Taking Fashion on the Road
Photography by Ana Gil-Taylor
Local entrepreneur Angela Antonello recently founded Fashion Rescue 911, offering customers both fashion truck and in-store boutique shopping options. This month, she shared her passion for entrepreneurship and fashion with us.
SWM: How and when did you develop a love of fashion?
Angela: I was born with the love for fashion. I knew at an early age I wanted to be a hairdresser and loved putting makeup on and dressing up.
SWM: What inspired you to start Fashion Rescue 911? How did you get the idea of a fashion truck?
Angela: I saw my first fashion truck about five years ago. I remember thinking, “What a great idea for the women on-the-go.” My concept of “We Stop, You Shop” began brewing in my head.
Fast forward five years to when I became involved in a home sales clothing company that sold those crazy leggings. After three trips of lugging several totes and racks up and down my basement stairs, the idea of the street boutique was reborn. I left that company and began my search for clothing and accessories that would appeal to a much wider market.
SWM: Tell us about the process of finding the truck and turning it into Fashion Rescue 911.
Angela: Once I put my mind to something, there’s no stopping me. I searched online for a truck that could accommodate several shoppers at once and have a dressing room. I bought my truck the day I found it and drove it directly to my brother’s shop, where he transformed my vision into reality — the Fashion Rescue 911 Street Boutique.
SWM: When and why did you decide to add a boutique?
Angela: My first season operating the street boutique ran from September to late November. I developed a following pretty quickly. Once the snow started flying, it became difficult to continue my season.
Over the winter months, I rented space in Baldwinsville and held pop-up shopping a few days a week. My intent was to get through the winter and start my truck season back up in early spring. Listening to my customers, I quickly learned they enjoyed having The Boutique as a go-to location along with the truck.
SWM: Tell us about the process of developing the space into your vision.
Angela: I was on the fence about searching for a more visible, larger storefront location. I knew I wanted to stay in Baldwinsville, as I was impressed with how welcoming the community and other local businesses were. Before long, I heard the space I had my eye on was available for rent. I enlisted my brother once again and my friend Heather with Zeolla Designs to help me create my industrial chic feel.
SWM: How do you decide which pieces and styles to sell?
Angela: I specialize in boutique-quality clothing without that high-fashion price tag. I’ve always loved boutiques over chain stores, but became discouraged when they didn’t carry my size or I could only afford a single item. My clothing ranges from small to 3X and workout wear to the little black dress. I believe it’s a new era in fashion in which there are no rules. If you like it, wear it.
SWM: What’s the best advice for someone entering the world of small business ownership?
Angela: Have insane passion, choose an interest you can be passionate about and don’t be afraid to fail.
SWM: You’ve been involved with various nonprofit organizations in the area, including Hope for Heather. Talk about the importance of giving back.
Angela: No matter how tough you think your life is, there’s always someone who has to face challenges even tougher than yours. I believe in paying it forward. No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. SWM
For more information about Fashion Rescue 911, visit fashionrescue911.com. Visit Angela at The Boutique in Baldwinsville at 52 Oswego St. Check online for store hours and truck locations.
Interview was edited for length and clarity.