Sister duo's mobile boutique finds home at Geneseo's State St. Market

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
Haley Walker, left, and her sister, Lauren (Walker) Corwin, are the owners and operators of Brick and Motor Boutique, which was a popular shopping spot at the State Street Market held Oct. 1 in downtown Geneseo. Photo by Claudia Loucks

It is as unique as its name, Brick and Motor Mobile Boutique, and was one of the vendors at the annual State Street Market in downtown Geneseo on Oct. 1.

Haley Walker and her sister, Lauren (Walker) Corwin launched their mobile fashion boutique, based out of Rock Island, in July of 2018. They opened their store front Brick and Motor Boutique near the end of 2018 on 2nd Ave., in downtown Rock Island. The storefront boutique is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

”Basically, we work most of the time with the mobile home boutique,” Haley Walker said.

Brick and Motor Boutique offers a line of women’s clothing, “everything from tops, dresses, pants, jackets and more,” she explained, “and we have a ton of accessories like jewelry items, handbags, sunglasses, and party accessories. We carry a lot of every day basics, clothing and accessories for all ages and we also offer trendy, fast fashion pieces. The business has been a success and it’s awesome, and it’s great working with my sister.”

They have been among the vendors at Geneseo’ State Street Market event each year since 2019.

“We love Geneseo and I am pretty familiar with the area as I had worked in Geneseo when I first graduated from college, at Websites To Impress, for about a year until we started our Brick and Motor Boutique," Haley Walker said. “It’s always good when we come to Geneseo, and State Street Market is one of our best markets every year. I feel this year (Sat5urday, Oct. 1) was the best we have ever had. The weather was unbeatable and everyone seemed to come out this year…We will be back next year with all new arrivals.”

Zack Sullivan, executive director of the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the State Street event, agrees that this year was the best market yet.

”State Street Market continues to grow and 2022 was its best year yet,” he said. “The 2022 event saw over 60 vendors and attendance was over 7,000 people. It was a great day for the business community and small business in Geneseo overall. Events like State Street Market underscore the direct impact the Geneseo Chamber makes on our local business community. We are fortunate to have so many businesses and volunteers who support the Geneseo Chamber’s efforts to advance business and community in Geneseo.”

Haley Walker said, “We have gotten into the little gift scene at Brick and Motor and when we were in Geneseo little girls would come up and shop for those items,” explaining those items include handmade resin key chains and small hair clips. “In addition to the younger crowd, we also have grandmothers shopping with us to add to their fall wardrobe. We see a wide diversity of ages of people.”

Running a business together was a dream of the sisters for some time and when they were both in college; they saved money to make that dream become a reality.

“We started with a website and offered both online shopping and from our mobile boutique,” Haley Walker said. ‘We travel around with our trailer within three to four hours of the Quad Cities to universities, businesses, markets, and more.”

Another unique concept of their business is when a person or organization hosts Brick and Motor Boutique, 5 percent of all profits made that day go back to a charitable organization of the host’s choice.

“For example, if a sorority at a university hosts us for the day, 5 percent of all profits made that day will go back to their philanthropy,” she explained. ‘In addition, every month we pick a different local organization to give back to. We like to say our motto is ‘Always shop for a cause with Brick and Motor Boutique’.”

In looking ahead, Haley Walker said, “We are gearing up for the holidays and our mobile boutique will be put away for the winter season, from November through March, but we will be open downtown Rock Island on Fridays and Saturdays during those months. We will have our trailer at the Cristkindllmkt in downtown Davenport in December.”