I am shaped by the personal crest of a Pitchfork and a Miner's Pik. You may not think that those two tools of manual labor have anything to do with owning a men's clothing store… but they shape every decision I make. I am lucky enough to cherish my family and learn from who I belong to.
My grandfather, Sidney Barker, was a very proud, hardworking and deeply religious man who owned a thriving dairy farm in Southern West Virginia; Barker's Farm Dairy. He and my Uncles worked 7 days a week milking twice a day, but leaving some time to hunt, fish and explore the hills of WV. Clothing is not about style for a farmer but more utilitarian. This started my fondness for outdoor wear of quality and comfort.
I grew up seeing the same Woolrich plaid jackets hanging on the coat pegs year after year… watching a sense of tradition of rarely buying new but taking care of what lasts. At SAMSON, I love offering a classic style that is not in “trend” but will always be in fashion.
Hard work, not bitching, finishing the job, quality and tradition are what I learned from the Pitchfork.
Being the oldest of seven, an 8th grade education just had to do during the great depression. Working at a young age to help keep the family afloat in one of the poorest regions of our country, my grandfather Bob Samson was happy to get a job at the coal mine. After a day working in the mines, he came up and said that he would never go into the pits of Hell again. From that day on, he climbed his way out of that mine to be the first Maytag man in Southern West Virginia. Forming these trusting relationships with families across the region gave him the ability to move forward with parlaying Maytag into a local furniture store, Samson Maytag.
Unlike my grandfather in the country, Bob was a big cat about town going to parties and wearing suits. He and my grandmother loved to travel, was involved in politics and sat on the local bank board. I loved seeing them dressed up for parties, going to the Greenbrier for functions and looking at their travel photos. A couple of the world and dressed to impress.