Ian Hess has been working as an artist for eight years. And in those eight years, he’s heard a regular refrain: that Richmond could use another art supplies shop.
In the coming days, Hess will answer that call by opening art supplies retailer Supply (stylized “SUPPLY”) at 320 W. Broad St. in the Arts District.
“I think it’s finally time, after all these years, to do one,” Hess said. “With willpower or stupidity, depending on how you look at it, I’m hoping to fill that void.”
Prominent in the shop is a floor-to-ceiling display of spray paint cans. Accordingly, the store plans to cater primarily to graffiti artists and muralists initially. It’ll also sell canvases, paints and other supplies.
Supply plans to mostly sell new items but expects to offer a small selection of second-hand supplies for sale, too.
Hess said there aren’t enough art stores in a city as artistically inclined as Richmond.
“Plaza does an amazing job at what they do and covers a lot of bases, but I think a lot of bases aren’t covered,” Hess said, referring to the art store on West Grace Street near VCU.
Supply plans to open with operating hours of 4-10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, a schedule intended to accommodate the store’s target audience of professional artists and art students.
“I’ve been in the game long enough to know that 90 percent of artists are night owls. Everyone is showing up (with) a big screen-printing job due the next day and there’s no emulsion and there’s nowhere to go that’s open,” Hess said.
The store, which will open Dec. 2, occupies a roughly 300-square-foot area of a two-story building that Hess co-owns in Jackson Ward. He and a group that includes family members bought the property in 2019, per online city records. Hess said there are more plans for the property but declined to elaborate.
“This is the first step of a much larger project,” he said of the store.
Hess previously operated the now-shuttered art gallery and studio Endeavour at nearby 316 Brook Road. Hess co-owns Supply with friend Keisler Baquiran, who owns food truck Arroz.
Supply is opening across the street from 1708 Gallery, which became its own landlord early this year.