We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Van Ells and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sara, what do you attribute your success to?
Without a doubt the success of my brand is based on the fact that I am my own target audience. 90% of our customers are female-owned small businesses on the upswing—that’s me! It’s very humbling to be of service to the audience I’m a part of.

Hustle Trucks isn’t some super sleek national brand (yet), we’re just starting out. I share a lot of the same ups and downs as the customers who rent the truck. I made a choice early on to be vulnerable and visible and to share my experiences as I have them while building this company, I believe it’s what endears us to our audience and it’s all true.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Hustle Trucks is a mobile storefront rental business, think on-the-go pop-ups. When COVID restrictions shut down shopping, companies were contacting our van conversion company to have us build them boutiques, hair salons, dog groomers—anything really—on wheels. It got us thinking about how retail might look in the next few years, so we decided to take the leap and build out a mobile storefront.

Right away we heard from small business owners that this is just what they were looking for, which is super exciting. So many of our customers have built a strong brand online through social media, so they know exactly who their customer is and how they spend their time. When you can literally take your store right to where your customers are, it’s a game-changer.

More than that, this is an affordable solution for small business owners looking to expand into IRL sales, test a new product, launch a new line, or move old inventory in a new way. Real estate in LA is hilariously high, a brick-and-mortar storefront averages about $5k per month. We are so happy to work with customers who are just starting out, finding their legs, or launching a brand new brand in our trucks—it’s really inspiring.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
After living in LA for 6 years, I feel like I have a good handle on this one.

I love to take visitors to Leimert Park on the weekend and hit any of the fantastic lunch spots in our neighborhood on the way home. Soul food, BBQ, tacos, fried seafood—South LA has all the good stuff.

Whenever first time visitors come in, we always show off the classic sights. First up: Breakfast at Gjelina and a walk around Abbott Kinney, then down to Venice boardwalk and over to Santa Monica. Sunset drinks at Elephante and then over to FIG for dinner and Bungalow for drinks. The next day starts with a hike up to the Bronson to see the original Batcave. Once you go through there’s a fantastic view of the Hollywood sign (without all the effort). After that, we head to a late show at the Black Rabbit Rose and then to the Burgundy Room for drinks.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Dustin Van Ells, is endlessly supportive. We share every aspect of our lives together and still can’t get enough of each other. He’s exactly the type of person you want in your corner: patient, kind, thoughtful, and down for whatever.

Website: www.hustletrucks.co

Instagram: @hustletrucks

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.