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Episode 20: Ryan Habbyshaw of Loyal

Episode 20: Ryan Habbyshaw of Loyal

Today I'm speaking with graphic designer and shop-owner, Ryan Habbyshaw. Ryan and his wife Kim own Loyal, a design studio and retail space in Somerville, MA. As evidenced in the photos, Loyal is a cheerful candy shop of a space selling handpicked items from both well known designers and local makers and artisans. Ryan and Kim opened Loyal when "the stars aligned" and Kim was laid off from her job in advertising. Meanwhile Ryan was completing design on an project that would help people with life planning which inevitably led him to look at where he wanted his own life to go. What Ryan and Kim determined was that the time was right to start their business. And they took the risk and did it. 

Ryan and I talk about the way he and Kim structure their business as both a design studio and a retail space and how these two elements work symbiotically to create community and make money for Loyal. We chat about Ryan and Kim's current struggles with the retail side of their business and why each passing year of a business brings new insights and new benefits. We chat about their established roles and why a to-do list from Kim keeps him on track, while his slightly looser approach to the work day allows Kim to step back and really dig into her work.  It's clear that Ryan and Kim have a ton of respect for each other, not only has a married couple, but as business people.

Ryan is a pleasure to chat with and really good at creative collaboration. I'm excited for you to hear the Loyal story for yourselves. Enjoy the show! 

We talk about: 

  • How a bunch of hobbies turned into a passion project that turned into a lucrative career. 
  • How Kim being laid off was actually a gift so that she could start the business. 
  • Why Etsy is amazing at asking the right questions to get your business off the ground by taking you through the process of figuring out the most basic elements of your business. 
  • Why the more you know, the fewer risks you may take. 
  • Finding flow in your work and how that leads to true relaxation.
  • Looking at the body of work you're creating and enjoying the creative high. 
  • The struggles with transitioning from a retail space to a design studio. 
  • Breaking the cycle of overthinking elements of your business. 
  • Why the intention behind the shop is to attract a clientele that lines up with their aethstetic and aligns with their values.
  • Why it's the conversation that happens around the retail sales that is so valuable in later gaining design clients. 
  • Why community is so important and why building one around your shop will bring new opportunities.
  • Tips to make sure you're creating an experience that delights your customers. It's our only line of defense against the internet! 


  • The donuts across the street from Loyal are these and they're magic.
  • I need to make more money! Check out Lekker in the South End.
  • Our Episode 10 guest, Lana Barakat has just opened the sister space to December Thieves. It's called Heist and it's incredible.  
  • I was on a podcast this week too...I haven't listen yet. Too scared. You all listen for me! 
Episode 21: Kathy Cruz of The Salvaged Boutique

Episode 21: Kathy Cruz of The Salvaged Boutique

Episode 19: Lindsey Swett of Niche

Episode 19: Lindsey Swett of Niche