Magnolia on Main launches in April
Magnolia on Main

Magnolia on Main hits the streets

When longtime friends and clothing retail professionals Bernie Rupcich and Kim DiMarco decided to start their own business, they looked to Duquesne University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for help.

“Even though we have a lot of retail background, neither Kim nor I ever owned a business,” says Rupcich, who served in various positions with Macy’s. “You need to be armed with a lot more information than what we had.”

The two women decided to enter the SBDC’s Transition into Business Ownership program, which provides four days of intensive training to unemployed workers and transitioning professionals interested in becoming small business owners. The experience enabled them to finally launch their traveling boutique truck, Magnolia on Main.

Kim DiMarco (left) and Bernie Rupcich (right) with Maggie.

Magnolia on Main—affectionately called “Maggie” by its owners—officially hit the road on St. Patrick’s Day after a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the North Hills Chamber of Commerce. Using their extensive fashion background, Rupcich and DiMarco focus on stocking a variety of stylish clothing and accessories for women, including athleisure gear and licensed Pittsburgh sports t-shirts.

The truck also features trendy home accents such as upcycled candles and goods from S&J Decorative Finishes, a Greensburg-based company that produces custom reclaimed furniture pieces and pillows. Rupcich and DiMarco decided to partner with S&J after the company used their artistic talents to design Maggie’s interior.

“We needed help getting the inside of the truck like our vision, and they really nailed it,” says Rupcich. “It’s really remarkable the job they did.”

In the month since it opened, Maggie has rolled up to locations such as the Pure Barre in Wexford. While Rupcich understands a mobile boutique offers convenience, their focus still remains on providing customer service.

“I thought if I ever went into business for myself, that was going to be a priority,” says Rupcich. “We have a lot of fun with customers. It’s a real community kind of feeling.”

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.