Mi Shoes owner opens downtown clothing boutique

Heroine Boutique, a downtown women’s clothing store, opened this week and will have a grand opening celebration on Friday, Nov. 6. The store is at 1328 Commercial St., next to Jake’s Barber Shop.

Michelle Bouma, owner of Mi Shoes, opened the store after having success with a mobile mini boutique called Belle on Wheels. Bouma sold clothing from the back of a truck at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market and at the Commercial Street Night Market in September and October.

The clothing carries moderately-priced, hip feminine clothing, Bouma said.

“There’s a style. It’s the Mi Shoes style,” she said. “Women love Mi Shoes and I have a feeling that they’re going to love Heroine just as much.”

Heroine is currently open from noon to 4 p.m., and will have a grand opening celebration on Friday during the Downtown Bellingham Art Walk, which goes from 6-10 p.m.

Heroine is the second women’s clothing store to open downtown this fall. Fringe Boutique, at 1147 N. State St. in the Herald Building opened last month.

Fringe owner Rhiannon Troutman used to work for Bouma at Mi Shoes. Bouma knew Troutman was planning to open Fringe and doesn’t view the store as competition, she said.

“The more boutique shopping the better,” Bouma said. “I’ve talked to people that think more stores means their slice is getting smaller. I think more stores means we’re making the pie bigger.”

Heather Baker, owner of LuLu, a women’s clothing store at 124 W. Holly St., expressed a similar opinion. Troutman and Bouma are both experienced with downtown business and Baker is excited to see them opening stores, she said.

“I think any new business opening is always a good thing,” Baker said.

Heroine and Fringe opened right as several other clothing stores closed or left town. Naked Clothing, which carried clothing made from hemp and other natural fibers, moved from downtown Bellingham to Sedro-Woolley in October. A Lovely Day clothing, at 1230 Bay St., also closed recently. Danielle Starr closed her Fairhaven store, 4 Starrs Boutique, at 960 Harris Ave., in May.

Scarves at Heroine Boutique, at 1328 Commercial St. [Oliver Lazenby photo | The BBJ]
Scarves at Heroine Boutique, at 1328 Commercial St. [Oliver Lazenby photo | The BBJ]
Newton Bouma installing a door at Mi Shoes on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Newton Bouma owns St. John Glass and is married to Heroine Boutique owner Michelle Bouma.
Newton Bouma installing a door at Mi Shoes on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Newton Bouma owns St. John Glass and is married to Heroine Boutique owner Michelle Bouma.

 

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