Lynden native Laura Bouma is making her mark on her small-town home with a stylish women’s clothing store, Cheeks. She started Cheeks in 2011 and since moved into her dream space on Front Street in downtown Lynden. “I remember going to the candy store in here [Dutch Village Mall] when I was a kid,” she says. Now, her women’s boutique is adding a touch of youthful, urban chic to quaint Lynden.
Cheeks is just big enough to dress you from head to toe (including accessories, of course) but not large enough to get overwhelmed. Bouma believes that shopping should be about more than just the items you bring home. The location couldn’t be more charming, with a classic Dutch-style storefront unique to Lynden’s downtown. Need a pick-me-up after shopping? Bouma recommends Katz Coffee and Used Books just down the street for an excellent latte.
Bouma’s space is bright and feminine with a touch of vintage whimsy. Most of the store fixtures were made by her dad or father-in-law. “I think it gives the space a really family-friendly atmosphere,” she says. The wide array of tasteful, classic styles makes this a shop mothers and daughters can love equally.
Supporting Bouma are three experienced employees she calls stylists: Amy Thies, Shannon Zylstra, and Elyssa Kuik. Bouma emphasized the importance of her “ladies” and the importance of a strong support network of women. “We are all just busy women and so we help each other,” she says. Another benefit of lady power is the wide array of styles and taste each bring to the store. Merchandise is chosen by all four women, not just Bouma, which allows for variety in the store, Bouma says. Thanks to Bouma and her stylists, customers can expect supportive customer service they might not find at larger stores or online.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
For Bouma, longevity and quality come first when she is buying for the store. “We should be selective about the clothing we buy. Buying a lot of cheap clothes you don’t love makes it harder to get dressed in the morning,” she says. Rather than just filling closets, Bouma wants to provide high-quality, special pieces for her customers that they can wear for years. Customers can expect to find brands with ethical practices like Toms shoes and local artisan jewelry from Grace Designs. Bouma applies the same philosophy of sustainability to her specialty, denim. Customers will find brands like 7 For All Mankind and Hudson Jeans in cuts and washes to flatter all body types. From the trendy skinny to the comeback of the flare and distressed, women will find a pair to invest in. While quality comes at a price—Bouma’s designer jeans are often over $100 a pair—these pieces are not meant to be just “fast fashion.” Instead, Bouma hopes customer will find classic, staple pieces that fit well and survive ever-changing trends.
655 Front St., Lynden
360.778.1849 | cheeksjeans.com
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