fundraiser event. It was a moving experience for me since I had just lost my Mom to cancer and could possibly lose my Husband to it too. It breathed new life in me and hearing stories from cancer survivors and from caretakers of cancer patients, it made me realize that I AM stronger than I knew I ever could be and that I was NOT going to give up the fight. I still had to be strong for Larry and I had to leave our fate in God’s Hands. I had to trust that whatever was to happen was for a reason. I began to take interest in my business again and at that point, I also realized that whatever happened, I needed to make sure that I could take care of myself or both of us if he was not able to return to work. So, I found that my dream for a Mobile Fashion Boutique WAS actually a NEED. It would be a way to earn extra income if or when we needed it. We didn't know what the future would hold for us, so I wanted to be proactive.
A couple of months after Larry's last chemo treatment, I mentioned the idea of buying a truck to him again. At first he was like NO WAY! But I kept after him and explained the logic of having an extra income when we needed it and he said that if his first 3 month check-up came back clear, that we would could buy a truck! Whoa! Who was this guy?! He always tells me NO...to everything! Lol! My Mom had left us a small amount in her estate and I know that she would have LOVED to see me make this dream into a reality so we decided that we would use that to help secure an income for our future if we needed it.
Of course, I was over the top excited, so over the course of the next few months, I would check Craigslist to see what kind of trucks were out there for sale. I showed him a few here & there but never got much response from him. Of course...he was dragging his feet because he didn't think I'd go through with it. Silly, silly man…
My name is Colleen and I am a Paparazzi Accessories Independent Consultant. I am an entrepreneur at heart and I'm ready to take my Paparazzi Business MOBILE! I will be bringing the Paparazzi Party to YOU!