Fernweh Boutique combines fairs, fashion, and fun.
➼ Fernweh Boutique is back on the road for its second season. Part craft vendor, part vintage resale, the mobile shop is a unique presence at any festival or street fair.
Kingwood friends Chelsey Greaser and Moriah and Miranda Peddicord started Fernweh in 2017. They had long dreamt of opening their own boutique and, for these lovers of music festivals, a mobile version was the perfect inspiration. “Being able to take our shop there?” says Moriah Peddicord. “It was like ‘Wow! This is really something that we can do.’ And it kind of sparked from there.”
They bought an old FedEx truck and christened it “Franny.” And they chose the name “fernweh,” German for “wanderlust,” to represent their journey.
The three friends built their shop in the back of the truck with help from friends and family. Franny had received her finishing touches by April 2017 and, the following month, Fernweh Boutique made its debut at the Cheat River Festival with an eclectic inventory that centered on gently used women’s clothing, accessories, and textiles. The friends followed up at MountainFest in July, the September Buckwheat Festival, and October’s Bridge Day, and also did pop-ups at local events and private parties. Just a few months after its debut, Fernweh was named West Virginia Mobile Boutique of the Year by the website Boutique Hub.
It was a great start and, as far as the Fernweh friends are concerned, 2018 can only be better. “Everybody was so welcoming and receptive and encouraging last year,” says Peddicord. “But we are really looking forward to this year, because we don’t have that initial expense of the truck—we’ll get a better gauge of what we can really do.”
Fernweh has an expanded inventory this year, Peddicord says: It’ll still have the eclectic women’s clothing and accessories, Mexican blankets, and small selection for men, plus graphic tees and flannels. More handmade jewelry this year, too. “Our specialty is a lariat-type choker necklace, and this year our mothers have gotten into some wrap bracelets.”
They’re also expanding their venues, focusing on more large festivals and ranging as far as Pittsburgh’s second-Sunday Neighborhood Flea.
Part of the friends’ motivation for all of this is to find fun new uses for things. “We like re-using rather than adding to the dumps,” Peddicord says. “The inside of our truck, it’s reclaimed wood. And I think we’re going to experiment with tie-dying this year. We’ve started collecting white items that are maye a little dingy or might have a stain. We’ll put them to good use rather than throwing them away.”
Fernweh has turned out to be a great way for three friends to be creative and live their values. “We’re having a blast with it. And it’s not always just the three of us,” Peddicord says. “Our friends, mothers, fathers—everybody gets a piece of the action.”
Hopefully to come later this year: online sales.
The best way to follow Fernweh Boutique is to check in on Facebook and Instagram. “Fernweh Boutique WV” on Facebook, @fernwehboutique_wv on Instagram
written by Demi Fuentes Ramirez and Pam Kasey
photos provided by Fernweh Boutique