One Stop Shop: Sarah Boehnlein’s Journey from Side Hustle to Full Time

In 2016, while on a long road trip, Sarah Boehnlein came up with The TruKC concept. One thing she learned after getting transferred to Kansas City in 2002 was that people tended to stay close to home, in their little part of town. Wouldn’t it be a great idea if there was a way to bring a unique shopping experience to various parts of the KC metro while supporting local and regional makers? Sarah’s search for a mobile retail truck began.

Sarah began truck shopping in early 2017, originally looking for an old UPS style of truck. This helped her come up with the name for the business: The TruKC, pronounced “The Truck”, as a play on spelling to include KC in the name. Sarah found the perfect vehicle that combined character and functionality – except it wasn’t a truck. It was a 28-foot, 1984 Allegro RV by Tiffin Motors. Even though Sarah didn’t end up with an actual truck, she decided to keep the name.

The RV was gutted and transformed into a shop on wheels, ready to bring unique local product to your part of town! Sarah filled it with apparel, accessories, home décor and gift items, all made by local and regional makers. She participated in pop-up shopping events around the Kansas City metro area, including Just for Her, Chick Events, Vintage Market Days and Beers & Boutiques. She also hosted private shopping parties and expanded into several Kansas City boutiques with some of her own handmade items.

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In late summer of 2020, after more than 20 years working in the corporate world, Sarah decided it was time for a change. She had always wondered if she could convert her side hustle into a full-time job. So, with the support of her entrepreneurial-minded husband and family, Sarah sold the RV to focus on making products for the local boutiques she was already supplying. Her products can be found at Artisan’s Corner in Harrisonville, Stormy Acres in Odessa and other makers who purchase her products wholesale.

By March 2021, Sarah knew she had made the right decision. She made another leap of faith and decided to open her very own brick and mortar. She found retail space and with the help of her husband began transforming it into her vision of a cozy shop. Sarah added shiplap and wood elements to the plain drywall and designed a faux brick wall to add a vintage touch. She expanded her inventory to carry furniture and continues to support local and regional makers.

Since making this major change in her career, Sarah says she still works long hours but she’s doing something she genuinely enjoys. She encourages other who are contemplating a similar change that it’s not as scary or crazy to make the leap as they may fear. Anything is possible but have a plan and be flexible!

Located at 856 SW Blue Pkwy in Lee’s Summit, The TruKC is your one stop shop. Whether you are looking for a gift, a cute outfit or wanting to spruce up your home – they have you covered! Shop online at thetrukc.com.

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