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Talula brings more retail to West Fargo

Talula, a women's boutique offers easy care items. Wendy Reuer/The Pioneer. 1 / 4
Talula, a women's boutique at 835 23rd Ave. E., West Fargo. Wendy Reuer/The Pioneer. 2 / 4
Talula, a women's boutique at 835 23rd Ave. E., West Fargo, is next door to the new women's shoe and accessory store Olive Street. Wendy Reuer/The Pioneer. 3 / 4
Laurie Chatham and Julie Thorson operate Talula, a women's boutique at 835 23rd Ave. E., West Fargo. Wendy Reuer/The Pioneer. 4 / 4

While West Fargo neighborhoods continue to fill in at a rapid pace, the city's neighborhood retail sector is much slower to grow. But, Talula, a women's retail shop across from Costco at 835 23rd Ave. E., Suite 204, and the neighboring Olive Street shoe store are giving West Fargo two new neighborhood options for shopping.

Talula owner Laurie Chatham founded the Fargo boutique Laurie's in 1980 and sold the business in 2010.

During a visit with Julie Thorson, who had worked at Laurie's in the past, the two starting thinking about returning to the world of retail and looked to West Fargo for available space.

"This town really has a heartbeat," Thorson said. "West Fargo has a definite vibe."

The casual clothing store offers colorful options for women in a range of sizes. Thorson said Talula's style tries to remain on trend but still timeless with an effortless air to the pieces. The women often look to European and specialty-based designers, including a jewelry line that is based in Israel.

Nearly all the pieces, including tops, dresses, jackets and leggings, are machine-washable and travel well.

"We are going to keep it casual; we figure that is the lifestyle," Chatham said.

Olive Street opened in October. Instead of turning up competition, Chatham and Thorson found the two boutiques could be complementary and installed a doorway between the shops to allow customers a way to browse both.

"We really love this location," Chatham said. "So far the community has been great. People that live in the neighborhood have stopped in and they keep saying, 'We needed this.'"

Economic Development Director Matt Marshall said the city is constantly looking for additional retail in West Fargo. The two boutiques are a great fit for the area, next to one of the city's biggest retailers and a dense neighborhood.

"We always hear from residents that they would like more retail," Marshall said. "These unique shops add to the character of our community. It's really valuable."

"That whole corridor is developing as a place to shop and eat," City Spokesperson Melissa Richard said.

Talula is open:

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays

Noon to 5 p.m., Sundays

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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