Arlington native brings fashion on the go with Dakota Darling Boutique

nikholas

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the workforce out of the office and into the wild with remote work. But this newfound flexibility is not limited to employees. Businesses have an opportunity to ditch their brick-and-mortar stores and expand online options by providing a unique shopping experience on the go. For five […]

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the workforce out of the office and into the wild with remote work. But this newfound flexibility is not limited to employees. Businesses have an opportunity to ditch their brick-and-mortar stores and expand online options by providing a unique shopping experience on the go.

For five years, Vanessa Barkl has owned her clothing retail store, the Dakota Darling Boutique. This boutique was originally based online, but Barkl found that her love for travel could bring the shop out of the digital realm and into the real world.

“My first year in business, I found that I loved doing shows where I was putting the tent up and doing a small setup,” said Barkl.

Nick and Vanessa Barkl inside the Dakota Darling Boutique trailer.

In 2020, Barkl and her husband Nick came across a large trailer for sale. Her online business was growing and she was seeing success in pop-up shops across the region, so Barkl decided to push her dreams further.

“There is no place where it says you must be stuck in a bubble and do what everyone else says to run your business. If you are doing something that you enjoy and making money doing it, pursue it,” said Barkl.

The trailer was purchased and returned to the couple’s hometown of Arlington. Then they got to work making the trailer an attractive boutique on wheels.  

Dakota Darling Boutique makes stops across eastern South Dakota and neighboring states.

“The design of the trailer didn’t magically look like this. I wanted something with an appeal that was clean looking, bright and inviting,” said Barkl. “When we put everything together, I didn’t copy anyone else. Everything my husband and I did were our own ideas.”

With the help of her in-laws, the trailer was completed and ready for shopping adventures by the spring of 2020.

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