Shop Talk: Samson Men’s Emporium
After a lengthy career that spans restaurant management and real estate, Travis Samson is ready for a new chapter in his life. He recently opened new boutique Samson Men’s Emporium in the Short North after making the switch to pursue his lifelong dream of owning his own retail shop.
“It was the onset of my 40th birthday that really pushed me into doing what I truly wanted to do,” he says. “In West Virginia, where I grew up, my grandfather was the Maytag man in town and it parlayed him into owning a furniture store called Samson Maytag. That family history and supporting parents really played a hand in my decision.”
The new store is located at 772 North High Street Suite 101, in the space that also houses T. David Collection, a local furnishings and home decor shop. The two businesses now share the same space, though Samson says that he’s going a step beyond just being a pop-up shop.
“I had been researching the hell out of opening up my own space,” he explains. “I received a call from Tom Crumley, owner of T. David Collection, asking me if I was still interested in opening up a Men’s Shop. He had the idea of sharing the existing space and splitting costs 50/50. We talked about mingling our stores together instead of dividing down the middle. I think this provides more of a men’s lifestyle shop and I think it shows very well.”
Customers who visit Samson Men’s Emporium will find a casual classic mix of clothing that includes shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, scarves, socks, sunglasses and other accessories. The store’s focus is less about current trends and more about comfortable versatile clothing.
“I like the kind of dress shirt that you can wear to work with a tie and then wear that same shirt open with a t-shirt or henley for the weekend,” says Samson. “I think my core customer is the professional 30 to 60 year old man that wants a good look for an affordable price point. I’m very serious about trying to stay in a J-Crew price point with my clothing, which I feel attracts the average guy that wants to come back.”
Samson officially opened for business two weeks ago, and he says that the reception has been very positive so far.
“Just as I expected, The Short North has been craving men’s wear,” he says. “We have been really busy since opening, causing me to place re-orders after just four days of being open. The walk-by traffic in Short North is really incredible, and so are my supportive friends and neighbors who live just right around the corner from my shop.”
At the end of the day, Samson just wants to share his love of fashion with the city of Columbus, and help to elevate the personal style of those who share his passion.
“I’m a sucker for the golden age of menswear from the 20’s to the 50’s,” he said. “That’s when men really cared about how they looked.”
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/samsonmensemporium.
All photos by Jonathan Firsdon.