Women of Distinction 2021: Fringe Interior Design and Home Furnishings

This special section features some of our city’s most accomplished female leaders. These women represent a wide variety of fields, from finance and education to interior design, health care and more. Join us in saluting them in our third annual Women of Distinction!

Jessica Forston, Owner; Photo by Linda Smallpage, Boutique Photographer


With a passion that began early on, interior designer Jessica Forston has always been inspired by the design process and the satisfaction it leaves clients with. Observing an interior designer who brought her childhood home to life, Jessica explains, “I loved every moment of it! Watching as they planned the space, narrowed down selections and chose furnishings; that became my passion.” That led Jessica to pursue a career in design, where she strengthened her skills by working for furniture and design firms. In 2015, she achieved the dream of opening her own store, Fringe Interior Design & Home Furnishings in Whitefish Bay. Since then, the company has thrived. In addition to the daily duties of design, Jessica continues to grow her love of everchanging styles and trends in the furniture and design industry by attending nationwide furniture markets, confidently selecting the furniture and accessories curated in the store’s showroom that inspire clients every day. With more people staying in their homes, the residential interior design market continues to flourish. Hard work and perseverance allow Jessica to lead her team of talented women in overcoming current challenges within the design industry while still prioritizing clients’ needs.

“The best feeling in the world is to see how proud clients are of their finished designs.”


– Jessica Forston


Was there a moment in your career when you realized you could open your own business? Or was that always a goal?

That’s always been my dream. I love what I do. I even more so love my clients. They made the transition easy by helping me succeed at Fringe. There weren’t a ton of obstacles – it was more or less running full speed and not looking back. Every year is a better year than the year before.

What is some advice you have for young women who would be interested in starting their own business?

Having confidence and knowing that you can do it is huge. I tour a lot of MATC students in the design school. These young women ask me for advice, and I say you have to have a strong support team behind you cheering you on. My family stuck by me and said, ‘You can do this.’ That builds confidence to say, ‘You’re right. I can do this.’


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s November issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop

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