Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have your own private party with hand-selected clothing brought straight to your door? April Perri, owner of La Mère Clothing and Goods, located at 436 Main Street in Beacon, has jumped on the mobile trailer trend to bring on-trend fashion to every corner of the Hudson Valley. Similar to Hudson Valley favorites like Parked Prosecco and Nuzzi’s Tin Tavern, Perri’s La Mère Petite gives the local mobile concept a fashionable twist.
Also the owner of La Mère Clothing + Goods in Beacon, Perri came to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology at the age of 18, knowing from the start that she wanted to be involved in fashion. For the next 15 years, she designed for major retailers like Macy’s, Abercrombie, and White House Black Market. In 2007, she moved to Newburgh but continued to commute to Manhattan, catching the train in Beacon.
“In the back of my mind, I always thought I’d love to have my own store,” Perri recalls. Choosing Beacon as the location for La Mère boutique always made sense. “It was the closest thing to a city experience, and I loved the vibe. You can hear live music, have wine, go shopping.” The universe aligned in her favor, and Perri was able to find a place almost immediately on Main Street.
After being welcomed wholeheartedly from the Beacon community, she began participating in pop-ups. This is exactly where Perri truly discovered her love for curation and pulling pieces from the storefront to bring somewhere else. She reminisces on a specific pop-up event at The Wheel House in Poughkeepsie, where she hauled tables and racks and shoved them into the back of her Honda CRV.
“I was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore’,” Perri says. “I wondered how I could expand, and I always knew about fashion trucks in bigger cities.”
Perri wondered how she could do it herself, but, as she thought about it, her options quickly dimmed.
“I don’t have a partner, so I don’t have anyone in my life who can fix cars. I can’t get a Volkswagen Bus. I can’t fix an engine,” Perri remembers thinking.
She befriended Pinterest and in no time had an array of different ideas. With the vision of an old vintage Shasta trailer in mind, a limited budget, and not enough time on her hands, she decided to buy a 6×10’ utility trailer. She added on sunlights and extra headroom to begin making it shopping-ready with a fitting room and all.
Perri’s overall goal was to keep the trailer fun, fashionable, and fresh. Her solution? She decided to get the outside wrapped at DB Graphics, which is located in Poughkeepsie. Then it was time to spearhead decorating and designing the inside of the truck. La Mère Petite complements its storefront with velvet carpet, hardwood floors, reclaimed wood shelving, a full-length mirror, a fitting room, a big shaggy rug, and an outdoor area for people to wait while their loved one’s shop.
“I add to her each year,” says Perri. “This year I added a tiki umbrella for outside, little chairs, a new curtain and mirror, and some plants.” With the side door and the back doors open, there is always a flow to make shopping easy and accessible, even when the rig is at its busiest.
With spring and summer being her booming seasons for La Mère Petite, Perri will be at three to four events a week. She has attended Country Living Fair, Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival, the Tail Winds Music Festival, the Stormville Flea Market, and more. Her private events are something that she enjoys the most. Hitching the trailer to her Jeep, she will be on her way to any event in the tri-state area. Some private parties she has done include wineries, the opening of medical spas, backyard parties, and more.
“You name it,” Perri says. “As long as there are women who want to shop, that’s where I will go.”
Women supporting women is something that is extremely important to Perri. From embracing each other as local women business owners to sharing connections through joint events and ensuring her boutique carries the biggest sizes and the smallest, she has always felt it essential to support other women.
When she was decided what to name of her storefront back in the fall of 2018, she thought, “What is a really strong, powerful, women’s word?” “Mother” immediately came to her mind, but to make it chicer, she translated it to French: La Mère. Perri is a mother of three and has always enjoyed meeting more mothers in Beacon, and especially helping them shop when they are in need.
“I love that relationship building with my customers,” notes Perri. “My three rules of thumb are: I wouldn’t put it on the floor if I wouldn’t wear it myself, I wouldn’t make you pay anything I wouldn’t pay, and you have to love it.”
If anyone is interested in renting La Mère Petite for their own private party, all they have to do is call Perri. Upon calling, those interested will set up a time that is best, discuss what the group of friends is looking for, the age range, and what brands they specifically like. Perri always personalizes each private party for the specific event.
“Everything is different every time, which I love,” remarks Perri, “It makes people come back because they’re like ‘What does she have this time?’”
La Mère Clothing + Goods
436 Main St, Beacon