The Shop

Whether you’re in the market for handmade gifts, stylish sandals, or even a new pair of favorite jeans, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for at Fringe Boutique. Fringe has been a downtown staple since 2015, but May 2023 marked the store’s biggest evolution yet: a move to a new location.

Owner Rhiannon Troutman said her original State Street location felt disconnected from Bellingham’s downtown core, so when a larger corner unit became available on Holly Street, it was hard to pass up the opportunity. Now, Troutman says she and her team “feel like we’re in the center of everything, and where we belong.”

The Atmosphere

Fringe’s new location features floor-to-ceiling display windows, allowing Troutman to make an impression on shoppers before they even enter the store. Inside, the ambience could be described as everyday PNW chic, with decor elements including macrame art, vintage picture frames, and even a pressed flower mural.

Troutman utilizes the additional floor space to include an expanding gift selection and a shoe display right at the entrance. A portion of the back of the store is even reserved as a rentable event space.

Key People

For Troutman, designing a new location meant putting her years of retail know-how to good use.

“It’s a really fun opportunity to take what I learned from the first chapter, and create a new store,” Troutman says. “If you want to have an exciting and successful brick-and-mortar shop, it has to be an experience, right? So we’ve really kept that in mind with building out this new space.”

Troutman is also dedicated to community engagement, and she ensures that Fringe is part of downtown events like First Fridays and Wine Walk. She also makes a concerted effort to support local artists by stocking their work and providing space for pop-ups and workshops.

What You’ll Find

Despite a change in location, Fringe’s offerings remain consistent: think layerable basics, cozy cardigans, boho dresses, and one-of-a-kind gifts. Troutman seeks out brands that use high-quality fabrics and good craftsmanship, meaning customers can confidently wear their purchases for years to come. Best of all, everything is priced affordably.

Fringe also features an abundant jewelry and gift selection. Troutman makes a concerted effort to stock wares from local artists like Cascadia Jewelry and Moss Bags.


Troutman loves the boho beaded earrings from Ink + Alloy, and a portion of every purchase goes towards educating girls in India. She also notes the popularity of House in the Trees, a Lynden-based candle company known for their cheeky labels.

When it comes to apparel, perennial top sellers include flannels by Billabong and Volcom, as well as corduroy shackets by Wishlist. Troutman stocks them in a variety of fun colors throughout the year, as they can be worn as layering pieces in the winter or as light jackets in the summer.