1147 N. State St., Bellingham
360.312.4067 | wearfringe.com
Established in 2015, Fringe Boutique aims to “bring Bellingham woman style in all areas of their life.” Customers can shop either online or in person at their storefront on North State Street, but owner Rhiannon Troutman says she felt it was important for Fringe to have a physical presence downtown.
“I very consciously chose to have a brick-and-mortar in a community,” Troutman says. “And I love so much being a part of our downtown Bellingham community. Getting to know the other local businesses that are in the area [and] having connections with them is so special to me.
Much like the clothes on sale, Fringe’s atmosphere is eclectic and accessible. Troutman notes that items such as jewelry, clothing, and shoes are arranged into their own miniature “departments,” and with so much to discover, customers often make several loops around the shop.
“When [customers are] done in their dressing rooms, which are at the back of our store, they’ll come out and they’ll see the store from a whole different angle,” Troutman says. “And often people will see things they totally missed when they were coming through the first way.”
Troutman has dreamed of owning a boutique since the age of 16. After attending college and gaining retail experience in Portland, she moved back to her hometown of Bellingham to turn that goal into a reality. Troutman says she chose to establish herself in Whatcom County because of how friendly the area is to small businesses.
Troutman and the Fringe team are enthusiastic about dressing up customers for all occasions. In addition, they offer personal styling for photos such as family portraits and engagements. Clients can borrow clothes for the duration of the shoot, and if they fall in love with the final look, they can purchase it at a discount.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
Fringe carries a variety of styles that are practical, stylish, and made to last. The shop specializes in well-made, versatile clothing that can be dressed up or down, making it the perfect place to hunt for a go-to pair of jeans or boots.
“I try to keep prices really reasonable for the folks who live in Whatcom County,” Troutman says. “Along with that, we’ve also become known for having really soft fabrics and things that feel really nice and really cozy.”
In addition to women’s clothing, Fringe stocks a selection of shoes, jewelry, and gift items.
Troutman notes that the shop receives new items every week, but her jewelry inventory is more consistent. For example, she is a big fan of the metal designs from Cascadia Jewelry and leather earrings from Moss Bags.
“I’m personally a big jewelry lover, so I’m really big on having a lot of really cool jewelry in the shop,” Troutman says. “And I love being able to carry local artists because there’s so many talented people in this community.”