This interview was originally published by Voyage Denver but it shares so much of MWB's soul, we had to share.
Inspiring Conversations with Ali Davidson Larsen of Mermaid Walking Boutique
Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali Davidson Larsen.
Hi Ali, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
About 10 years ago I read an article in Nylon Magazine about fashion trucks in New York City. As a longtime fashion lover (My mom called me Punky Brewster when I was little.) that hates being tied down, I thought the idea sounded fabulous, one I couldn’t forget.
Fast forward half a decade… I graduated college and was caught up in the corporate world when my older brother was instantly killed in a motorcycle accident due to absolutely no fault of his own. No warning. He only got 30 years in this world but he lived them on his terms and left a tremendous impact on everyone that knew him.
“Life is short,” took on a whole new meaning. I no longer assumed I had time to accomplish my dreams. I bought a vintage ’69 Airstream off Craig’s List and poured my heart (and grief) into remodeling it into a mobile boutique. I did all the work myself on nights and weekends that I wasn’t traveling for my corporate job. It took a lot longer than I anticipated but AReal (a real) Airstream attended her first festival in September 2019 and Mermaid Walking Boutique was officially born. I left my beige office life before the year was out and I’ve never looked back.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Unfortunately, Airstreams are cool but my AReal is 27ft and not the easiest to get around. I had some difficulty finding events with enough room for us and I needed my husband (He was such a trooper!) to tow me everywhere. Then Covid happened and all large gatherings were canceled completely. I needed something smaller and even more mobile–a true fashion truck–so I could go out on my own without it being a huge production every time. Now I have a refashioned bus named Louise so Mermaid Walking Boutique can go anywhere anytime.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Mermaid Walking Boutique?
Mermaid Walking Boutique is a local fashion truck with a curated selection of unique women’s clothing and accessories to inspire women to live big and defy the odds. You know that feeling when you try on a fabulous jacket and you think, “I can run the world in this!” Or you put on a new outfit and decide, “Now I have to go out and do something special today.” That’s the type of piece you’ll find in Mermaid Walking Boutique.
A mermaid is an ultimate badass, so incredible that most people don’t even believe she exists. She’s irresistible but too smart and carefree to even notice how amazing she is. People have to call her magical or fairytale because they can’t comprehend how she defies so many odds. I think we all have some *mermaid (read that *badass) inside us and I want Mermaid Walking Boutique to inspire you to tap into yours more often.
I am a strong believer that life should not be wasted swimming in the shallow end. Go deep, climb mountains, run the board room, launch the company, do all the things they said you couldn’t or wouldn’t. Our clothes are your new hype girl, reminding you how badass you are even when you feel like a fish out of water instead of the limit-breaking mermaid walking that you are.
If you want a piece of wearable inspiration from Mermaid Walking Boutique you can always order from MermaidWalkingBoutique.com or catch our fashion truck swimming around Denver and at events (festivals, bazaars, outdoor markets, dance parties, etc.) up and down the front range.
The pandemic has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Business-wise, I learned all the typical things like how to work my website, play the social media game, and those cliché’, overused “pivot” and “adapt” words. But more importantly, it was just another reminder that at any moment life as we know it can drastically change in ways we can’t even imagine coming. We’re all just one phone call from our knees. In good or bad ways–to say “please no” or “thank you yes!” It’s important to have gratitude for the way life is today because it could all be taken away in an instant. But in the same breath have hope for tomorrow because it just as easily might be the greatest day of your life. We simply have no idea, so go ahead and live today to the fullest–it’s really all we can do.