In our latest Home Away From Home series, we caught up with Tyler James of Nomad Supply Store in Frome. From humble beginnings, Nomad has become an important independent store for the town, situated on the iconic street, Catherine Hill. We spoke with Tyler about the journey they have taken to find themselves where they are now.
Words and photography by Nomad Supply Store | @nomadsupplystore
When did your store open? Can you remember how you felt when it did?
We've been open for roughly 15 years as a family-run clothing shop. Within this time it has evolved and changed. The current and final iteration (Nomad Supply Store) is where we find ourselves today. I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved since Nomad officially started, which was about 2 years ago. I have been able to bring my vision to life in my home town of Frome and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Why did you choose to open the store? What was the vision behind what you had created?
I grew up skateboarding and from that quickly gained an interest in hard-wearing clothing. As I got older I was drawn to hiking, outwear and the wilderness. When I took over the family business it quickly became apparent to me that Frome was missing a menswear store with an emphasis on outwear. We’re based in East Somerset which is a gateway to so many great outdoor locations in the UK. Keep heading South West and you reach Exmoor, Dartmoor and the Cornish Coast. Or head North a little and you’ll find yourself in the Cotswolds, Malvern Hills and the Brecon Beacons. I wanted to pull together a collection of soft goods and practical items that people would find useful in these locations and have full confidence in them!
What makes your store different from the others on the street?
From the point of view of general high-street shopping, we pride ourselves on stocking items that have a genuine purpose. Rather than just throwaway fashion items. The brands we stock are designed to last and designed to handle the elements. We have been given the opportunity to stock some of the great US outwear brands and in our neck of the woods, we are the only stockists of legendary brands such as Filson, and soon, Danner boots.
As for our street, we are located on Catherine Hill in Frome. This street is home to some of the best independent shops in the South West and its an honour to call them our neighbours. We, however, are the only store in Frome specialising in practical outerwear. We also have a decent selection of skate hardware, no town should be without a local skate store.
What is the view from your store?
My current view is the legendary cobbled pavement of Catherine Hill and the shop opposite, Boho, a unique independent Women’s clothing store which you should definitely check out after you’ve visited us..!
What is your favourite feature of the store?
I think my favourite physical feature is all the bespoke woodwork. From our solid oak floor to our steel angle and reclaimed oak counter. It's timeless and hard-wearing, just like the products we sell. We also have two extremely well-used ladders that lead to our stock rooms, it's a kind of unusual feature but I like it. Oh and there's an old 17th-century cellar/dungeon type thing behind our shop (it's still unclear what it was used for), we put a glass door in the changing room so people can see it and people are usually very interested in it. Unfortunately, it isn't connected to the large network of tunnels beneath Frome, but it's still an interesting feature.
What are your favourite Millican products of the ones you sell and why?
My current favourite is Oli The Zip Pack! I've made plenty of good memories with mine. It joined me on a month-long trip to California, Nevada and Arizona and it was perfect. I used it as my day pack and camera carrier. Quick and easy access from the top and extremely comfortable. It felt great bringing a UK based pack to the USA, a country where their markets are dominated by the big players. Millican was right there with me representing the UK!
What do you have coming up in the future?
We are starting to introduce more hard goods and equipment. Camping stoves, sleeping bags and tents will soon join our product range, amongst others. We hope this will help root Nomad Supply Store even further into the outdoor world and make us more of a one-stop-shop for people looking to get out and enjoy the wilderness.