This may sound a little odd, but I love me a good bus. Matter of fact, buses/trailers have played a big part in my career as an entertainment/fashion reporter. Some of the most famous and fashionable people on the planet (rock stars and movie stars) spend a lot of time on the road or on movie sets and well, interviewing people of this caliber means you gotta get on the bus/trailer and just go with the flow or better yet, the ride!
One of my first cool bus experiences was with The Black Eyed Peas, when they were first becoming famous. They were parked outside the American Airlines Arena (getting ready to open for a big headliner,) when they invited me onboard. They showed me around their "house on wheels" and Fergie even gave me a peak into her private changing area (which was a flimsy curtain draped at the tail end of the bus.) Believe me, it wasn't anything fancy, but it was fun and their infectious personalities and music made them a household name.
Before I interview a big movie star or a big movie director, a bus is almost always involved. Whether I'm traipsing my way across the country to New York or Los Angeles or zipping my way across the Atlantic Ocean to London, I'm always bused (alongside my fellow entertainment journalists/producers) to see the movie I'm reporting on, the red carpet I'll be working and sometimes, even to the interview location itself.
A lot of provocative conversations go down between journalists on those buses. In fact, you can learn a helluva lot about celebrities and who they really are (the way they interact with reporters, the ones who flirt and most importantly, the ones who are all smoke and mirrors verses the ones who are totally captivating and gracious.) Man, I've learned a lot about being an entertainment reporter simply by being on the road. BTW, I always call those bus sessions: "Wheeling & Spilling."
Then of course, there's the relegate 'hang-out with the actor/actress' on the set of a movie or a television show. There's always a lot of down time in between filming scenes, so what better way to get to know a person then to spend time with them in their bus/trailer. I find this spectacularly interesting, because you can get a real glimpse into someone's personality. Moreover, the famous tend to be much more themselves when they're in someplace safe (in their dressing room,) which is usually on wheels.
One thing's for sure, whether I'm coming or going, I've always found these experiences to be so fresh and exciting because they're never the same. The possibility of what you're talking about and learning is just as provocative as where you're going to end up and what you'll be doing when you get there. That's why I love the idea of a FASHION bus/trailer. It makes perfect sense to me. I've been living my professional career "Right off the Bus" for more than a decade, so why not get my fashion on in one, too?
"Bungalow 33 Boutique" does just that, by offering fashionistas a unique way to shop with its anytime, anywhere, anyplace concept. Michelle Applebaum, a beautiful, petite sandy brunette with a great personality, is the on-the-go-gal genius who is one of the first to bring this budding "Right off the Bus" trend to South Florida.
Shireen Sandoval: What is the concept of "Bungalow 33 Boutique"?
Michelle Applebaum: "Bungalow 33" offers customers a unique new way to shop whereby they can enjoy the experiential aspect of a brick and mortar store with the convenience of its flexible location. They can do this in a variety of ways including private events – girls’ night in, bachelorette parties, birthdays, office breaks, fundraisers, and more – or catch us at one of our pop-up shop locations.
SS: How did you come up with the idea?
MA: There is great shopping in Miami, so when I decided that I was going to open up a boutique, I knew I had to do it differently. I’ve always loved how food trucks could deliver quality cuisine in mobile form; the same brand, yet always in new and exciting locations. I thought, “why not do the same with fashion?” Hence, I created a “bou-truck.” I actually didn’t realize until later that mobile fashion boutiques were already big on the streets of New York and Los Angeles, but I’d like to think that I’m helping introduce the concept to South Floridians.
SS: What would a fashionista find on board?
MA: Although I’m a small boutique (just 18×7,) it’s important to me that I offer a wide selection that can take a woman from day to night and all scenarios in between, whether it's taking your child to the park, leading an important business meeting, enjoying a special date or a night on the town, etc. The selection is mainly clothing, though; I carry select accessories to help polish a finishing look. I’m also conscious that my pieces are accessible at a mid-price point level. You can find a tee in here for $19 or a jumpsuit for $180.
SS: Will the bus go anywhere?
MA: For private events, Bungalow 33 covers mainly Miami-Dade, though we’ve been known to head up north to Broward locations and even Boca Raton. We’ve partnered with a few locations for regular pop-ups, such as “Style Rendition Weekends” at The Vagabond Hotel and “Fashion House Thursday's” at Segrafredo Brickell. We also participate in other open events and shopping opportunities around the area, which shoppers can track and catch us via our social media sites.
SS: Do you drive it yourself? You're so dainty!
MA: I do! Getting behind the wheel was pretty intimidating at first, but I’m getting the hang of it.
SS: How would you describe the three looks we used for the blog (from the bus)?
MA: The first look (white pleather crop-top paired with pink/white floral skirt) is fun and flirty and without a doubt, makes a statement. I like the twist of pairing this ultra feminine skirt with just a peek of sexiness that the crop top gives. The second look (croc print halter gown) is a versatile piece that looks great strolling around in, with strappy flats and a hat or dressed up with heels and a great pair of diamond dangles. In either situation, it’s easy, comfortable and extraordinarily fashionable. The third look (white off-the-shoulder dress with lace trim) is a stunning resort look with a little boho to it. Again, another piece that you can dress up or down.
SS: What is the best thing about a fashion boutique on wheels?
MA: Its versatility and creativity. No two experiences at this boutique are alike. From having a brunch and pop-up at a place like the Vagabond, to a girls night-in party…from being treated to a fun work break just outside your office, to aligning with a charitable cause, there are so many possibilities to mix shopping with what you love.
SS: Where's the coolest place you've taken "Bungalow 33 Boutique"?
MA: That's really hard to answer. I really enjoy how the different parties of people bring a unique atmosphere to each day and place. I love the fact that I can meet people and style people from all over.
SS: What is the one must-have item off the bus for these hot South Florida summer months?
MA: Can I give two?! I’d say one of our light-weight rompers and a stylish hat for some shade (and skin protection!)
SS: If you could drive to any celebrity's house and style them from head-to-toe, who would it be and why?
MA: Rachel Zoe. I admire her work and would "die" to get some tips from the fashion guru herself!!
FB: Bungalow 33 Mobile Boutique
Photographer: James Woodley
Hair & Make-up: Odette Hernandez
Styling/Co-Producer/Assist: Jackie Kay
blog ideas: Jackiekay211@yahoo.com
Editor: Matthew Auerbach