Fringe Manhattan Beach offers up a domestic bounty of pretty, beach-themed home goods.
Written by Constance Dunn | Photography by Paul Jonason
Debbie Talosi and Laura Hoffman owners of Fringe, had a knack for finding — and not being able to resist–charming, one-of-a-kind crafts and home decor to showcase in their original, Redondo Beach store. Their solution? Open a new store in Manhattan Beach.
The newest branch, which opened in late 2015 along Highland Avenue, features a fairy-tale mix of sea-themed home goods—from glassy, beaded chandeliers to ornamental champagne buckets and hostess accouterments by the score, almost always featuring charmed depictions of mermaids, sea horses and other marine scenes—along with distressed wood and wrought-iron furniture. It also sports the similarly attractive mix of quirk and beauty that’s made their Redondo Beach store such a success.
“We were inspired to open up a second store to reach another part of the South Bay,” says Hofmann. “Some things we only carry in Manhattan Beach. Some things we only carry in Redondo.” Top sellers in their Manhattan Beach store include artwork like spindly octopus sculptures and dreamy, color-filled paintings by Redondo Beach artist Julie Balcom. “All of our customers really love the idea of one-of-a-kind artwork,” notes Hofmann. “People like to know that they’re the only ones that have this one piece of artwork, and nobody else is going to have it.”
Another big seller is UNOde50, a line of jewelry from Madrid consisting of earthy yet sophisticated works of twined silver and leather, sometimes with an equestrian edge. (So regular are the purchases of these necklaces, earrings and bracelets, that they’re measured by a glass jug on the counter filled with tags from sold items.) No matter the decor style of one’s home, items found at Fringe tend to be the type that can nestle into nearly any genre, from contemporary to beach cottage. “We try to cover all categories,” notes Hofmann. “The word ‘eclectic’ kind of covers it all. There’s a way to mix modern and vintage, and maybe a bit of mid-century items as well.”
The mix of period and vintage pieces crossed with new and funky items comes from Talosi and Hofmann’s free-flowing aesthetic (“We buy what we love, not just what we think will sell,” says Talosi) and the fact that they’re on the near-constant prowl for the new, novel and hard-to-find to stock their charming store with, from big-ticket to bite-sized. So even if you’re not in the mood to pick up a FrenchEmpire-styled sitting bench or mellow wood-and-linen dining set, there are always mermaid gift tags, sea horse cheese spreaders or a fragrant soy candle encased in hand-blown glass to pick up.
“I was a buyer for many years,” says Talosi. “I was a jewelry designer for years, and did handbags and clothing. The two of us had a belt buckle company at our old store, and we sold them to Mykonos, Greece, and to stores, and we did shows. We’re very crafty.”
This craftiness lends itself to a desire to showcase items by solo artisans, whether it’s a glass octopus bowl created by a New York artist or strands of necklaces and color-filled bead bracelets by local jewelry makers Vertigo. “Our customers really like to support local artists,” says Hofmann. “There’s a lot of different talents out there, whether it’s jewelry, or artwork, or pottery.”
Fringe Manhattan Beach
1141 Highland Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
310.545.4555 | FringeRedondoBeach.com