Fringe Benefits

By Lisa Cavanaugh | Photos by Michael and Suz Karchmer

The new store On The Fringe embraces the “paper and vintage” theme by offering high-quality used books, stylish vintage clothing and an eclectic mix of hand-crafted tiles made with old magazine advertisements and photos. The store’s three owners—Wendy Howard, her son, Conor Howard-Rose, and his girlfriend, Janna Powell—opened the unique gift shop in Dennis Port last spring. “I actually started out making lampshades,” says Howard, a former TV producer from New York who, with her professional cameraman husband, Michael Rose, moved full-time to their Harwich home six years ago. There was quite a bit of fringe on the shades that Howard sold at artisan markets in Wellfleet and Provincetown. “So, we just sort of tossed some ideas around,” says Howard, “and On the Fringe kind of made sense.”

Howard had also been making coasters and trivets for years, focusing on travel-related arcana such as old maps, guidebooks and vacation brochures. Howard-Rose specializes in valuable old books and Powell is skilled in sourcing distinctive vintage clothing. When this retail space became available in early 2017, the three artisans leapt at the opportunity. “Everybody on this block is awesome,” says Powell, of the Route 28 strip that boasts restaurants, art galleries, coffee shops and an organic market. “Something that I really like about Cape Cod,” she says, “is that everybody is doing their own thing and they are really supportive.”

On the Fringe, 672 Main St., Dennis Port, 508-394-9000, follow on Facebook and Instagram

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