Local: New Bolton Landing Business Wears its Name Proudly
Webster’s New Compact Desk Dictionary defines “local” as an adjective which is characteristic of, or confined to a particular place. Bolton residents Matt Peterson and Domenick Pfau say “local” represents a sense of community – a sense of home.
The two recent college grads, both 22, held the grand opening of their T-shirt shop in Bolton Landing on Saturday, June 21. The name of their business is “local” and it’s situated in the building directly behind the recently-opened Mikado Sushi restaurant on Main Street.
“We’re not your run-of-the-mill T-shirt shop,” Peterson said. “What we wanted to do from the very beginning is show that our business can make high-quality products that are affordable,” he said. “They don’t make ‘em like they used to. We don’t make ‘em like you’re used to,” he said.
Peterson said the duo started an online clothing business in 2011 when they were college sophomores in South Carolina. “We went online to buy tank-tops because we thought they were cool shirts. But, they were $30 and we thought that was ridiculous,” Peterson said. As a result, they started an online business called Tank Top Tuesdays.
Today most brick and mortar stores make every effort to develop a successful online presence. Peterson and Pfau took the opposite approach. After graduation they decided to open a retail operation to supplement their successful online company.
“We make everything right here,” Peterson said. “We draw the designs. We make the silk screens. And we print the shirts right here,” he said. Peterson said the line of “local” clothing has “local” printed on the front and a silhouette of Lake George running down the spine on the back.
“When people see the “local” logo on the front of the shirt they always ask, ‘What’s on the back’”, Pfau said. “We’ve only been in operation here for three days and our retail sales have already exceeded our online orders,” Pfau said. “We did a “local” shirt last year at college with a South Carolina Fourth of July theme. We sold out the first run of 100 shirts within one week,” Peterson added.
“Local is a chance for us to really connect to Lake George,” Pfau said. “We want to bring people together from all around Lake George with our original, hand-crafted “local” apparel,” he said. “It’s important to us that all of our shirts are hand-printed right in our shop so that people can get a genuine feel for the community and the “local” mentality.”
Peterson said one of their unique shirts is the Rum Trail Design. “It’s a Route 9N shirt. We did some research on the history of the area and discovered that Route 9N was one of the routes used to smuggle rum from Canada into the U.S. during Prohibition,” he said. “People will recognize the Route 9N street sign. That’s what we want to do…focus on this area because we love it and we’re so proud of it.”
There are multiple products available at the store including tank-tops, long and short sleeve T-shirts, sweatshirts, koozies and decals. “We plan on adding Sara Pfau jewelry after July Fourth,” Peterson said. “We’re always looking for new products,” he said.
The innovative entrepreneurs plan on keeping the store open 7-days-a-week from “ten-ish to six-ish. We’ll see how it goes,” they both said in unison. “We might stay open some nights, too. After Labor Day we’ll probably be open only weekends,” Pfau said.