Tucked away in a corner of downtown Matthews is the manliest store I think I’ve ever been in.
The air is redolent of canvas and leather. Furnishings are of a rich, dark hardwood. Flannel lines each wall. A life-size buffalo greets you as you walk through the door.
This is Buffalo Jackson Trading Co.
The company started with T-shirts and ties before branching out.
Buffalo Jackson opened in 2009 in Colorado, the brainchild of Xan Hood, age 38. He wanted to create a brand around the true meaning of manliness and give people who might work indoors for a living the ability to express their affinity for the outdoors.
“When you go to work as a banker, you have something that represents who you actually are,” said Alex Via, director of marketing.
Hood and the business moved to Matthews in 2013, and along the way expanded to include apparel, leather goods, bags and accessories. The entire company, including a warehouse, is operated out of Matthews today.
The lines are heavily influenced by historical figures, like Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir and Ernest Hemingway.
Why downtown Matthews? The storefront is just a showroom for a large online business.
Buffalo Jackson has grown significantly, increasing revenue about 150 percent over the last year, mostly through e-commerce. For a while, Hood operated by using freelancers to fill in business functions but is now building up an employee base in Matthews.