A mother of four who was unemployed at the start of the pandemic has turned a secondhand horse float into a pop-up bar for weddings and is already cashing in.
Melonie Vujicic, 45, from Perth, Western Australia, worked full-time as a travel agent before Covid’s travel restrictions prevented travel across borders.
“I was permanently resigned and as a mother of four I was looking for a new venture to supplement my income,” she told FEMAIL.
Melonie Vujicic, 45, from Perth, Western Australia, worked full-time as a travel agent before restrictions prevented travel across borders and to another country
‘I was permanently resigned and as a mother of four I was looking for a new venture to supplement my income,’ she told FEMAIL
Melonie had previously toyed with the idea of starting a business, but it wasn’t until she started seeing wearable bars on her Pinterest feed that a proposal took hold.
“ I’ve always been drawn to the bridal industry and have a strong background as a business owner, so I thought a mobile pop-up bar could be a fun, quirky thing for someone’s special day, ” she said.
“After doing some research and finding that there was no such thing in Perth, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind.”
So when she got up, Melonie began looking for a second-hand cart, which she found and ordered Gumtree two weeks later.
Melonie had previously toyed with the idea of starting a business, but it wasn’t until she started seeing wearable bars on her Pinterest feed that a proposal took hold
So when she got up, Melonie began looking for a second-hand cart, which she found and ordered on Gumtree two weeks later.
The purchase and renovation earned her and husband Ivan $ 8,000 – $ 10,000, with more than half of the end products coming from secondhand websites.
‘We stripped it first and looked at how we could best use the space. We then focused on upcycling second-hand items to renew the horse’s float and transform it into the charismatic pop-up bar that it is today, ‘she said.
“We stripped it back to the frame and bought second-hand trim for $ 150, which would have cost $ 900 at Bunnings.
“I then used Gumtree to buy a party tent, stools, fancy fixtures, carriage lighting, and more – some items even for free.”
“ I then used Gumtree to buy a marquee, stools, fancy fixtures, carriage lighting and more – some items even for free, ” Melonie said
Melonie’s Best DIY Tips and Tricks:
1. If you want to upcycle something from a second-hand online marketplace like Gumtree, always start with the freebies section. In addition to finding incredible bargains, online marketplaces are a great way to find something different and unique that you won’t find in a store.
2. To give my ideas and design process a flying start, I always start by making a mood board. I personally use Pinterest to help me find and stick with an aesthetic as a starting point. Scroll through or search until you find an idea that piques your interest, then hop on Gumtree, use keywords such as colors and base product names to find exactly what you’re looking for.
3. Paint is your best friend – it helps you think outside the box! You can transform just about anything with a coat of paint, so don’t overthink it and ignore the naysayers. If DIY or upcycling is new to you, my biggest advice is to give it a try – worst case scenario, just sand it back!
4. Be patient – if you don’t find what you’re looking for right away, give it some time, and eventually what you’re looking for will show up. I may not see what I’m looking for on day one, but in a week it will be the first thing that comes to mind.
To date, Melonie’s Hitch’d Pop Up Bar company has booked 21 events within a nine-week trading period between 2020 and 2023
To date, Melonie’s Hitch’d Pop Up Bar The company has booked 21 events within a nine-week trading period between 2020 and 2023.
The bar’s base rate – aptly nicknamed ‘Filly’ – is a minimum of $ 499, which means the family will earn a minimum of $ 10,479 for the events already booked.
‘Filly’ is a full-service mobile bar that aims to provide affordable options for weddings and other special events and to prevent customers from paying for their own drinks, while so many guests aren’t drinking or driving.
It is equipped with a four keg system, dual battery setup, LED lit icebox, shelves, storage, serving bench, chalkboard drink menus, flower arrangements, photo stage with props and all staff are RSA approved.
The success of Melonie’s side project is bigger than she ever imagined, but without COVID-19, she doubts she would ever take the plunge.