The Wheels and Mortar series will focus on trucks that have a brick-and-mortar presence. As trucks develop new strategies that incorporate buildings in addition to their mobile locations, this series will focus on those more permanent/less-mobile strategies. This segment looks at Bikini Bus, a fashion truck recognized by the stylish bus.
The first full week of January started off like a fireworks show of mobile concepts opening new permanent locations. One of those was a personal favorite, Bikini Bus. Not because I am a silent observer that appreciates the bikini, but more that I really like the owner behind the bus. The first time I met Melanie Pierce at the Grove Winery’s NC Food Truck Rodeo, her friendly demeanor had me comfortable on expanding from a pair of board shorts to something more appropriate for Rio’s Copacabana.
About Bikini Bus
If you haven’t heard of Bikini Bus, it is as simple as the name. It is an executive shuttle bus (think of the airport park and ride taking you to a the warm Caribbean beach) converted into a mobile bikini boutique. Inside you will find swimwear that will bring your fashion sense over 4,000 miles south. While Melanie’s career background does not come from the retail industry, she referenced years of shopping and her shopper’s perspective assisting her successes.
On the fashion side, she stays with the trends working with designers in Miami and Brazil. This is an important aspect in the business. The one thing that is predictable in fashion is trends and cycles are quick and always changing.
About Cary’s Bus Stop
On January 10th, the Bikini Bus added another bus stop to its route. The second stop is located in Cary at the Salons by JC on Walnut Street in the popular Cary Crossroads area. The 125 square foot location is smaller in area than the 140 square foot bus, but Melanie spins it positively. She explains that by cutting out the space the steps and the air conditioning system use plus the additional four feet of head room in the store, Bus Stop 2 brings more product for the guest.
If you have been to the Bikini Bus, you might enjoy some of the upgrades. For one, some of the shelving is on wheels. This makes it easy to maneuver inside, as well as, browse sizing very quickly. There is also a changing area inside there, which I thought seemed a bit more roomier than the bus.
Future of Bikini Bus
With the bus and two locations, the bus is not stopping. Melanie is working on expanding to college campuses and is open to future opportunities similar to the current stores. The more you hear of what is next, you want the bus to keep moving.
Wicked Parrot Tattoo Shop (inside shop)
1085 Colington Road
Kill Devil Hills, NC
check website for hours
Salons by JC (inside)
2476 Walnut Street Suite #3
Sunday-Tuesday by appointment
Near Sweet Tomatoes (which is what I would target on the GPS) across from Crossroads Ford
Only 20 minutes from RDU!