Retail Tipsheet: Two new clothing boutiques open in Bellingham

Video: Fringe Boutique opens in Bellingham

Rhiannon Troutman talks about her new clothing store Fringe Boutique, which is opening Saturday, Oct.17 in downtown Bellingham.
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Rhiannon Troutman talks about her new clothing store Fringe Boutique, which is opening Saturday, Oct.17 in downtown Bellingham.

A new women’s clothing store has arrived in downtown Bellingham, continuing the trend of filling up spaces in the district.

Rhiannon Troutman is opening Fringe Boutique in the Herald Building at 1147 N. State St. Troutman planned to have a soft opening on Saturday, Oct. 17, and a grand opening party 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. Once open, store hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Troutman said her store will focus on women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories for the under-40 crowd for work and play. She has plenty of experience with downtown retail in Bellingham, working at stores like Sojourn, Mi Shoes and Naked Clothing in the past decade. She recently moved back to Bellingham to put down roots.

Troutman knew she wanted to open a business in the downtown district, but decided on North State Street because of recent activity in the area, such as new businesses and road improvements.

“It feels like downtown is moving up the hill more,” Troutman said, noting the increased foot traffic in the area.

For her inventory, she plans to offer work from local artisans for gift items, including home decor items like throw blankets and pendant lights. The clothes are from a variety of designers she hand-picked herself.

“There is an opportunity for what I’m doing,” said Troutman, 27, adding that she feels there needs to be more shops downtown area for her demographic.

Details about the business can be found at wearfringe.com and by calling 360-312-4067.


Mi Shoes owner Michelle Bouma plans to open a clothing boutique store called Heroine at 1328 Commercial St. It’s scheduled to open Friday, Nov. 6, in time for the next downtown Art Walk.

The new store is the result of Bouma’s success with Belle on Wheels, her pop-up boutique that was in a bright pink truck that did business at farmer’s markets and the recently concluded Commercial Street Night Market.

“Everyone that came to the truck loved the merchandise that I had selected and always asked where they could find me regularly,” Bouma said.

Mi Shoes will celebrate its 10th anniversary at 1315 Railroad Ave. with a sale Oct. 19-23. Details about the store can be found at its Facebook page.


A Bellingham building permit application was submitted to convert office space into an Anytime Fitness exercise center at 115 W. Kellogg Road, near the Meridian Street intersection. ... A tenant improvement application was submitted to convert the former Samish Way Church of Christ building at 801 Samish Way to an office building. The church has moved to 4340 Pacific Highway, Suite 102.

Reach Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BhamHeraldBiz and on Facebook at BellinghamHeraldBusiness.