My oh my, this past month as been a whirlwind with hardly a moment to stop, breathe, and take it all in, let alone write about it! I signed the lease and got to work immediately refinishing store fixtures, designing and branding, and getting all the major pieces in place. I had additional lighting installed and dressing rooms built, but those were the only two major improvements to the building. I made about 7 million tiny and not-so-tiny decisions, went to the hardware store about once a day, and lost a lot of sleep out of sheer excitement for seeing this dream become a reality.
I flew to Los Angeles for my first buying trip, and had the time of my life shopping for my future customers! I revisited my favorite brands from my days at 3 Monkeys in Portland, and fell in love with some new ones. I found amazing boho jewelry, the softest basic tees, the most perfect little black dresses, and sweaters on sweaters on sweaters.
When I got home to Bellingham, I had a week to make sense of the chaos I had left behind while I was in LA, unpack everything, and pull it all together. Check out my Instagram for a video of what the store looked like Monday afternoon, four days before my opening! Thankfully, my family and friends showed up and blew me away with all the help they offered. I had a ladies night to help me unpack all the clothes... and then a second impromptu ladies night because there was still so much to do. I honestly could not have done it without all the love and support I was shown that week.
And... We pulled it off! By Friday night Fringe was ready for the Soft Opening Party to celebrate and thank all of those who donated to the Go Fund Me campaign and lent a helping hand. Words cannot express the gratitude I felt that night. The Soft Opening Party was a dream come true; the store filled for the first time with my loved ones in celebration and thanks for all the support they have shown me and all the hours of work they put in to help me make this dream of mine come true!! I am a solopreneur, but I am not in this alone. I moved home to Bellingham two years ago to open a shop here because I love the way this community pulls together to support one another. This past month, and last week in particular, has been the most positive affirmation of why I am here, and it brings me tears of gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who put in work building, sewing, hanging, tagging, cleaning, and so much more. You are my rock stars, and I love you all so much!!