Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New shop features old styles

Lindsey Treffry | The Communicator

A one-piece jumpsuit from the 1960s, a brand new T-shirt, cowboy boots, a homemade headband, and a ring from the 1980s could be the latest outfit put together by purchases from Fringe and Fray.  

Opened by Grace and Ryan Johnson, Fringe and Fray is a resale boutique with men and women's clothing, jewelry, purses, home decor, and art. 

Located downtown, the store differs from other resale shops because of the mixture of vintage clothing and new styles. 

"We have older styles, like the 80s, which is in right now," Grace said.

The small space is footsteps away from Rocket Bakery on the corner of Cedar Street. Their shopfront houses a pair of mannequins with floral decor plastered on the windows, where shoppers can take a peek at the clothing racks inside.

Grace and Ryan renovated the brick space, taking out cabinets and replacing them with dressing rooms. Grace, who has worked in retail since her teenage years, opened the shop with her husband in January. 

"When we first opened, one of my favorite items was this red owl dress," Grace said. "It sold fast."  

According to their website, customers who bring in items can receive store credit for approximately 30 percent of the resale value. According to Grace they will take the item if it's current or vintage, and in good condition. 

"We are selective," Grace said. "We want it to have a certain feel."

Although selective, their prices don't reflect their particular store credit picks. The average price for clothing and jewelry ranges from $7 to $20. According to Grace the only time prices go over $20 is when a vintage item is "completely unique." Fringe and Fray also houses a clearance rack, where some items are as low as $3.

In addition to clothing, Ryan creates some of the art available for purchase in the store. His "digital photography manipulation" is hung along the walls of the shop, and showcases different buildings and cityscapes with animals or colors superimposed into the frame. 

Cloth headbands, specifically pieced together by Grace and other employees, are floral and feminine in design. Some other creations available include rings, necklaces, and other hair accessories that are on display near the home decor table.

"A lot of people feel like because of the look (of the store) it is out of their price range, when really it is affordable" Grace said. "I think people will be pleasantly surprised."

Break Out Box
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 1325 W. 1st Ave. (Corner of 1st and Cedar)
Contact: Grace or Ryan at 509.720.7116
For more information: -OR-

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Skateboard shop is safe haven

Lindsey Treffry | The Communicator  

Paradigm can be defined as an archetype; a philosophical framework; a Spokane skate shop.  

Owner of Paradigm Skate Shop, Todd Bearden, has been skateboarding since 1989. Bearden originally got his bachelor's degree in Marketing and Human Resources from EWU. He managed Spirit Skate Shop, where Paradigm is now located, and assured the landlord would sign over the lease after Spirit's owner closed the shop. 

Paradigm is located on Washington, blocks away from the concrete, Under The Freeway skateboard park.

Bearden chose to name the shop Paradigm, because he didn't want the generic "Joe's Skate Shop," and wanted his apparel to transcend other brands.  

"Paradigm can mean shift, or it can be something philosophical," Bearden said. "It is phonetically correct, and intriguing. "(The word paradigm) makes people ask 'What is it?'"  

Different from corporate shops that have "belly button rings, hoola hoops, and kayaks," Paradigm only carries skateboard equipment. They also design their own brand of clothing, which is their most popular item, and changes seasonally.  

Not only a store, Paradigm hosts events and sponsors local skateboarders. Their sponsored skaters receive discounts and free equipment, in exchange for giving Paradigm "a face." They make sure their skaters are presentable, can attend contests and demos, and do not include themselves in drug-related activities.  

Paradigm often hosts "under-ground" events, like skate jams and barbecues, but most often attend skate park openings. Samuel Imus, an employee at Paradigm, has known Bearden since middle school. 

"Skateboarding made us friends," he said. "Owning a shop made us brothers."  

According to Imus, Bearden provides equipment and boards for kids who shop at Paradigm, but don't have the extra money. Bearden said he is like a "big brother" to a majority of the kids who shop at Paradigm.  

"We cater to loitering," he said. "We have a PS3 and a big screen to let kids hang out.
"It's a safe place, and their mothers knows where they are."  

As seen in Issue 41.9 of The Communicator