Words by: Julieta Hernandez
An array of original, hand-constructed pieces, made primarily from vintage or repurposed fabrics and materials, can be found inside Chels Marie Traveling Boutique. This fashion boutique, housed in a small, brightly colored trailer, is tailored to women who are looking for unique, one of a kind pieces.
Chelsea Marie Nye, boutique owner and operator, has been drawn in the direction of a boutique ever since her college years when she studied both business and fashion design. During this time, Chelsea made custom pieces for clients in between taking care of her four children.
“I wanted a place where I could do that and still be able to have the outlet,” Chelsea says about her clothes making. “Still be creative, still be able to meet women where they were at, still be able to serve them in that way.”
After opening up shop in her small, self-decorated trailer last summer, Chelsea began introducing her clothing to broader audiences through Wildflower Market Days and Rockport Market Days, and more intimate audiences in settings like private parties. The attraction to her boutique is not only the inviting vintage-style trailer, but also the clothing and accessories inside that are made using her own hands and ideas. “I’ll find different styles that I’m drawn to, and from there I do lots of sketches. Sketch, sketch, sketch,” Chelsea states.
She describes her process as ever changing with a fresh approach to making patterns, picking fabrics, and laying out designs as she creates. Her inspiration is drawn from her own style as well as the vintage materials she repurposes. “It’s kind of my mission statement for my business, but also for life,” Chelsea says with a smile. “I want to take things that have been cast off and bring them anew, just like our Heavenly Father does. That’s kind of the same mentality going into my life as the designs.”
Anew is also the name of Chelsea’s collection of vintage pieces, which feature a tag with a picture of her grandparents, two big inspirations to her journey. Chelsea describes her grandfather as a business minded entrepreneur and her grandmother as the creative one who had an eye for fashion aesthetics. “She could take things from say, Neiman Marcus and the Dollar Store, and put them together and make them look amazing,” Chelsea says.
Chelsea also finds inspiration by redefining fashion for the modern woman during a time of fast fashion and competitiveness. In perspective, Chels Marie’s Travelling Boutique is an outlet for women to come in and feel unique, beautiful, and loved – a counterculture to the rapid clothing market that conditions them to believe otherwise. “I just want to tear down those lines,” Chelsea explains.
She is also driven to come up with designs that bring back gentle femininity while accentuating the wearer. She wants to reinvent modesty, which she remembers as long skirts and oversized garments.
Currently, Chelsea continues to bring her trailer to market days and special events like private parties. The future of the boutique includes a prospective storefront location. Chelsea says that process involves waiting to “find the perfect fit.”
Check out the Chels Marie Traveling Boutique Facebook page to find her events.