Wanting to add another amazing Christian business to your shopping favorites? Check out Fringe and Free, a Unique Online Shop!
Fringe and Free is a faith-forward, high-quality handmade home goods business out of Texas.
Founded in 2020 by Nathalie Lu, Fringe and Free began as a modern macrame pop-up shop in Grapevine, TX. Named after the woman in the synoptic gospel who believed if she could just touch the fringe of Jesus Christ’s robe then she would be freed (healed).
A Faith-Forward Brand
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Love Thy Neighbor
The ties to faith go beyond the naming of the shop. A core value of Fringe and Free is “love your neighbor.”
Being an entrepreneur is truly awesome, but it can be isolating and finding the right market for your product is not always easy. The need for compassionate and supportive relationships within the maker small business community is incredible.
Nathalie has grown to interpret “love your neighbor” in a different ways, but one outstanding way is by being intentional to source materials from neighbors.
Disclaimer, sometimes it’s just not possible, at least yet.
However, it’s incredible all the ways she has found to partner with local, particularly small, businesses.
Her plant hanger steel rings and hooks are made outside of Ft. Worth. And the wood logo tags outside of Austin. Even all paper marketing products are printed just one city over from her. And you should really read “The Namesake Keychain” product listing sometime.
When there is a high-quality local option, and sometimes local even means within the US, she tries to take it.
Life is Sacred
Another core value is the sanctity of life. From early on, Fringe and Free supported a local non-profit Embrace Grace. This organization surrounds families in unplanned pregnancies and showers them with weekly support, physical baby items, and community after their baby is born. They even have a program for the fathers in these unplanned pregnancies, Embrace Legacy.
Along the lines of sanctity of life comes the desire that all her products be made from exclusively natural materials. This stemmed from her rocky journey to conceive. She found synthetics to be harmful for hormonal balance, so began her path in discovering how to be physically aligned with God’s desires for His creation. In short, a “natural” life, but specifically, a Godly life.
Handmade Home Goods
Vintage Plant Hangers
Fringe and Free still makes all the macrame goodies in Texas, from plant hangers to purses, keychains to incredible wall hangings. Bringing plant hangers back to the bohemian soul was an original best-selling product. With a range of styles and colors, it was easy to match a plant hanger with any style and size of plant. Every hanger is made from a hand-forged black steel ring. Their blacksmith even created coordinating off-the-wall and S hooks as the perfect pairing accessory.
USA Decor Flags
Perhaps the most-popular Fringe and Free product are the beloved USA Decor flags. Available in two sizes, and both accurate representations of the USA flag (all 50 states, all 13 stripes, and placed in the correct locations), these unique USA flags have been an incredible way for people to show their patriotism AND love for small business. These take much attention to detail and time to make, and the price reflects that, and yet it is still a best-seller.
Nathalie’s time at markets spurred her to offer a product that she had never thought of. Nathalie often heard my similar phrases from those stopping by. “I remember doing macrame with my mother in the 70s”, “When I was in college, my girlfriends and I would make these”, “Is macrame back again?”, and “I wonder if I can still do that?” Nathalie began making macrame as a girl in the 90s, never actually learning the word “macrame” until just prior to going to market. Never knowing that it “used to be”, she soon wondered if she could help bring the craft back through offering macrame supplies.
A common deterrent with macrame supplies is simple nomenclature. What are the names of the supplies? Yarn? String? Rope? The most common terminology is “cord”. And even within that, there are so many different types. From multiple ply, to single chose to stock her favorite cord. It’s a 4mm cord, available in 10 colors, and it comes in the MOST convenient center-pull shape. Nathalie hand-cranks the cord into the super-usable center-pull “cakes”.
Another fun supply are macrame wood beads. These have HUGE holes, perfect for stringing macrame cord through. Most beads are tiny and require special tools for stringing, but these do not! Sold in packs of 50, they will go a long way!
100% Organic Cotton Apparel
The most unexpected product offering has been organic apparel, kids undies to be exact. These are sourced from organic cotton grown AND sewn in the USA. The Everyday Organic Tee (for the whole family) was the first to debut. And after a few months, she brought in the all-organic undies for children. The backstory of these came from a single email Nathalie opened during a time when it seemed like every big company she purchased from was marketing their allegiance to gender ambiguity and gender choice. It was hard to stomach when her favorite sustainable and organic children’s clothing company sent an email of the same topic, going so far as to say this is WHY they make their underwear unisex.
She decided that she would have to come up with an alternative organic cotton underwear for kids. After talking to a veteran-wife and stay-at-home mom seamstress, they collaborated and made these organic undies happen. It was pretty incredible, because soon their product was actually BETTER than the one she originally was purchasing, from the quality of the material to the sourcing of the labor.
The Future of Fringe and Free
Fringe and Free has hopes to open an online macrame community. Discovering all the amazing ways to use this fiber art has been cathartic, and she looks forward to sharing that with others. She envisions monthly projects, live sessions, and monthly giveaway incentives featuring goodies from other handmade small businesses. And for those who would rather purchase products already made, the online shop will stay stocked and ready to bring warmth and peace to homes all over the country.