Wow. I can hardly believe that Fringe has already been through its first full year! It seems like just yesterday that I signed the lease to a vacant space I had been driving past every day, peeking into and imagining my store filling it up. I signed the lease, wrapped my community around me tight, and in five weeks the doors to Fringe were open! Customers often exclaim that it looked like the store popped up over night, and it kind of did! (Well, it was more like several very long nights, but pretty close.) After a decade of dreaming about what this store would look and feel like, once it was go time I was able to turn my clear vision into reality pretty quickly. But I seriously could not have done it without the support of my friends and family! My dad, Paul, has been my #1 handy man, and helped me install all of my shelving, racks, and mirrors, and build the frame of the dressing rooms. He always makes sure everything is done right the first time. My mom, Alison, kept me alive, feeding me when I was so stressed out I couldn't eat, and helped calm me down. My mom's partner, Lou, was my builder and problem-solver, and lent me the use of his huge woodshop where I re-finished all of my fixtures. My best friend, Hannah, at eight months pregnant, stood for hours ironing and pinning the curtains for my dressing rooms--in fact, I had about a dozen different aunties and friends help pull those curtains together! My biz bestie, Olivia, has been my emotional support behind the scenes. So many other friends and family members came through to lend me an hour or two steaming clothes, tagging jewelry, or helping with odd jobs. I cannot thank all of you enough. There are no words for the appreciation I feel for you.
This first year has been a lot of trial and error for me as I get to know my customers and feel it all out. For the most part, I've been overjoyed with the response of the community, and most of the feedback I get is completely aligned with everything I had hoped Fringe would provide. I've collaborated on projects with local photographers, make-up artists, hair-stylists and models to produce three seasonal lookbooks. I've had so much fun getting out into the community and participating in local fashion shows and pop-up shops. I'm flattered to have been featured in local publications, and as a #BossLady on the Streets of Gold Blog. And I'm incredibly honored to have won the trophy for Most On Trend in Lydia Place's Handbags for Housing fashion show, and the bronze award for Best Boutique in Bellingham Alive's Best of the Northwest. Looking back on it all, I can't believe all of those amazing things happened in Fringe's FIRST YEAR!! It makes my heart hum to have been received so well by my community. I have so enjoyed getting to know all of my new customers, and getting to be a part of this community in a new way as a business owner. I am tickled each time someone stops in and tells me that Fringe is their favorite place to shop, or says that their friends have been raving about Fringe and they just had to come check it out. The way you all have embraced Fringe means the world to me, and I am so excited to bring you even more in year two!
Of course I can't forget all of the amazing Fringe employees I have had this first year! Addie, you knocked on my door late one night and immediately convinced me to hire you! Thank you so much for being such a wonderful first employee. I miss you!! Jessica, thank you for bringing such a killer sense of style to Fringe. Tessie, thank you for all of your attention to the little things. Alivia, thank you for your excitement, and I can't wait to have you back for the holidays. And Connie, thanks for jumping in with two feet and rocking it. You ladies have no idea how important you are to me! Thank you for being on Team Fringe!
Thank you to everyone who came out to our 1st Anniversary Party last Saturday! We had a blast watching you hunt for coupons, get your hair braided by Kaur Lounge, find your new go-to purse or sweater, sip bubbly and nibble on treats by Gathered Confections. If you missed it, it's not too late to come by and celebrate with us! We've got some incredible deals going right now (half off AND buy one get one free?!), as well as tons of new fall styles in. We hope to see you soon!