A new store called Litchfield is set to open later this afternoon at 38 Water Street in Gastown. Earlier today, the very personable owner, Jonathon Litchfield (above, right), unlocked the doors so I could take a quick peek while he and his boyfriend, Philip Turley (above, left), continued to stock the shelves, sweep up, and generally prep the space for its first customers.
Litchfield, it turns out, is the former President of Martha Sturdy’s namesake company, Sturdy (a fact that wasn’t volunteered as a boast, but rather discovered via Google). He took possession of the long, high-ceilinged rectangular space – which housed the Ishara boutique for some five years – on October 1st. It’s been a pretty quick turnaround.
The eponymous shop is geared towards men, particularly – I think – those who dig high quality projections of clean-cut masculinity. Expect everything from Juniper Ridge’s “Trail Crew” soaps and Burroughs Beard Oil to titanium camp cups and wood-handled Opinel folding knives. “It’s a concept store,” Litchfield says. “It was inspired by my family and how we lived when we were growing up.”
That makes sense. Jonathon is the oldest of five kids who were raised in a small city outside Osaka. The Japanese aesthetic/influence comes across loud and clear throughout the store. “We like well-crafted things that are made by nice people.” he said while waving at the stock around him. “Nothing is just decorative. Everything is as beautiful as it is useful.” This is well-evidenced by all the axes (made by Litchfield’s own brother), slingshots, bold ceramics, and so on. It ain’t just pretty.
It’s a precisely curated shop; I suppose a sort of retail expression of Litchfield’s own self. I don’t know him from Adam, but I suspect the shop’s tag line – “How We Live” – is likely super apt.
Check it out and say hi for us. The hours of operation aren’t firm yet, but it’ll probably be 10am to 6pm or 7pm.