- Emily Kern
Small Business Spotlight: Nathalie Lu of Fringe and Free
We are long overdue for sharing another Small Business Spotlight. Thankfully we've got a GREAT one to bring you from Nathalie Lu! If you're a woman of faith, an all-natural products lover, or just a small business lover, this one's for you. Let's hear now from Nathalie.
Nathalie, tell us about yourself! Where are you from, and what did life look like for you before Fringe and Free? My name is Nathalie and I'm a Yahweh-loving wife and mother from Texas. Before founding Fringe and Free, I was a natural-life seeking mother who tried to live as clean of a life as possible. But when shopping "natural" and clean meant funding things that didn't sit right in my heart, I ventured to make a business set apart.
What led you to open Fringe and Free? What inspired the name?
The name of Fringe and Free was inspired by the story in the synoptic gospel of the woman with a bleeding disorder who believed if she could just touch the fringe of Christ's robe then she would be free from her disease. Jesus told her that her faith has made her well and she was healed. Faith in Jesus means everything to us, we just had to name our business after Him.
I love Fringe and Free's mission. Explain it to our audience!
Our mission is to be a faith-forward online boutique that curates a family-first, handmade and earthy aesthetic. We prioritize supporting the talents and businesses of our neighbors, and we have a long list of local small businesses we directly partner with. Take our plant hangers for instance. The metal rings are hand-forged by a local blacksmith. The macrame is knotted by me (Nathalie). The wood logo tags are made in Georgetown. And the paper hang tags are printed down the highway from us. So one purchase directly supports four local, small businesses.
Your products are made with natural, quality materials. Tell us why this is important to you.
The story of the woman with the bleeding disorder resonates with me. I was seen by multiple doctors to help with a condition that ultimately led only to life-long multiple drug dependency. I even went so far as attending medical school for a year before realizing that traditional western medicine looks primarily at pharmaceuticals and healing is quite rare. In short, I ran to the feet of Yeshua and desperately asked Him to show me the path to healing to the point that I would be able to bear children. He faithfully led me on a journey that has included the birth of two lovely children. Synthetics, chemicals, and plastics were three things that I felt led to minimize in my life as much as possible. That's why Fringe and Free prioritizes using only natural materials, mostly 100% cotton. I love using materials that God made.
When did Fringe and Free open and how has it evolved since then?
We opened in August 2019 at a local artisan's market in Grapevine, Texas. We brought our handmade macrame plant hangers and textured wall art. After two years of markets, we have grown our product offerings. We have added an apparel section where we sell Everyday Organic Tees for the whole family. These shirts are so special, made from organic cotton grown in Texas and sewn in the USA. We also added a wrought iron hook accessories collection that we created in collaboration with a local blacksmith. These hooks pair perfectly with our boho macrame plant hangers.
If you want to find Nathalie or support her small business endeavors, check out FringeandFree.com and follow her on Facebook here.