Sande Brandt and Rosie Vann-Dalton have been dressing Dallas-Fort Worth's most amazing women with their mobile boutique business Couture in a Can.
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Since 2012, Couture in a Can co-owners Sande Brandt and Rosie Vann-Dalton have been treating the women of Dallas-Fort Worth to an experience of individual, one-stop shopping--in a trailer.
“We were sitting at my table, and thought, gosh, how many times have you heard ‘I wish you could just come to my house’?” Brandt explains about the origins of their business.
After both Brandt and Vann-Dalton left their jobs as managers in corporate retail, Brandt commented to Vann-Dalton that she’d prefer to just go into retail herself.
“Rosie texted me that night and asked, ‘are you serious?’” Brandt explained. So, the two set off together to find a location for a brick and mortar store. When they struggled to find someplace that fit all their needs and met with their dreams, they recast their vision and decided to make their business mobile.
Brandt’s husband is in retail construction, and owned an Airstream trailer that was an ideal space for their vision of a mobile boutique. Along with Brandt’s husband, they renovated the trailer and opened Couture in a Can for business in 2012.
Brandt and Vann-Dalton could not have imagined how the business would grow, but they rolled with the punches to find their current success as a unique Dallas-Fort Worth boutique.
“We started out just doing private styling,” Vann-Dalton explained. “Instead of [clients] coming to the store, we brought the store to them. Then it became, ‘Can I invite some girlfriends over?’ We said, ‘Sure,’ and it developed into this girlfriend shopping environment. We would bring cocktails or wine and they would invite their girlfriends over and we would dress them up. And then we were doing some networking events and such with women’s groups and made some connections with local restaurants and bars, and we started doing a Girl's Night Out event... The restaurant will do a Happy Hour for our ladies so they can come out and get a cocktail and shop. The business has just kind of evolved very naturally.”
Today, their business takes them all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area and as far as Southern California and Colorado. They source their merchandise from all over the country, as well, so they can offer their clients a wider variety of current styles than they may typically get in Dallas-Fort Worth.
With Couture in a Can, Brandt and Vann-Dalton have perfected the notion of “one-stop shopping.” They offer their professional styling services to all of their clients--helping them dress for their body type and personal style. They joke that if they sold bras, panties, and shoes, women would never have to shop anywhere else. Their best customer is the busy modern woman who wants a fabulous wardrobe without the fuss.
“Our target market is the lady who likes to utilize the trailer on her own,” Brandt said. “She’ll come in and buy a season’s worth of clothes. We’ll dress her for her entire life--from the Board room to a sporting event to date night with the hubby. It’s a one-stop-shop and they’re done. They’re our most loyal customer.”
On top of providing a single store for all a customer’s wardrobe needs, Brandt and Vann-Dalton focus on helping each woman feel like the best version of herself. They teach clients to use key pieces in multiple ways, so an outfit can effortlessly go from work to play. And they encourage women to step out of their comfort zones. By combining their styling experience, the comfortable space of the RV trailer, and the one-on-one interaction with clients, Brandt and Vann-Dalton help women combat negative self-image.
“We also create a safe environment for [clients] to try something they wouldn’t choose for themselves,” Vann-Dalton said. "A lot of women have this negative dialogue from way back when--who knows when--that they can’t wear a certain color or a certain style or they hate whatever they hate, because we all hate something about ourselves. And they limit themselves. This environment is warm and we can say, ‘Just try it, if you don’t like it no big deal, but just try it.'" This allows them to leave with something they never would have chosen for themselves. Something that’s very flattering, that they get tons of compliments on because it's different. It’s a little bit of an upgrade without any stress.
Both Brandt and Vann-Dalton agree that the most rewarding part of the job is knowing that someone leaves with something they thought they couldn't wear and to see how happy they are that they have a new look. “It’s pretty much the best part of our business," Vann-Dalton exclaimed.
A graduate of Trinity Christian College in English & Political Science, Kailyn has written for Brilliance Publishing & GEMS' Girls Clubs among others. She enjoys hiking and cooking.