Apricot Lane Boutique
Apricot Lane Boutiques have made their way up to our corner of Washington. The Bellis Fair store opened on Nov. 17 as the first Apricot Lane in the state, said owner Michelle Alke. While Apricot Lane is a franchise, the company has only about 80 stores nationwide, keeping it a community-oriented business, Alke said. Visitors can expect to find affordable jewelry, apparel, and home goods at the boutique. The atmosphere is fun and feminine, but not overly trendy. It is the perfect spot for some mother-daughter shopping, says Alke. “We try to serve a wide demographic.”
The products carried at Bellis Fair are a mix of Alke’s personal favorites and those from the company’s L.A. headquarters. The company has a style expert who focuses on keeping up with trends and new looks in L.A., Alke said. Some of Alke’s favorites are the double-hooded sweatshirts and the ever-popular beanie. As a boutique, the store rotates merchandise frequently and carries just six of every item, Alke said. “You’re never going to see anyone else wearing something from [Apricot Lane],” she said. The exclusivity of products at Apricot Lane keeps the store fresh and customers interested.
To appeal to Bellingham buyers’ particular style, Alke said she does a lot of her own research to find popular looks and vendors. “I really try to appeal to Bellingham by mixing casual and dressy. You’re not going to sell a lot of high heels up here,” Alke said. Styles that have done well so far have been Boho (Bohemian) pieces that fit the free flowing, hippie vibe of Bellingham. Alke said she is a huge fan of the Boho look. She loves anything delicate, light, and lacy. Although Boho has done well, Alke stressed that she tries to stay away from buying pieces for the store solely based on her own preference.
Another huge appeal of Apricot Lane are the prices. Visitors won’t find anything in the store over $100. Tops run from about $25–$45, dresses are between $30–$50, and shoes are about $40–$45, Alke said. College students will surely rejoice in the mix of affordability and style. “[Apricot Lane] tends to do better in smaller markets, like Bellingham, and often in college towns,” Alke said.
In addition to trendy L.A. products and Alke’s favorite picks, each Apricot Lane boutique carries give-back brands. The Bellingham franchise has partnered with the 3Strands. 3Strands is a global nonprofit that works to combat human trafficking and provide support to survivors. The 3Strands bracelets Apricot Lane carries are made by survivors of human trafficking as part of their reintegration and employment programs. Alke’s store also carries products by Good Work(s), a nonprofit focused on providing clean water and energy systems to global rural areas. More than just a boutique, Apricot Lane strives to give back to global communities.
As spring approaches, Alke said the store will be replacing their winter looks for fun spring fashion. Visitors will find rompers, off-the-shoulder tops, and plenty of spring color like blush and sage, Alke said. Timing on spring styles is a little tricky with Bellingham’s climate, but Alke said the winter merchandise is scheduled to be gone by the end of March. “I’m really looking forward to the spring looks,” she said.
While she is still working on the website, Alke is active on social media for customers who want to browse and shop online. Products can be purchased from the Bellingham Apricot Lane Instagram and Facebook pages.
Bellis Fair Mall 360.393.4806 apricotlaneboutique.com/bellingham