If you had to select the one day of the year conventional wisdom suggests would be the worst day to open a new retail storefront, the easy pick would be Black Friday. Yet that was precisely the day partners and couple Ryan Habbyshaw and Kim LaFoy decided to open Loyal Supply Co. in the heart of Somerville’s Union Square.
And after a little more than a year of planning, building, and procuring stock, the pair threw open the doors to what Habbyshaw calls “a general store with lots of well-designed things,” intentionally planned as a nod to old-school vintage pegboard-lined workshops of yesteryear.
“We talked about how we both have very vivid memories of our grandfathers’ pegboard workshop,” says Habbyshaw, “with items on a pegboard you weren’t allowed to touch. But you wanted to so badly. There’s something about that.”
There sure is. The svelte, beautiful space is filled with a mishmash of gorgeously packaged goods. Think: small-batch vegetable-based soap from Portland, Maine, artisan hand-made jewelry from Africa courtesy of an MIT alum-founded company, Japanese utility pouches and design tools, even folding pocket knives from a 100-year-old French family-owned company.
Aside from the purchased stock, the duo have a couple of products they’re producing in-house in the coming months. Designers by trade (their vision can be seen at Aeronaut Brewery) the couple maintains a workshop hidden in the basement underneath the showroom floor. “The workshop was important,” says Habbyshaw, “but when people shop, they don’t want to shop in a workshop. They want to shop in a storefront.”
“We wanted to support people that have dedicated their lives to making awesome things,” says LaFoy. “To us, it’s a privilege.”
LOYAL SUPPLY CO. NOW OPEN. 21 UNION SQ., SOMERVILLE. 617-996-6930.