Previously mobile-only Grasshopper Goods has made Stoughton its home

While you’ll still find Vinny the truck traveling to events, there’s now a spot to find the goods you love year-round.
Table of items at grasshopper goods
Photo by Tim Hughes

Grasshopper Goods, Wisconsin’s first mobile boutique, has taken root in Stoughton with a brick-and-mortar store. While you’ll still find Vinny the truck traveling to events, there’s now a spot to find the goods you love year-round.

Karen Tardrew first hit the streets of Madison with her mobile truck, Vinny, in 2017. Over the past three years, she’s brought the truck filled with maker wares to festivals, markets and private events.

Her business, Grasshopper Goods, is Wisconsin’s first mobile retail boutique. In November 2019, Tardrew decided to open up a storefront in Stoughton’s historical district.

Tardrew says whenever she’d be at event with the truck, people would ask where they could shop on a day-to-day basis. She says it was time to grow and with a storefront she could carry more products, offer fragile goods and sell seasonally, which she wasn’t able to do in a truck that had to go dormant during Wisconsin’s winters.

“The truck has a specific vintage vibe that I wanted to really match in our space we found,” Tardrew says.

She ultimately opened in a former bank building. Many of the features are original, including the bank’s safe.

If you’ve shopped on the truck before, you know it’s a very cozy space, jam-packed with jewelry, clothing, accessories and home wares. The shop has similar items, but is a lot more spacious.

“I just want people to have fun and feel connected to things that they buy,” Tardrew says.

At the shop, Tardrew says she is able to display pieces of art on the walls and offer pottery. She now also carries candles and apothecary goods, which were too fragrant in the truck and were at risk of overheating in the summer.

For Tardrew, she says the perfect trifecta is the combination of the truck, shop and online store.

“It’s just great that everybody is thinking about who they’re shopping with right now and shopping more with purpose, which is really keeping everyone afloat right now,” Tardrew says.

Write down all your thoughts in a lined journal. $16

Road Trip

Keep it simple with Hello Adorn’s tiny twist earrings made by an Eau Claire-based husband and wife duo. Gold $28, sterling silver $23

Twist Earrings

Stay warm on cold nights with a Midwesty sweatshirt from The Midwest Girl. $56

Sweatshirt

Give your room some personality with a modern print made using archival ink that’s designed to last. $16-$23

Plants Vertical

Keep entertained in the car with a classic games travel set — complete with a checkerboard and pieces, backgammon, dice and doubling cube. $35

Checkerboard

Send positive vibes into the world with a soft “See the Good” Alley and Rae T-shirt. $34

Tshirt

Rep your Madison pride with a city flag pennant custom made for Grasshopper Goods by Oxford Pennant. $28

Flag

Find Them: 171 W. Main St., Stoughton, grasshoppergoods.com

Maija Inveiss is digital content editor of Madison Magazine.