by: Caitlin Rounds
Photos by: Julia Soniat
Creative edits by: Jasmy Liu
Caitlan Lochridge is a local female entrepreneur and owner of To the Moon Bus, a mobile store featuring art, clothing, home décor and more from local vendors. According to Lochridge, working in retail for several years and her passion for traveling inspired her to create this mobile store.
However, being a store owner was only one of Lochridge’s ideas, she wanted to do more than just sell things, she wanted to work with local artists and hold events in her space. Lochridge wanted the space to be unique, so when the opportunity arose to purchase a school bus Lochridge acted quickly, “I had a great full-time job at the time. But I was going through a period where I knew I wanted to quit but consistently put it off. I struggled to put my two weeks notice in, but I eventually just had to do it. When I initially bought the bus, I didn’t know what to do with it, but I began working on it.” Flash forward to the present, and the bus is not only a store but also a rentable event space. Lochridge provides a blank canvas for those who would like to hold events or parties in her bus.
The number of female entrepreneurs and girl bosses in the Austin area is growing fast. Lochridge says her favorite part of being a female entrepreneur has been the support from other women.
“I do this all by myself, but the amount of support from complete strangers has been crazy. It’s impressive how many people will help you follow your dreams. When I quit my job I had one show, and I was nervous. But after the first one, I quickly started booking more shows. I’ve met the most amazing, kind people. I’m in a whole different realm and world in this market. It’s crazy to meet people who have been in this industry for a long time, and this is their life.”
– Caitlan Lochridge
Nowadays, networking is essential; and in an industry such as this one, support is everything. Lochridge’s unique business model — having a store on wheels — has given her a lot of flexibility to reach new markets. This traveling store gives her the chance to support other women and grant their businesses some exposure, as some of her vendors include: Daisy Natives, Yellow Elephant and Pearland Home.
Lochridge partners primarily with vendors in the Austin area. With her mobile store and the opportunity to travel all around Texas, she claims her two favorite locations are Round Top and Fredericksburg. “Round Top is a long show — in fact, it’s 2 weeks long but it’s almost like you’re away at summer camp. In the middle of nowhere, you meet the coolest people and all share stories. But Fredericksburg is a special place because I did my first show there, and I continue to show there once a month,” says Lochridge.
Lochridge’s story is inspiring to say the least and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. If you have yet to experience the bus and all it has to offer, check out Lochridge’s upcoming show in the Austin area, to be held at Hotel San Jose over Mother’s Day Weekend. In the meantime stay up to date with Lochridge and the bus on Instagram, @tothemoonbus. •
An Austin, Texas native and published photographer, Caitlin Rounds is a second year Public Relations major. This is her first semester writing for Spark Magazine. She enjoys trying new coffee shops, music and portrait photography.