What happens when you combine the skills of a graphic designer with that of an event producer who both have a plethora of hobbies, including motorcycle tinkering, woodworking and letterpress? Loyal Supply Co., a new design studio, retail store and workshop, in the heart of Union Square.
Ryan Habbyshaw and Kim LaFoy, a couple who met at work seven years ago, have created a modern-day pegboard workshop-inspired space that allows them to combine their professional talents with their personal passions.
“We had so much going on,” Habbyshaw said. “How can we make it equal one thing? This was an effort for us to bring all those things together.”
Prior to opening Loyal Supply Co. (21a Union Square) late last month, Habbyshaw and LaFoy held corporate jobs and used a garage in Union Square to pursue their hobbies. When the garage was sold and Arc-en-Ciel, a bike and welding shop in Union, decided to change venues, LaFoy and Habbyshaw knew it was time to seize the new space to make their dreams a reality.
“If we’re going to do something crazy, the time is now,” Habbyshaw said. He and LaFoy teamed up with Aeronaut Brewing to design the company’s branding and launch event. “The first event proved we could do it.”
Loyal Supply Co.’s other design clients have included restaurants and they plan to continue working with other small businesses through their design studio as well as in the retail store.
“When you make a client’s vision a reality, all parties will be satisfied with the results,” Habbyshaw said. “We want to be a full chain place, from design to build.”
Both LaFoy and Habbyshaw’s families had previously owned stores and both had fond childhood memories of pegboard workshops and general stores. Inspired by those spaces, they created a bright, airy, modern home for their work and to showcase the work of others.
The Loyal Supply Co. space came together in just a few months, but the transformation wasn’t always easy. LaFoy and Habbyshaw painstakingly selected every fixture and piece of furniture, building some themselves and enlisting the help of other local craftspeople when they needed assistance.
“We wanted a place that was all our own,” LaFoy said. “It’s an example of what we’re capable of.”
While Loyal Supply Co. hopes to eventually sell more of its own products, like letterpress prints and a new spin on the classic leather keychain, most of what you’ll find in the store now has been crafted by other artisans. Some are local, while other products come from California, New York and New Hampshire.
“We want to highlight the community and educate the community,” Habbyshaw said of deciding which products he and LaFoy select for the shop.
“We pull the best parts of the Internet into the store,” LaFoy added. She was inspired by trips to Portland, Oregon, Austin and Vermont where she visited “stores that just have things that people love. I like products that have a story behind them.”
One of the most rewarding parts of opening Loyal Supply Co. has been being able to purchase wholesale from the craftspeople LaFoy and Habbyshaw have admired for years.
“We’re supporting the artists we like in a bigger way and we’re sharing that with other people,” LaFoy said. Habbyshaw added, “It’s not just about us and what we’ve made. We’re supporting their decision in life to make something. In order for that to continue, we need to support them.”
After months of transforming of the space, ordering products and preparing to launch, Loyal Supply Co. was able to open just in time for Black Friday, thanks to a speedy inspection from the city.
“We just decided to go for it,” LaFoy said, adding that she and Habbyshaw spent two days straight putting the final touches on Loyal before inviting the public in. LaFoy said the best part of the journey to open Loyal so far was watching people come into the store for the first time.
“Being able to see people come in, people were actually excited about,” LaFoy said. “They looked forward to coming in. That’s been so inspiring.”
21A Union Square
Wednesday-Friday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday noon-5 p.m.
Closed Monday and Tuesday