Q&A: Greg Turner of Fringe Outfitters

From the 01/26/2011 edition

Local designs, global trends and an organic, sustainable ethos converge through Fringe Outfitters, the online retailer launched Dec. 19 by native son Greg Turner. Right now, he offers men's and women's clothing, accessories, wallets and gifts from labels here in town and across the country.

Turner shared more about living on the fringe.

I left Columbus for four years to go to school in Athens. I came back here to Columbus, which I thought was temporary. I took a look at the scene, and it had totally changed from when I went to school.

Columbus is an up-and-coming renaissance city. I said, "You know what? I'm going to stay here and help make it the city I want it to be." That's what drove me to stay here.

After graduating from Ohio University, I wasn't getting a job anywhere. I went on about 15 interviews, and none of them really panned out the way I wanted. The few jobs I had, I was just under-employed. I felt like I was on the fringe between failure and success.

Three things I can't live without are creativity, struggle and pizza.

I have always been interested in fashion. I came up with Fringe Outfitters because I love clothing. I love the experience of making someone feel good in different clothes. I said, "Hey, this is something I love to do. Why not go out and do it?"

I'm the kind of person who goes against the grain. I just do the abnormal. I do what's unexpected.

In selecting what I carry with Fringe , I kind of venture out and see what else is out there. I try to do that from local to state to the nation and then whatever else is abroad.

Running Fringe is constant thinking and rethinking. It's a process, but it's fun, because you're kind of able to choose your path.

The local small-business community embraced me. They put you out there, and they kind of help you. I feel like I wouldn't have gotten this support from any other city. And it's not like I've known these people prior to going away to college. I feel like any transplant here could've gotten the same treatment.

The best advice I've ever received is stop talking about it and just do it.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.