Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for January 2016- Fringe Benefit
Owned and operated by Nancyne Willoughby, a Virginia Tech graduate, Fringe Benefit is proud to have served the community for 42 years.
In March 1972 the original owner, local entrepreneur Beverly Patterson, opened Fringe Benefit in the old Mill building, later to move it down to street-front at 217 College Avenue. It was an all natural fiber store, to combat the evil polyester of the 1970’s! Nancyne remembers shopping there when she was at Tech in the late 70’s. This very successful women’s clothing and accessories shop was there for more than two decades.
Beverly moved to Texas in the early 80’s and the store needed some attention. Nancyne had managed a few other boutiques in town after college and decided to ask Bev if she would ever sell the store; a few years later Bev was ready to sell. Judy Murray and Nancyne bought the store from Beverly in September 1987. They updated the business and worked together as co-owners until Judy left the business in 1997. The original store was 900 sq feet. Nancyne decided she wanted a fresher look and a bigger space so she moved into the current location, the old spot where Davidson’s men’s clothing shop had been at 117 N. Main St. in June of 2004.
Nancyne was born in Massachusetts, grew up mostly in Northern VA, came to Blacksburg to go to Virginia Tech, and never left. She earned a BA in Art, with a minor in History at VT. She joined DBI, formerly the Downtown Merchants of Blacksburg, in 1987 and has served as President of the Organization for a total of 16 years since joining. She is currently serving a second term on the Board. Nancyne was instrumental in the renovation of the Lyric Theatre and was a member of the original Lyric Board for 10 years. She has also served on the Friends of the Farmers Market Board for 10 years.
Nancyne says: “I love being downtown, you get a real sense of community. I love interacting with my customers!”
Special Features of shopping local at Fringe Benefit
Fashion Shows- Fringe Benefit has provided clothing and accessories for Fashion Shows over the years for the Blacksburg Newcomers Club & the Blue Ridge Cancer Center
If you like expert assistance, we will be glad to provide it with our personal service. Whether you are shopping for yourself or a gift for someone else, we have unique items that are sure to please anyone.
Speaking of gifts, we provide free gift wrapping, reward you with 20% off on your birthday and enjoy the benefits of our frequent buyers club. Come in today to find out more details of these benefits!
Gifts Galore-Looking for that perfect gift? Find it in our gift selection of Ten Thousand Villages, bath products from Caswell-Massey, local hand crafted soaps, cards from Palm Press and Local Wisdom.
Roanoke Times- Best of the NRV- Best Place to buy Women’s Fashions, Best Hidden Gem
Collegiate Times- Best of Blacksburg- Best Clothing Store
Downtown Blacksburg Inc- 2nd Best decorated Holiday Tree- 2014
Check out our website: www.fringebenefitva.com/index.html
Follow us on Face Book: www.facebook.com/Fringe-Benefit-97924721561/?fref=ts