Nearly nine months after the Fairhaven Pharmacy closed its doors in 2015, partners Cameron Vail and Scott Ward have breathed new life into the location. The two men are the founders of Current and Furbish, a shop that, quite fittingly, blends new creations with older, updated pieces. “There’s something vital, vibrant and life-giving, taking the old and bringing it to new life,” Ward said.
In some ways, the legacy of the pharmacy carries on. While the inside of the shop has changed, the exterior still bears some of the iconic imagery. Some of the ornate letters that once announced the building as the Fairhaven Pharmacy remain, now reminding visitors not of the shop name, but of the town they’ve entered. The names of former owners, recorded on the northern face of the building, linger on.
Even the new faces bring hallmarks of the old; Vail is the son of a pharmacist, and grew up in his father’s store. “It’s that willingness to honor the memory of a community icon is something that the local community appreciates,” Ward said.
Inside is a variety of utensils, linens, independently made bath toiletries, and various edible spreads, among other things. The hope is to support the community of artists, artisans and creators, both local and abroad, trying to make a living with their work. It’s fitting that Ward’s artwork lines the walls. Some of them have already been bought.
For Ward, the transition between the Magnolia Neighborhood, Current and Furbish’s former location, and Fairhaven was natural. After seven months of negotiations for a newer, larger space in Magnolia, things weren’t coming together. The pair, who planned on eventually retiring to the Bellingham area, noticed that the space at the pharmacy was available and, on a whim, tossed their names in.
“Within two and a half weeks, we signed the lease,” Ward said. “It felt like the right thing to do.”
With the old way of doing things comes a new cus-tomer base, and a new experience for the pair. Ward explained that Magnolia can be a very exclusive com-munity, resistant to outsiders. Fairhaven, on the other hand, with its scenic views and location to the south of the Canadian border, brings in what Ward described as a transient customer base. Unlike the shop in Magnolia, the same faces likely won’t be in the shop the following week.
Debra Raden, who also works in the shop, said that the customers are what makes the experience enjoyable. Everyone who walks through the doors of Current and Furbish is friendly. The ever-changing cus-tomer base lends itself to that; travelers who come are fun to talk to, Raden said.
A local who lives just up the street from the store, Raden offered to step in and help Vail, who was initially working seven days a week.
So far, the community has welcomed Current and Furbish with open arms. Unlike Magnolia, where Ward said that many business owners would come just to stake out the competition, local owners in Bellingham came not just to welcome the pair, but made purchases from the store as well.
For Ward, it means one thing. Bellingham is where Current and Furbish is meant to be.
1115 Harris Ave., Bellingham
10 A.M. to 6 P.M., Monday–Saturday
11 A.M. to 5 P.M., Sunday
360.733.3224 | currentandfurbish.com