Her business, Sandiâ€™s Styles, is a mobile boutique. West literally packs a big pink truck with dresses, tops, jeans, handbags, jewelry, accessories and shoes and then travels to where the shoppers are.
That might be a festival. Or it might be a private party. When The Voice-Tribune caught up with West, she had just recently driven her boutique to a Texas Roadhouse corporate party. In the near future, her truck will make its way to the Gray Street Farmerâ€™s Market in Louisville and the Anderson County Burgoo Festival.
Is your friend getting married and you donâ€™t have a thing to wear? No problem. Sandi can dress you from head to toe for that occasion â€“ or any other. She particularly gets a lot of customers who are going to baby showers and bridal showers.
At Sandiâ€™s Styles, you get free advice with your bargains. West makes sure that you know what shoes and jewelry go with what dress, as a lot of people can be baffled by accessories. â€œWe help them out with that. We try to put everything together,â€ says West.
West lives on five acres in Henry County. Itâ€™s a far cry from Rodeo Drive, but she didnâ€™t see why people living in the country should go without great clothes. Thatâ€™s how she came up with the idea for a mobile boutique that would circulate around Henry, Oldham and Shelby Counties, dipping into Franklin and Carroll from time to time. The traveling boutique goes as far as Lexington.
Her merchandise is not only accessible â€“ itâ€™s affordable, too. No item in her boutique costs more than $50.
Westâ€™s inspiration is Lilly Pulitzer, a designer known for her southern style, neon prints and bright pinks, greens, yellows and blues.
â€œItâ€™s a beachy-like vibe,â€ West explains. â€œI want my boutique to be more like the south â€“ the real southern pinks, greens and yellows. I carry a lot of cheerful colors and patterns.â€
So, when she goes to the AmericasMart in Atlanta twice a year to stock up her store, she looks for affordable pieces in a vein similar to Pulitzer. Westâ€™s clothes are a lot less expensive, though. She notes: â€œHer dresses are $200 a dress, so you could buy five or six dresses from my truck for the price of one of her dresses.â€
West gets a lot of her inventory from Atlanta, but she also orders clothes online. â€œI hand-select everything, and I have tons of suppliers from all over the U.S.,â€ she explains.
She typically sells out at every event she attends, so she has to stay ahead of the curve to keep up an inventory. â€œI have to constantly reorder every week. I keep my truck fully stocked at all times,â€ she says.
West isnâ€™t alone in the venture or on the country roads where she travels. Her mother, Jessie Covington, goes with her and helps her with the business.
â€œShe doesnâ€™t want me to do it by myself, so she tags along. She loves it,â€ says West.
West has made it easy for her fans to find her. Her website, sandisstyles.com, tells visitors where to find her and how to book the truck. You can see whatâ€™s currently for sale at the Sandiâ€™s Styles Facebook page.
West also fills a lot of online and mail orders. Sheâ€™d like to do more with that side of the business.
â€œIt actually is my goal to increase it. Iâ€™m looking into search engine optimizing and Google analytics. I want to amp up the online orders and website. My eventual goal is to have a warehouse,â€ she says.
Southern style in the convenience of your own home or that of a friend â€“ does it get any better? VT
For more information call 502.593.5310 or visit www.sandisstyles.com/