Lola’s Lookbook, a women’s boutique on wheels that local fashionistas once greeted like kids running to a Good Humor ice cream truck, is now a brick-and-mortar business in North Massapequa.
Owner Ann Marie Inglese, of Massapequa Park, decided to create a permanent Lola’s location after COVID largely sidelined the truck when gathering in small spaces was prohibited. A grand opening for the shop, located at 1133A North Broadway, was held on April 23, when customers were treated to free pink cupcakes topped with edible pearls and pink Champagne.
Inglese, 54, says the store’s 500-square-feet of space is about half the size of the average boutique, so customers can still get a similar intimate experience while visiting as they did when Lola’s was housed in Inglese’s colorful 1997 Freightliner box truck. In a former life, the truck was used for deliveries of Hostess baked goods. As Lola’s, the truck would carry the latest styles in tops, pants and dresses to women around Long Island taking their lunch breaks. It also traveled to homes and other locations for private shopping parties.
"I bought the truck on Nov. 1, 2017, and I’d go all over Long Island to offices and hospitals at lunch hours," says Inglese, who used to be a practicing attorney. "I’d go to St. James, Massapequa, Seaford, Babylon, Lindenhurst, East Meadow, Franklin Square …" She adds, "I’d also take the truck to restaurants, hair salons, street fairs and corporate events."
As a mobile boutique, Lola’s was even equipped with a dressing room although the truck was smaller than a UPS truck.
"After COVID, I started selling more online and doing Facebook Live inside the truck, doing "Tea at 3 with Ann Marie" on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays," Inglese says. "I would talk about fashion and raffle away things because that made people happy, I’d give a shoutout to another local small business, and always end with a positive quote." The first time Inglese tried operating the business from a storefront was during a short period in the summer of 2020 when she shared spaced with Posh Salon in Babylon Village before it moved to Lindenhurst.
At the new North Massapequa store, customers will find the same types of fashion offerings they used to get from the truck but some new things as well, such as handcrafted jackets. Private shopping parties at the store can be arranged.
So, what’s the fate of the truck?
It’ll remain in park for a while, though Inglese says it might hit the road again in the future for small private shopping parties and street fairs.
Prices average about $45 for tops and $60 for pants and dresses. Store hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shop is closed on Sunday and Monday. Shop online at lolaslookbook.com.