Categories: CreateMakers & Doers

School Bus Boutique Gets a Romantic Renovation

 

Enter the 1910 bus through an old farmhouse door with an antique doorknob that owner Kayla Derrick locks with a vintage skeleton key. The bus is affectionately named Melvin the Mini Bus. You can Follow Melvin’s adventures on Instagram @melvintheminibus

If you visit the small historic town of Beaufort, South Carolina, you may spot a charming, white-painted school bus parked outside a vintage market or festival. Beyond its front entrance with a refurbished farmhouse door, you’ll find a small shop on wheels, with jewelry on display that’s “heart- and hand-crafted” by circa1910 owner Kayla Derrick.

Kayla didn’t always sell her jewelry from the bus, but she felt the need to take her business on the road after not being able to afford a shop. “I also wanted to connect with my customers face to face,” says Kayla. That’s when she and her fiancé found an old school bus for sale. It was “a piece of junk with gum stuck to the floorboards” that broke down right after she bought it, but Kayla had a vision.

“We had to do it all on a budget,” Kayla says, so they poured their money and heart into the project. “All materials were vintage, antique, repurposed or found in trash piles. That’s what I do with my jewelry—I take dirty and broken vintage and antique pieces, like shoe clips, clean them up and combine them with gemstones to make new necklaces and earrings.”

Her business name refers to the year her grandmother was born. The month she got the bus her mother was diagnosed with cancer. “I saw her go through multiple surgeries. After seeing her crying in the mirror because she didn’t feel pretty, I knew I wanted to create jewelry that spoke to women … and jewelry is something that fits everyone. The idea is that you are beautiful the way you are.”

Kayla added wood-looking vinyl flooring, crown molding and 1870s porch posts with original chippy paint to give the bus character. A wall drying rack serves as a display shelf. She repurposed a vintage vanity and added crystal knobs. Her fiancé built a wood countertop, which she accented with tacks to look like tacked metal and acrylic paint to look like galvanized metal.

When Hurricane Matthew wrecked their town, they had to leave everything behind, including the bus. “When we got back, we don’t know how, but our yard had flooded but not our bus. I wanted to incorporate a memento, so I mounted some driftwood inside the bus as a reminder to always be thankful.”

Kayla DeVito is writer, photographer and sells circa1910 through Old Grace Gathering Co., a company dedicated to giving back to the community. See more on Facebook and Instagram.

Kris Christensen

Share
Published by
Kris Christensen

Recent Posts

Dear Friends of Romantic Homes

Cottages and Bungalows Magazine and cottagesandbungalowsmag.com is the new home for the lovely look of everyday elegance.

10 months ago

Recipe: How to Make Apple Roses

Apple roses are fun fall treats that are just a beautiful to look at as they delicious!

12 months ago

6 Tips for Romantic Fall Farmhouse Table Decor

Gather together with friends and family for a lovely meal outdoors!

12 months ago

Rustic Elegance in a California Farmhouse

Rustic finishes and elegant accents combine effortlessly in Karen Snyder's California farmhouse.

12 months ago

The Faded Grandeur of Noble Hardee Mansion

Step inside this antique shop and explore the faded grandeur of Savannah's last unrestored mansion.

1 year ago

A Victorian Farmhouse with Original Style

Kelly Wilkniss of My Soulful Home brings her fresh perspective to an original Victorian farmhouse.

1 year ago