Faces of Arkansas - Kendall Sandifer of Fringe Clothing
It is a big year for fringe, the 70s throwback trim and the chic boutique that is expanding its way across Arkansas. Fringe, the trim, is on trend this fall for its ability to transition easily from edgy and rock and roll, to country and western, to bohemian and flowy. Not unlike its namesake, Fringe Clothing is not married to just one style. According to co-owner Kendall Sandifer, the growing boutique is “all over the place because I’m so open-minded when it comes to clothes.” When you walk into any of Fringe’s three stores across Arkansas, you can expect to find moto pants next to bell bottoms, crop tops next to oversize comfy sweaters and, if you’re in the Little Rock shop, vintage jewelry next to more current pieces.
The Face of Fringe Clothing
Kendall applies this same laid-back approach to many aspects of the business and her personal style, which by the way, is the very epitome of bohemian. When I met Kendall in her newly opened store in the Sterling Frisco building near the University of Arkansas, she was wearing a flowy, floral tunic dress, a boho wide-brim hat and booties, all of which are available to purchase at Fringe, save the shoes (although, I did overhear her telling a customer that shoes are coming soon). In fact, while chatting with Kendall, “laid-back” was brought up to describe everything from how she interacts with her employees, to the name she chose for her store, even her own wedding that took place six months before she opened her first store.
That’s not to say that Kendall is not deliberate about what she’s doing with her business. When opening her first store in downtown Little Rock’s Arcade Building at the urging of her husband, co-owner Blake Sandifer, she was determined to open in a timely enough manner to sell the clothes she had before the Arkansas weather changed, and her customers had a change of heart. “I told them that if I did not get in that space December 2, that I would sell clothes on the sidewalk.” They were able to open December 2, 2012, making Fringe the first shop to open in the distinctive building.
Expanding Across Arkansas
Even the decision of where to open her next two storefronts was strategically determined. Once sales started pouring in from the Northeast Arkansas town of Jonesboro, Kendall said it just made sense for Fringe to open a store there. So she didn’t even hesitate when an opportunity to partner with a customer in downtown Jonesboro fell into her lap. Fringe became the new face of the former Soho House of Style in March 2015. Then, less than two years after the initial store opening, Fringe expanded again. This time, she chose Fayetteville for many of the same reasons that she had set up shop in Jonesboro. According to Kendall, they were shipping packages to Fayetteville all the time, not to mention, their biggest day in the Little Rock store to date coincided with a Razorback football game that took place in Little Rock. Kendall pushed back her apprehensions about opening a store where the market was so competitive and brought Fringe to the town of her alma mater.