While other storefronts grasp for passersby with shiny gimmicks and big red signs, the Vault simply parks the truck, opens up shop and provides an environment that plays to those who need no coercion. In the final portion of my interview with the boys from the Vault, Derrick and Howard speak to the connection with their customers, the future of the company and what it means to be on the cusp of something new.
U.R: Who would you say is your core demographic?
G.S: We aren’t targeting a demographic. We’re targeting more of a “psychographic.” Our customer is a dude who cares about what he looks like and values exclusivity. He’s someone who is dynamic, creative and fun. He enjoys unique shopping experiences and learning about the newest and coolest things.
U.R: What’s the best way to reach your audience and how much responsibility would you say they have for your success? What role do they play in Green Street?
G.S: In my opinion, word of mouth should never be a marketing tactic. It’s a result of good marketing. I’d say the best thing for us so far has just been driving around. When people see us moving, everyone wonders what we are. There’s a lot of people who are familiar with us now so people learn from each other. It’s word of mouth that has done wonders for us. Since we’re the only truck in Boston doing this, promotion is so easy because someone will say like ‘there’s a truck that sells sneakers.’ Even if they aren’t familiar with the Green Street Vault name, they know of us. That spreading of our existence has definitely led to sales, and we see that when people come in and say ‘my boy was talking about this’ or ‘I’ve heard of this before’
U.R: What are some of the most popular locations for you guys? How long do you spend at each one?
G.S: Newbury street definitely. Depends what spot we’re at. If we’re in a pay-for spot, it’s 3 hours tops. Sometimes we stay longer. If it’s a commercial zone it’s a little less than that.
U.R: What is the dopest item you have right this second?
G.S: I’d say our Green Street Vault tees.
U.R: For a customer not so well versed in street style, what are the essential items they should pick up from the Vault?
G.S: We’ve got something for everyone. You don’t have to be well versed in streetwear to find a tee or a retro snapback from the truck. If that’s not your thing, get a Green Street tee.
U.R: How do you stay innovative?
G.S: I read a lot and look at a lot of pictures and blogs. To stay innovative, I have to stay inspired. Creativity and innovation is like any other skill or trait that people have. It needs to be practiced and used or else it’ll just be curbed.
U.R: Do you see having your own line someday?
G.S: One day
U.R: Would you ever consider opening a storefront? What limitations or abilities would you have if you left the mobile concept?
G.S: I’d consider it… but I’m more interested in opening more trucks. That’s the way trends are going nowadays. If we left the mobile concept, we wouldn’t really be able to do anything about foot traffic. If no one’s out, then no one’s gonna shop. With the truck, if it’s raining, let’s say, we’ll hit a campus. Kids have to be out anyway to go to class, get food, go to the gym.
Whatever the future holds, it’s a ride these guys are willing to take. The streets will always have feet upon them and someone to outfit each, but as ideas like this catch on, so to goes our interpretation of business as a whole. It’s the risk of being the first and the chance of having it work out that brings change to commerce. And it’s that change that inspires us all. So if you’re in Boston and happen upon a big green truck blaring hip hop and peddling dope kicks to a small congregation, give your boys a shout and support em, because at the end of the day, this is what small (or soon to be not-so small) business is all about.
A big thanks to Derrick and Howard for letting me pick their brains while killing time in the back of the van (creepy).