While the birthplace of Buffalo Jackson began in Jackson Hole, WY — and my family’s home was Colorado Springs, CO — there was still a question lingering between my wife and I about where we would settle as a family and create the home of the brand.
We came from the south and moved west, but we felt the brand held a mixture of the two. There were many nights my wife and I sat together outside in the cool Colorado evenings praying about if we were being called back.
One day, a customer at that time, John (who has since become a friend), called me from Charlotte, NC and said that he liked the brand. He thought we should move Buffalo Jackson to the Carolinas. He felt like it was the perfect home for what we were about. I found it almost as a divine call, so, I listened. He connected me to a few friends of his in Charlotte. Within a few weeks, I was driving around with his buddy, Chris, as he showed me the city. Coincidentally, my brother-in-law had just moved to the area and my wife’s family was willing to relocate to Charlotte as well.
I took a solo trip to a small town south of Charlotte that piqued my curiosity. It was a small historic town dating back to the 1800s with an intersecting railroad that had supported the entire town. Remnants still remained with aged brick and buildings that took you back to the past. A hardware store over 125 years old was still operating, selling feed, seed, cast iron, as well as standard hardware items to everyone that passed through its doors. The place felt honest, authentic, real… attributes that I had hoped the brand would one day become. If we had a store, it would fit perfectly in Matthews, North Carolina. As I continued to pray, it just felt right. This would be our home.
And so, my family moved east. We packed everything in a U-Haul and moved in with my gracious in-laws because we had little money to our name and couldn’t qualify for a mortgage. They had just moved in as well. So, there we were all together. One big family trying to make it work. It was humbling but it felt right.
Build little by little. That is what we did.
Our first week in Charlotte, Jayne, my wife, called to inform me she had been antiquing and stumbled upon a full body mounted buffalo. I was shocked as this was not a typical find. The owner shared with Jayne that she bought the buffalo at an auction. I immediately made an offer on it and she agreed to sell.