Shopkeeper Profile-Nomad Supply Store
It was lovely to catch up with one of Frome’s best-loved Catherine Hill shops this month. Nomad Supply store (formerly known as Kushi) has been serving up streetwear for more than a decade and a half, and continues to go from strength to strength. In this week’s Q & A, shopkeeper Tyler tells us all about the history of the store, the fight against fast fashion and the joys of Frome for a day off!
Tell us a bit about the history of Nomad – who started it, where did the idea come from, and how did it evolve into what it is now?
Our brick and mortar store has been a family run business for the last 15 years. It has changed and evolved a few times throughout the years before reaching its current and final form. We started Nomad Supply Store at our location on Catherine Hill about two years ago. After running the original store (Kushi) for several years I wanted to try something new with emphasis on tough, practical products that are made for a specific purpose. The idea came about from a love of travelling and being outdoors and a desire to make that lifestyle part of our job. Because If you love what you do for a living then you’re never really working, you’re just living.
You’re one of Frome’s longest-serving Catherine Hill shopkeepers. What was the retail landscape like in Frome when you opened your doors and how has it changed over the years?
Honestly, it has been pretty extraordinary to see Frome grow into what we see today. Particularly with Catherine Hill in mind; a street where shops would either not last a massive amount of time or would remain unused for months. Now we find ourselves nestled between other long term shops who have all carved out their own legacy. It’s great to see. I think it’s safe to say that if Frome hadn’t changed as it did we would not have grown as fast as we have. Events and organisations such as the Frome Independent Market have really helped us gain more customers and general exposure. We now have a group of loyal and returning customers who may not have considered Frome a shopping location without the market.
Nomad is known for its high quality, durable outdoor-wear – the opposite to fast, disposable fashion. Do you think customers are becoming more conscious of the environment and sustainable garment production?
Definitely! Many of the brands we stock are starting to switch their manufacturing policies. Organic cotton, recycled materials and emphasis on items that last a greater length of time are all major pluses for the environment. The longer an item remains useful the longer it stays out of the landfill. Which is where most fast fashion ends up. With current political and social shifts towards climate and environmental consciousness customers are taking more time to consider the origin of their clothing and how long it will last.
Tell us about your current favourite product / most popular range in the shop?
I think in-store our most popular brand is Carhartt. They have a massive range of items from work pants to button-up shirts, jackets, a vast selection of quality tees and more. They do it all and they do it very well. Solid items that last people years. Particularly items like the Detroit Jacket, a staple classic and regular in our store.
My personal favourite range at this time is from Filson. One of the oldest outerwear brands with a serious legacy. Their attention to detail is incredible and the longevity of their products is legendary, even under harsh conditions (their items are backed up by a lifetime guarantee). They’re also not super common in the UK as their stuff is all imported here from the US, it’s exciting we can bring some of that Pacific Northwest outerwear heritage to our neck of the woods.
Finally – we’ve been asking all our interviewees about their dream day off! Tell us what your ideal day out in and around Frome might be…
That’s a tough one! Frome now has so many great options. Some of our highlights are Moo & Two on Catherine Hill for a coffee, watching a movie at the incredible refurbished Westway Cinema and good eats from the new street food menu at The Griffin.
Thanks Tyler! You’ll find Nomad Supply Store at 7 Catherine Hill, Frome. They are open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 5pm and on Market Days. For more info on what you can find in store, visit Nomad’s website.