Arts & Culture, Interview

LOYAL SUPPLY Co. (Union Square)


Earlier this month, local design duo KIM LAFOY and RYAN HABBYSHAW opened up their own design firm/retail store over in the primo locale of 21A Union Square in Somerville called Loyal Supply Co.  The new shop is as functional as it is easy on the eyes. We spoke with Kim about the what’s and the why’s…

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1. First off, congrats to you and Ryan on the new endeavor! Can you tell us a little about what the Loyal Supply Co’s location in Union Square is exactly?

Thanks! Our location is a few things: for the public, it’s a general store featuring well-designed items and a few vintage pieces. There are several items local to New England but things from around the globe as well. For us, it’s our workspace where we design and build.

2. What instigated two working designers to take on a project like this? What kind of risk was involved for you?

We both spent some time working in advertising and product design and wanted a space that was all our own. We wanted a place where our clients could come and view our capabilities and discuss possibilities. We both have several large scale hobbies: motorcycles, letterpress, woodworking. We finally realized we needed one thing that encompassed all of our hobbies and allowed us to enjoy them more often. Leaving the comfort of our corporate jobs (and a steady paycheck) can be viewed as risky but this was something that we had been planning for years. It was the right time in our lives and the right time in Union Square.

3. What do you hope to see Loyal Supply Co become with this new public space?

We’d like to see Loyal Supply Co. be a place for the community to come and be inspired. We’ve enjoyed working with people who’ve chosen to dedicate their lives to making one thing well. It’s a privilege to be able to work with those people and we hope to continue to do so by featuring their products in our store.

4. What experiences in your past, as a working artist, do you feel best prepared you to move forward with this kind endeavor?

Always being eager to learn something new has helped us the most. This is a new endeavor for us and we’ve always been willing to ask questions and seek knowledge from masters of their craft. Keeping an open mind, constantly adapting and doing our best to stay current with a nod to past successes has also been important.

5. Despite Boston’s cost of living, you both chose to set up shop here. Why?

We’ve lived here for a combined 20 years now, originally moving here for college and a job. We’ve lived in many neighborhoods but Somerville felt like the right place for our store. It’s a neighborhood that was historically an industrial town and is now full of makers and do-ers.

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