Since his freelance design and film programming careers have taken off, Moreno says his parents are warming up to the idea of not having another lawyer in the family.

"It's not everyday a theater gives you the opportunity to watch your favorite movies on the big screen and invite the neighborhood to join," Moreno says. "And I can't help but think that if I'm not bringing cult classics back to the big screen and creating a community event, then that opportunity just goes away." — Claire Lawton

Torch Theatre
Jamie Peachey
Torch Theatre
Torch Theatre
Jamie Peachey
Torch Theatre


Ashley Eaton
We all know about food trucks. But a fashion trailer? Yep. Ashley Eaton runs her vintage boutique Merry May Shoppe out of a vintage 1961 Shasta Airflyte.

Indeed, the concept was born at a panel discussion about owning and operating food trucks, then morphed to fit Eaton's interests, which run more to hot dresses than hot dogs.

Pulling pieces from her own stash of clothing, Eaton had plenty to launch her store. The only thing missing was the venue.

She drew inspiration from Canadian mobile shops she'd spotted on blogs (some of which have gone on to open brick-and-mortar locations), and the trailer scenes in Austin and Bisbee. Voilà, Merry May Shoppe was born.

Well, nearly.

Eaton found the trailer she wanted on eBay, and, after some back-and-forth bidding — she lost.

In a strange twist, the trailer's winners ended up not wanting it, and, long story short, Eaton soon was road-tripping to Oklahoma to pick up her white and peach prize. After some tire and electrical maintenance upon returning to Arizona, Eaton debuted her movable fashion feast at Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row's Pie Social last November.

"I like the idea of traveling, and that's why I chose to do it," she says. "In a way, the clothes are traveling through time — being vintage and in the trailer going from place to place."

Eaton, who works in accounting by day, cites Frances boutique owner Georganne Bryant as an inspiration in her pursuit to make fashion her full-time gig. She remembers walking into Bryant's shop wearing a hair ornament that she had made. Bryant liked it and asked if Eaton would be interested in making some to sell in the boutique. Eaton agreed and launched Merry May Handmade, which she went on to operate as a craft space in Butter Toast Boutique on Sixth Street.

Nowadays, Eaton has put handmade items on the back burner. Instead, she is focused on beautifying her shop and keeping it stocked with covetable vintage finds. "I try to handpick stuff that fits my aesthetic," she says. That means super-feminine finds in floral prints and pastels, ranging from girly '50s pieces to bold '70s styles with a little bit of edge.

But that doesn't mean Eaton will abandon her crafty roots. "My dream is to make a dress line," she says, although that project isn't formally in the works.

In the meantime, Eaton says she wants to take her trailer to as many special events as possible. Making shopping at Merry May an occasional occurrence is fun for her and gets shoppers excited to spot Eaton and her trailer — and whatever new old goodies she's hawking. — Becky Bartkowski

Aaron Kimberlin
Aaron Kimberlin grew up in Chandler, graduated from Arizona State with a design degree, then took off for Chicago to get a master's in urban planning.

"I wanted to learn everything I could about a city," he says. He's home now, and landed a nice day job: assistant director of PURL, ASU's Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory, where — among other things — he's heading up the first-ever Phoenix Urban Design Week, starting April 9.

So are Phoenix and Chicago anything alike? Not at all, Kimberlin acknowledges.

"With Chicago, the things found you," he says. Here, you have to find them. Or make them.

And so when Kimberlin's grandfather died, leaving a pile of vintage ties that Aaron inherited, the urban planner knew what to do: adaptive reuse.

No one was wearing skinny ties like these, although the patterns were cool. But bow ties — already big in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Portland — hadn't hit Phoenix yet. Kimberlin set out to take care of that.

He hired a seamstress, designed a website and came up with a name — Dapper + Dash — broad enough to someday include his other ideas (he's mum about this, for the moment). He'd only worn a bow tie once in his life, with a ruffly tuxedo shirt, to a New Year's party. These ties are different — preppy and edgy and equally appropriate with a suit or jeans.

Kimberlin kicked off the line with a party at The Mercantile in Phoenix, the exclusive local purveyor (you can also buy them online at And now he's looking for a second seamstress.

The bow ties are made from ties purchased at estate sales, vintage fabrics ordered online, "Anywhere I can find cool patterns," Kimberlin says.

So far, his grandfather's ties have remained untouched. But it may just be a matter of time.

"I don't have the heart," Kimberlin says. "Not yet." — Amy Silverman

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