Businesses find their niche in Birch Bay and Blaine

Published on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 by Brandy Kiger Shreve

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New retailer opens in Birch Bay Square 

Looking for fashion-forward clothes without the hassle of heading down to Bellingham or the mall? Your options just expanded.

Betty Be Good opened on October 18 in Birch Bay Square, offering chic boutique clothes for women ages 25 to 40 at not-boutique prices.

Owner Suzanne Smith said she keeps up with the trends but always keeps lifestyle in mind when picking her products to make sure the clothes are what her customers are looking for. “I’m looking for things that are cute and fit great,” she said.

The corner storefront is the first brick-and-mortar establishment for the Canada-based business, which has found great 
success with the pop-up shop model throughout Vancouver. “Prior to this point we were just running the pop-ups and doing online business, and that was a really great opportunity to get in unique communities like Chinatown,” Smith said. “Our girls would follow us wherever we would go. But we wanted something that was more consistent.”

Smith said that her goal is to offer “fabulous products at fair pricing. I’m a really smart shopper and bargain hunter. Everything in our store is handpicked, and we’ll usually stock six to 12 of each piece, so it’s all unique. I look for things that have really nice tailoring and fit well.” 

Betty Be Good is currently stocking tops, dresses, jeans and shoes. “We’ve got some great denim,” Smith said. “It’s nice quality without the premium price tag, and are all midrise. It’s the mid-rise that makes them fabulous, and our skinny jeans are easy fitting – very forgiving material. We think people will like them.”

For the holiday season, Smith said she would be carrying items with “a little sparkle and shine” as well.

Smith said she picked Birch Bay Square because of her family’s long business history with the area. “My family has had businesses in Blaine and Birch Bay and Ferndale,” she said. “We love the community, and it just didn’t make sense to open in Canada, because we would have to charge more. I couldn’t justify doing that. My customers appreciate the value they are getting. Plus, there’s a lot of promise in the location.” 

Smith said the community has embraced the store much more quickly than she had expected. “I’m really pleased with how the local community has been supporting me,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of our regulars come down from Canada to check us out, but we’ve had a lot of new customers as well.”

The store will hold its grand opening on Thursday, November 21, and will host a ‘black and white’ party beginning at 6 p.m. “There will be holiday refreshments,” Smith said, “and the first 10 people will receive one of our cute clutches that will have a gift certificate valued from $5 to $100 inside.”  There will be door prizes and music as well. 

A portion of proceeds from the clothing sold at Betty Be Good is used to help cloth women at risk and support victims of human trafficking through Betty’s Liberty Closet, which partners with the Salvation Army. 

The store’s hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit or call Smith at 360/325-7118.


Keeping Fido company

If the thought of leaving your pup home alone all day while you’re at work or on vacation tears your heart apart, there is a new service in town that might be just right for you. 

Bark & Purr, a new pet-sitting and dog-walking service, opened in the Blaine and Birch Bay area in October, and is catering to the needs of pets in a new way. 

“The more I worked in kennels and veterinarian clinics, the more I realized that pets really are just like their owners,” said owner Heather Jackson. “Some of them like to party and love going to the dog park and some are more introverted and those kind of social situations cause them severe anxiety. We try to match our services to what they need.” 

For Jackson this means being as accommodating as possible. For her social clients, trips to the dog park or visiting other “puppy friends” in the neighborhood are on the agenda. For her more reclusive charges, it’s time spent at home, interrupting their schedules as little as possible. “Some pets don’t want you around at all, and some want all of your attention,” Jackson said. “A lot of times it’s just going in, watering the plants, turning the lights on and cuddling up on the couch with the dog for some ear-scratching, brushing and cuddle time. We’re really catering to the pet.” 

Bark and Purr also offers a pet taxi service to help get your pet to and from its appointments without causing you any duress. “We have a lot of folks who are elderly, love their pets and can’t let go of them,” Jackson said. “But they don’t have the ability to take them to the vet or to the groomers. That’s where we come in. I’m like a backup pet mommy.”

The initial in-home consultation for pet services through Bark and Purr is free, and prices vary per customer. A full menu of services is available on their website at

Jackson said that her company also takes care of cats, birds, horses, chickens and cows as requested. “If it doesn’t speak human, I’ve probably cared for it in some capacity,” she said. 

Jackson has more than five years’ experience working in kennels and veterinarian clinics and is a member of the National Association of Pet Sitters. Bark & Purr is licensed, bonded and insured.