Many years ago I was a buyer of men’s apparel and accessories. I thought it was the most glamorous role ever. I was traveling to LA and NY for Market and really loved that part of it. The challenging part was the stress of “buying” the right things, in the right assortment and the right sizes season in and season out. I ended up taking my retail career a different direction but I have always cherished those memories. Men’s apparel is a hard business. Very different than the women’s business.
One of the things I get to do in my current role as the Chief Strategic Retail Advisor is visit brick and mortar retail stores. I love getting to know shopkeepers who started with a dream of owning their own store and work day in and day out to make it happen.
Meet Travis Samson.
Today I had the privilege of meeting Travis Samson, the proprietor of Samson Men’s Emporium, a General Store for the Modern Day Gentleman in the Short North District in Columbus, Ohio. He has an amazing story (keep reading for those deets). The store took my breath away. From gorgeous design, to impeccable merchandising and displays, appealing apparel and accessories and literally EVERYTHING a well dressed man needs to have an impeccable personal brand. The prices are moderate and the piece de resistance, the service. Oh the service!
Travis has an endearing smile coupled with a charismatic personality. I could have stayed there all day. Each customer who walked in heard, “Welcome in, I am Travis. Let me know how I can help” as he let them enjoy meandering through the store. No high pressure sales yet you just knew he was there for you.
Travis has filled his shop with many old family photos. His dream to own his own retail shop is deep within his DNA. Travis’s grandfather owned a furniture store was a big influence on him. He loved spending time there. This love of his family’s business inspired him to one day own a retail store. He made a few pit stops along the way before this dream became a reality. From thriving in the restaurant business to selling Real Estate. He spent time talking to people who owned their own retail store before taking the leap. One day he chatted with the man who owned T. David’s Antiques in the Short North and a few months later, Travis was in business sharing the space, learning retail and before long, he was the proprietor of a thriving mens store. Who doesn’t love a great story?
Travis shared a quote, something his dad used to say to him “Don’t forget who you belong to”. It hangs in the store and is on the back of his business cards. My dad used to say that to me too. Love seeing it in his shop.
What Differentiates Samson?
In 2022, the landscape of retail post covid has again shifted. Men used to be able to find a nice assortment at Saks and Nordstrom but their strategies have changed offering less in their stores and pushing men to shop online. Samson Men’s Emporium brings a taste of class to Columbus that no other men’s retail store has.
The assortment includes:
- Apparel – Blazers, Shirts, Polos, Denim, Sweaters
- Accessories – Great ties, pocket squares, belts, every accoutrement the well dressed man requires
- Apothecary – Personal care items from CO Bigelow, Barr & Co, Marvin toothpaste and tortoise toothbrushes
- Barware – glassware, super cool drink making accessories that are locally made
To see the full assortment, visit their site.
Travis has created a fun monthly event called Speakeasy where he gets to dable in his passion of creating custom cocktails and at the same time, give back to his customers delighting them with an array of beverages and special discounts while they shop. Check out the website and get the next event on your calendar so you don’t miss it.
Father’s Day Gifts.
I could go on and on about this amazing store and shopkeeper. Now it’s your turn to experience it for yourself. Father’s Day is around the corner. This is your “go to” destination. They have gorgeous gift packaging too!
Always in your Corner,