A drive for fashion
A former college athlete is now a rolling retailer
Britton Murdock has always had a love for retail, especially growing up around her grandfather’s store, Murdock’s, which operated in Carson City and Reno for over 70 years. And during her collegiate softball career at the University of Nevada, Reno, she frequently styled her teammates and coaches. After working in the athletic department’s business office at UNR, she bought a fashion truck and left sports to pursue her passion for clothes.
During her time as a softball player, Murdock said she frequently ran into trouble when trying to find clothes that fit her athletic build. Because of that experience, she always keeps different body shapes in mind when buying clothes.
“I have thick legs and a smaller waist, so I would have to buy jeans that were bigger,” she said. “Then, they’d be too big in my waist and tight on my legs. I thought I was weird my whole life.”
Murdock said that the women on her softball team had a lot of different body shapes. She would pick out pieces from her own closet to style them. She had a knack for it. Eventually she began personally shopping for coaches and employees in the athletic department, picking outfits for games or special events.
“After researching Reno’s market for fashion trucks, Murdock sought advice from Mayor Hillary Schieve, who owns Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor, and at that time also co-owned the truck, along with mechanic Vinnie Lucido. Schieve sat down with Murdock for coffee one Sunday afternoon and told her she was actually looking to sell it.
“I started the fashion truck before my life got super crazy, hectic and busy,” Schieve said. “It was sort of that time that I was transitioning into mayor, and I knew I was not going to have the time to put into it. The truck is so cool, and I wanted to make sure that someone was going to love it as much as I did."
A few other potential buyers were intersted, too, but Schieve thought Murdock was the best fit, so she sold her the truck.
Murdock considered this her big break. Her mission, she decided, would be to help women of all ages feel good about themselves through clothing. She quit her job and devoted herself full-time to running her new business.
Schieve praised Murdock for her passion, adding, "She really is the image and the brand of the truck now. She’s taken it and made it flourish.”
Murdock said she kept the truck's bright, retro paint job as a tribute to its original owners. But she did change the style of clothes and the business model. She stocks garments such as flowy, lace dresses and cable-knit sweaters, and she prides herself on selling clothes that can be worn by people of all ages and sizes. She also said that she aims to create a culture around the truck—to have it not just be about shopping. She said it’s about having a good time relaxing and socializing with friends and family.
Sometimes, Murdock hosts private events at people's homes. Other times, she brings the truck to businesses or events.
When she visits Liberty Food and Wine Exchange or Whispering Vine, clothing racks are unloaded from the truck, and the surrounding area transforms into a pop-up shop, with the added perks of drink specials and cheese plates.
“It was such an intimate experience,” said customer Jess Wilcox. “There are only a few dressing rooms, and it’s like having your own personal stylist. Britton made such an effort to come up to us and talk to us. I was concerned about the fit of one item, and she gave me her cell phone number, so if I went home and didn’t like the way it fit, she said to call her for a different size.”
Murdock's driving motivation, she said, is “truly helping women feel good about themselves. The most rewarding part, to me, is when someone comes in, and I’ve helped them find a piece that I can tell they feel good in.”
She believes what people wear can be a form of self love, and she advises people to accentuate the parts of their body they most love.
“Being comfortable in your clothes is definitely important,” she said. “Also, being comfortable in them makes you confident in them, so I think they go hand in hand. When you are confident and comfortable in your clothes, it does allow you to take on whatever your day may be.”
Murdock said that running a one-person business is challenging. It's especially demanding to find the time to balance buying trips to Los Angeles while managing all of the inventory on her own. But her positive outlook keeps everything in perspective.
She considers having been able to purchase the truck as the break that made her career. She remembered Schieve saying that all she asked of her is that she passes on the good work and give someone a leg up when they need help, and she hopes that one day she’ll be in a position to influence someone’s life the way Schieve did for her.