After making a splash in the Whatcom County fashion community, Betty Be Good has expanded into Bellingham proper. If you’re in the market for a cute plaid flannel dress, a new cardigan to complement your outfit, or a nice sweater to beat the Bellingham winter, then Betty is your girl. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a refresher piece, a brand new look built from the ground up, something new and fancy. Betty will have it.
Owned by Suzanne Smith, Betty Be Good is a local boutique option that doesn’t break the bank. Smith’s hope is to make boutiques accessible for young girls and keeps the bulk of her products priced under $60 (outerwear is the occasional exception). A plaid shirt that could run up to nearly $150 in Seattle can be bought from Betty Be Good for only $59. The goal is to keep customers from spending all of their money on one product. As Smith said, people want as much as much as they can for their budget.
You can expect honesty when you walk into Betty Be Good. The company is small enough that they can’t afford a bad image, which means they can’t have people looking bad in their clothes. They’ll be sure to make sure that you walk out with clothes that look good on you, rather than trying to force a sale.
Perhaps most interesting about Betty Be Good is the name itself. “Be Good” isn’t just clever wordplay. Smith is all about doing good through her business.
Women who have managed to escape trafficking often do so with only the clothes on their back. Smith explained that many of the girls have lost their sense of how to dress, an extension of losing respect for themselves. Betty’s Liberty Closet helps the women living in one of the Deborah’s Gate facilities for rescued girls by giving them clothes from the store. Two percent
of each purchase goes toward this fund. These clothes are not damaged or unsold goods, but part of the first collection that the shop receives.
So while Betty Be Good might not be that expensive, there’s no need to feel guilty if you splurge a little at the store. You’re doing good for those who need it.
It also means that by opening another shop, there is more opportunity for the girls. So far she has given $8000 worth of clothes to the girls at Deborah’s Gate.
Equally as important is the fact that the I-5 corridor serves as, as Smith pointed out, a sex-trafficking route. Spreading awareness along that major lifeline by opening shops along the way is in-line with those goals.
It’s important to note that it isn’t just a public relations ploy. As she spoke about the girls at Deborah’s Gate there was an unmistakable passion in her voice. When she reflects on a young girl who faced her abuser in clothes bought from the Liberty Closet, there is a legitimate note of pride in her voice.
At present, Betty and Smith are both easing back on the reins. Smith will be settling down and focusing on being on full-time mom again. While there is still more work to be done with the Betty Be Good brand, for right now, Smith’s priority is the online store. With all that in mind, Smith does hope that when she next expands her line, it will be further down I-5, continuing with her goal.