Le Suite Boutique


By Isamaris Rivera

A pink and black truck with Le Suite Boutique painted on the side sits outside of 1 Bruckner Boulevard in the Bronx. Inside the cozy space, Mareana Rosario Torres and Iran Ortiz are outfitting Bronxites with fashions from Los Angeles and New York City while dishing out styling tips.

Fashion boutique owners are taking their show on the road. With the rising cost of rent, a new wave of small business owners has turned to mobile businesses to cut some expenses.

After studying fashion merchandising, Ortiz dreamed of opening her own clothing boutique.  But, with the high cost of rent in the city and the arduous task of choosing the perfect location, owning a regular store seemed out of reach.  “I always had the idea of opening up a store,” said Ortiz. “I just never knew where in New York to open it up, and I started seeing the fashion truck trends from the West Coast. I thought why not bring it here?”

Fashion trucks have been popping up in the West Coast since 2010 and have been making their way around the nation since then. “I brought it up to Mareana while we were having lunch one day, and she said that’s not a bad idea,” said Ortiz. “From then on, we were obsessed with the idea and made it come to life.”

Ortiz and Torres rebuilt an old bread truck they found online and created Le Suite Boutique.  “They thought we were crazy!” said Torres. “But, we stuck true to what we believed, and what we thought would work and we did it.


Mobile businesses are not only cheaper, but can offer some other strategic benefits, said Torres. “I think we have a greater advantage than a regular store because you can target who your customer is going to be for the day.”

However, having a store on wheels has its disadvantages too. The weather, for instance, can really influence sales and can cause safety concerns.  “If it rains or snows, you can’t come out because of the generator,” said Ortiz. “It’s a safety hazard. And if it’s too cold, it’s too cold to try on clothes in here.”

So the duo came up with the perfect solution to the winter blues. “We started selling online so that we are still out there, and we are still selling our clothes, and giving our fashion advice at the same time, even though we are not on the streets as often,” said Ortiz.

Since it is such an intimate space, the ladies have developed close relationships with many of their regular customers and even communicate with them through social media. Ortiz takes care of all of the marketing and public relations. “We use Instagram and Facebook a lot,” said Ortiz. “We post things like where we are, or when new things come on the truck,” said Ortiz.

The ladies sell a clothing style they described as urban and trendy, as well as accessories, and jewelry handmade by Ortiz herself. “I’ve been making and designing jewelry for about seven years now, so I have a lot of repeating costumers especially around the holidays,” she said.

Ortiz grabs a gold-layered chain necklace from the display and enthusiastically shows it off. “This is my favorite piece because it’s a multilayer necklace and you can wear it with even a white T-shirt, and pajama pants, and it still makes you look flawless,” she said.

Le Suite Boutique caters to a New York City girl on the go who is looking for comfort and style, said Ortiz.  “You want to be able to walk into a meeting and look presentable, but then take off the heels and put on some sneakers and go out with your friends at night and be casual,” she said. “See, we’ll style you for free! The clothes aren’t free but we’ll give you style advice.”  They both burst into laughter.


Le Suite Boutique on Twitter

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