Our Story



So a funny thing happened on the way to the mobile boutique...

Over the years, I've had some special visits by some wise grasshoppers. 

The first occurred on a family trip to the Caribbean for a celebration. At the time, my family was encouraging me to follow my entrepreneurial dream of starting my own boutique.  When we landed, we jumped into a taxi to cross the island. As I climbed into the front seat, a big, green grasshopper followed me and landed on the outside of the windshield right in front of me. The Rastafarian driver said “Ya man,...do you know what that means?  Good luck, great beginnings, great fortune!” That crazy grasshopper hung on the whole ride across the island and jumped off with me. On our last day, another grasshopper (or was it the same one?) appeared and watched the commotion of our departure, unfazed. After the trip, the taxi driver’s words stuck with me. I couldn’t help but feel that those grasshoppers were sending me a message – do it! That trip & those grasshoppers were the beginning of the plans for my shop.

Several years later, after my idea had evolved into a grand collaboration with my artistic brother, John, he took a leap of faith by purchasing a ’57 Chevy school bus from Wyoming, thinking it would be perfect for my shop (it turned out not to be, but that’s another story!). The bus arrived via trailer, and as we explored the bus for the first time together, we found no spiders, or cobwebs, but a live grasshopper waiting to greet us with a smile.  He was still there the next morning. Don’t ask me why or how, but John and I both felt it was a sign that we were meant to work together. Since that moment, we haven’t looked back. 😊

Now, you may be skeptical and call these coincidences, and maybe they were, but then again, maybe they weren’t, right? The workings of the universe are mysterious!

Since my grasshopper encounters, I’ve done some research. Guess what, the Rastafarian taxi driver was right. In Native American tribal lore, grasshoppers symbolize messages of glad tidings and are considered harbingers of good news. In certain areas of China, grasshoppers were kept as pets & believed to be family members that had passed ensuring prosperity. And as an animal totem, grasshoppers choose innovators and those who take creative leaps of faith. They appeal to artists, musicians and dancers.

If that grasshopper appeared so that my brother & I would collaborate artistically, I trust you oh wise grasshopper...

Well, there it is! 

May the grasshopper always bring you glad tidings and joy! 

Karen Tardrew- Owner, Founder of Grasshopper Goods

Karen Tardrew is a tenured associate professor at National-Louis University and holds an Educational Doctorate in instructional leadership. In addition to her role as an associate professor, Karen is also the President of the International Visual Literacy Association. As a self described visual learner, she is extremely dedicated to this work and very passionate about the impact of images and art in learning and understanding. 

Karen's passion for visual imagery and art gives a glimpse into the meaning behind her business, Grasshopper Goods. As the mobile boutique truck moves through the cities and streets of Wisconsin, it brings the latest trends in apparel, jewelry, accessories and housewares right to the shopper, and only stocks merchandise that is admired and hard to find. The mobile boutique supports all sorts of artists, makers and dreamers. Karen encourages people to call on the grasshopper when they need a sense of adventure in their lives.

 You can find Grasshopper Goods hopping around to special events in Wisconsin. You can also book the truck for business collaborations and private parties.  See the full schedule on our Find The Truck tab.