I’m so thrilled that Grasshopper Goods’ brick-and-mortar storefront location found its place in Stoughton, Wisconsin—the most charming, inclusive, artsy city that really embodies all of the values Grasshopper Goods is about.
Before we landed in our forever home, we started with a truck.
We’ve been feeling pretty wistful lately thinking about beginnings. Throughout the pandemic, people have been starting over or embarking on an entirely new journey that’s all their own. Maybe you’re one of them, and you’ve ended up somewhere completely and wonderfully new. A positive outcome of tough times, I’ve found, is that beautiful stories always unfold on the other side.
For years, I had dreamt of opening my own boutique. One that would allow me to connect with my local community and explore my passions in a brand-new way. After countless conversations with family and friends and a trip to the Caribbean where I got a sign from the universe, loud and clear, I decided a mobile boutique was the perfect step.
Our mobile truck, Vinny, first started welcoming customers back in March 2017.
Before Vinny, we tried out a ‘57 Chevy school bus—which came with the serendipitous stowaway of a live grasshopper inside. Soon after this magical message, we converted a ‘77 Chevy step van from its original state as a pizza truck, but we wanted to make sure we kept its spirit.
As an homage to his Italian heritage and our favorite heartthrob character in “Welcome Home, Kotter,” we named the truck Vinny. For a year, we completely rehabbed our new mobile boutique, from a total gut rehab to its bright, welcoming interior design by way of Sterling Grey and Beyond Broncos’ genius.
When it was time for Vinny to get wrapped, we got emotional. Grasshopper Goods collaborated with Blue Platypus for a custom design, which featured whimsical art like hidden grasshoppers, four-leaf clovers for my Irish ancestry, and Midwest flowers to forever root Vinny in a sense of home.
In March 2017, Vinny was ready to hit the road—but we obviously had to celebrate first.
We threw Vinny a party, and in doing so, we threw it back to 1977 after Vinny’s birth year. Everything was on-theme, from the groovy outfits to the tuna casserole and Twinkies and PBR to the mixtape. On that day, I couldn’t stop smiling. Having a fully transformed mobile boutique meant my dreams of owning Grasshopper Goods were finally coming true. I couldn’t wait to spread glad tidings and joy throughout the Midwest and connect with so many wonderful humans in this new venture.
It’s now been four years since Vinny took his first road trip. When I pull up to an event, people are instantly drawn to Vinny. There’s something about the truck that makes it such a magical place to explore. And there’s something about the truck’s environment that allows people to open up and have raw, vulnerable conversations with me. Thanks to Vinny, Grasshopper Goods is a place where people form deep connections that break through the hyperconnected, fast-paced world we’re a part of. And I’m so thankful for these moments and for the humbling gift of being able to honor the stories of others.
Though Vinny hasn’t been able to roam since the pandemic began, I can’t stop thinking about how Vinny was there from the start. The truck is such a major part of the Grasshopper Goods story.
I hope you can honor your beginnings, too.
Whether you’re in the midst of a new story or picking up to start again, there is bravery found in every fresh start. When we allow ourselves to be open to the magic of new beginnings, we’ll find more than we could have ever possibly dreamed of. Thank you, Vinny, for teaching me that beginnings lead to so many beautiful memories.