Lodekka opened its doors about 3 weeks ago, and so far the place has been bustling! Some folks pull their car over when they see the bus (usually as a result of prompting from the kids in the backseat), some are waiting to get in to Portland's restaurant of the year, Tasty N Sons, and others are just walking by and want to see what this crazy monstrosity is all about. One thing is for sure: the bus is a kid magnet. I learned very quickly that I needed to have stickers at the ready for these young customers.
I would be remiss if I didn't shamelessly mention that Lodekka has gotten some great press, too: the Oregonian, Portland Picks, craftzine.com, coolhunting.com... Heck, I've had customers mention that they read about Lodekka on blogs in New York, Michigan, California and several other far-away paces. I feel very fortunate that people are so interested in the bus and supportive of my once-crazy now-reality idea to open a dress shop in a bus.
My favorite thing about the bus is that it's such a conversation piece. This gives me the opportunity to chat with just about everyone who walks in the door. I've equated Lodekka to the kitchen where everyone congregates at a party. People have been very curious about three things in particular:
1. where I found the bus
2. whether or not it runs
3. where do I find all my "stuff"
I thought I'd take this opportunity to address those burning questions.
I found the bus on Craigslist. (This typically elicits an incredulous "No way!" from customers.) I was looking for a one-story bus, but all the buses I looked at were just too small. During one of my typical marathon bus-seeking sessions online, I ran across an old beat-up double decker at a used car lot in Springfield, Oregon. I took the next day off from work to go check it out. It was in terrible shape, but I immediately saw the potential. I bought it on the spot, then went and had a margarita until the gravity of my decision set in.
The bus *can* run, but currently doesn't. It turned over when I bought it, then I evidenced my lack of mechanical prowess by cutting a few wires during the conversion process. I consider the bus retired, anyway. She worked hard enough carting around the good people of Liverpool for 20 years. She deserves to just stay parked for a while.
I am a chronic thrift and estate sale shopper. I like to consider myself someone who can find the "good amongst the not-so-good." I love the challenge of finding needles in haystacks: the tougher the challenge, the better. I get no greater pleasure than helping a little lost dress find its soul mate, and seeing the smile on the customer's face when they realize that the dress was made for them.