Interview: Joey Wolffer Talks About Her Boutique On Wheels, The Styleliner

by Chelsea Burcz · November 18, 2011

    Joey Wolffer is changing how you shop - no, it's not online, and it's not a boutique - but a former potato chip truck turned beautifully curated shop on wheels. We talked to Joey about her fashion icons, her recent marriage, and her truck breaking down on the side of the road.

    How did you come up with the idea of the Styleliner? What was your inspiration?

    Having worked in fashion right out of college, I spent much of my time traveling (for work) and discovering brilliant designers that no one in the States had access to. I wanted to create a curated gallery to highlight these designers. Food trucks have become such a huge phenomenon in New York and LA that a retail truck only seemed natural. It seemed like the ultimate place to showcase such unique pieces. I also was eager to create a vehicle (no pun intended) where I could bring fashion to the customer. It’s something that really seems to work. Who doesn’t love shopping in their own driveway!

    The Styleliner parked in the Hamptons

    Your boutique on wheels is curated beautifully, how do you pick what you decide to sell? Do you personally chose everything?

    Thank you! Yes, I choose everything although now that I have a bit of exposure, I have been introduced some really inspirational designers. I have to say that I pick what I like and what I feel is right for the moment. I love to discover a designer that no one knows yet. I like for the customer to have the same experience that I do in discovering new designers and pieces.

    You were married over the summer in the Hamptons, does your husband offer any input in your business?

    Yes! He is a marketing analytics consultant, so he is VERY helpful with our website and analyzing our customers and how to get more traffic. He is also so supportive. It’s certainly not easy starting a business and he has been my rock throughout the good and bad.

    Who are some people you admire for their fashion?

    I really admire woman that create their own individual style an don’t follow what is the brand of the moment. I love those who can mix something old with something new, something ethnic with something turned out. I have always admired Talitha Getty and Jane Birkin. They are such style icons and my style is very much a mixture of the two. Donna Karan and Diane Von Furstenberg are very inspirational for me. They are two strong woman who are very powerful in the industry but are also using their power to create their own charitable organizations.

    [Inside the Styleliner]

    Where are some places that you have traveled with the Styleliner?

    The Styleliner has traveled all over New York City and the Hamptons, Greenwich, CT, Princeton, NJ, Palm Beach and Wellington, FL, AND Montreal, Canada for their fashion week. That was such an adventure. It is certainly a well traveled truck. We have plans to take it to California, San Francisco and LA in the spring. The west coast needs The Styleliner!

    Do you have any stories of the bus breaking down, etc?

    My favorite story was when I had driven to Tribeca from out east for a trunk show. It took me 6 hours (it usually takes 2-3), I was 2 hours late to the trunk show. As I was packing up to leave, the truck battery died and I couldn’t see anything - THEN a police car pulled up and I couldn’t believe it was all happening. I finally got the truck moving and tried to pull away calmly, but the police woman came running down the street yelling, “Stop, stop I want to shop!"

    I saw you out and about at events in the Hamptons, such as at Escape 2 NY. Do you commonly go to events in NYC as well? Do you have any coming up?

    I have done quite a few trunk truck shows in the city and I always participate in FNO. This year I was parked in front of the Soho House and it was a great spot. I will be doing a few events for the holidays, but I will also be parked outside the Standard Hotel on weekends until January then I am off to Florida!

    What is your favorite part about being sort of a "one woman show" with your traveling boutique?

    I love every aspect of what I do. I like being in charge of what I buy, how I curate and how I sell. There is so much that goes into retail that I find has really gotten lost in the industry over the past few years. I love to be able to connect my customers to each piece. Every designer has a story and their inspiration behind their line. I like to convey that to the customer.

    You used to design jewelery as well, do you still design?

    I love designing and I really hope that as the Styleliner continues to grow, I will be able to launch a jewelry line under the brand. I still make some pieces here and there and they are often my best sellers, but I don’t have the time to really concentrate on it at the moment.

    [Laetitia Stanfield, Joey Wolffer]

    You also collaborate with other designers. What are some of your recent collaborations?

    Yes! I have started an amazing line of handbags and accessories with Laetitia Stanfield of Roarke NYC. We are calling it Isla Roarke. We have clutch, a tote and a beautiful minudiere (which is on its way). Each piece combines unique materials and is finished with an incredible embroidered panel. We have an Aztec collection and a collection of exotic animals. They are so beautiful, I cannot wait to officially launch the line.