Archive for the category “Retailers”

From the Bottom of My Heart: Thank You

Well, Kentucky Derby Party 2012 is in the books.  All in all it was a great time.  The turnout was good, we raised some great money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the food & drink was exceptional!

I want to take this time to thank some folks.  Without you, this event just wouldn’t have been possible.

Atlantic Drift: You guys are great.  The bidding was incredibly tense over the tour visor.  Grant Hewit at Hudson Sutler:  That was a close one wasn’t it?  Thanks a million for being there for us.  William and Margaret at Wm Lamb & Son: I lost out on the bidding for the painting, but that’s what it’s all about.  I tip my hat to you two!  Pheasants Forever:  Thank you for everything.  You are a world-class organization that I’m proud to know.  Eric Corbyn at Corbyn’s: I thank you for everything.  Hope to see you soon!  Andrew at Luxley & Bernard: What an awesome package you put together for us!  I can’t thank you enough!  April at True Texas Designs:  Thank you so much for everything…the planter was a huge hit!  Casey Renner at Palo Duro Creek Golf Course:  Thank you for everything bud.  You’re one of a kind sir.  Tim at Canyon Country Club:  I want to apologize in advance for who won the bidding on the rounds of golf…in fact, I should probably give Casey a heads up as well! 

If you are reading this, please check out these companies.  They are truly wonderful people.

A special thanks to those who helped us bring all of this together:  Keith Brown.  Mr. Brown, you’ll never know how much I appreciate everything you do.  Dirk Swope.  We did it bud!  Now we just have to start planning for it all over again!  Jason Avent.  You sir are a true gentleman.  I am proud to call you my good friend and part-time financier.  The men of Sigma Nu, Eta Delta Chapter.  You boys are fine young gentlemen.  Thank you for all of your hard work.

To everyone that attended, I appreciate you spending your time and hard-earned money to help us raise money for a good cause.  I look forward to seeing all of you next year.  I’ll leave you with a few snapshots of the event.

Keith Brown on the left (my right).

Ms. Kaitlin Tucker

My sister and my sweet baby girl Scout

Jake enjoying the day

Bonnie with the spoils of “Best Derby Attire”

Corbyn’s: Amarillo’s Go-To For Prep

The other day, I visited with a gentleman named Eric Corbyn.  We sat down and got to know each other on a particular Saturday, and visited about a wide variety of topics while we watched that weekend’s PGA tour event on television.  Through our conversation, I learned that Mr. Corbyn is a straight shooter and definitely doesn’t pull any punches.  He tells it exactly like it is…which is how I found out several things…like how much he dislikes Tiger, loved the Beatles (mostly Lennon), and used to mix it up with administrators while he was attending college.

Without a doubt, Eric Corbyn is one of the most unique gentleman that I have ever met, and that only adds credibility to the reason that he has been so successful.  Corbyn has been a clothier for a good part of his life, but only until fairly recently has it been in his best interests.

    

After spending most of his professional career working for other local clothiers, about seven years ago, Mr. Corbyn grew tired of being the employee and decided to become the employer.  He started a retail clothing store that has become synonymous with good style and quite popular with the college kids who wish to dress properly.

Corbyn’s Classic Traditional Clothing is a men’s and women’s clothing store.  For the Prep out there, this is the final word in where to shop.  With brands like Vineyard Vines, Southern Tide, Bills Khakis, Southern Proper, and Allen Edmonds, just to name a few, it’s no wonder that Corbyn’s has set itself apart from the rest of the pack in Amarillo, TX.

At first it becomes overwhelming just how much product Corbyn’s carries.  There are so many things to look at, that a person really needs at least three visits to properly take in the offerings at this establishment.  One of my favorite spots in Corbyn’s, and one I plan on visiting this weekend is the nook where Mr. Corbyn has the Smathers and Branson needlepoint key fobs.  When you take a look at it for yourself, make sure to ask Eric about the picture that hangs just above…see below.

 

For sure, there is a lot more that I could add to this article, but I think that we’ll leave it at that for the time being.  We will be sure to visit with Mr. Corbyn much more and talk about it here periodically, but right now, I think that you yourself need to go see what Corbyn’s is all about.  Trust me…the clothing is unforgettable and the conversation is killer!  Tell Eric that Panhandle Prep says hey.

Corbyn’s Classic Traditional Clothing – 2817 Civic Circle / Amarillo, TX

 

A Conversation With Hudson Sutler: Part II

A couple of weeks ago, we visited with Grant Hewit of Hudson Sutler and learned about what drives the man.  Today, we are going to visit the product.  Right now, Hudson Sutler makes one thing and makes it well…duffel bags.  With their classic looks, these bags are somewhat of a throwback to better times gone by.  They remind us of a time when things were made here, and made to last.

After receiving one of the HS Cummuter Duffels a few weeks ago, I decided to give it another Panhandle Prep stress test.  To accomplish this, there was only one place that I could think of that would offer me the tools to perform such a test, so naturally I headed to a place where you and your equipment had better be built to last…CrossFit806.

When I showed up at CF806 with the bag in tow , it passed the first test with flying colors.  Jason Rel at CrossFit806, is something of a bag geek.  When I walked in the front door, he didn’t even look at my face…I could tell he was staring at the Commutter Duffel.  There you go.  It’s eye-catching, and has apparently upstaged my usual Saturday morning arrival.  One down, one to go…It’s nice to see you too Jason!

The next test was to see just what the bag could withstand.  After initially receiving the bag and giving a thorough inspection I was already impressed.  YKK zippers.  As a son of a Dry Cleaner owner, I’ve come to know zippers, and YKK is without a doubt the best there is.  I was very happy to see that, but how about the construction?  The exterior of the duffel is heavy (and I mean heavy) canvas, but could it take two 53 lb kettle bells?  We were about to find out.  The contrasting white straps on the bag are made of a heavy cotton braid, and the snap-hooks that attach the shoulder strap are not of the wimpy wire variety.  They seem to be built to last as well, because the bag held 106 lbs of hell and never even groaned.

At the end of the WOD, Clayton Young seemed like a good rack to hang the HS Duffel on...thanks Clayton!

Stress test passed? Check.

If I were more sadistic, I’m sure that I could have come up with some more brutal trials to put the duffel through, but this thing just looks so good, and I’m not willing to maim this one.  No, I’ll be keeping it looking proper.  With its amazing interior of plaid, this is sure to turn heads for years to come.

The long and short of it is this.  You need to own one of these great pieces of American construction.  Check out the Hudson Sutler website, or visit with Grant yourself.  You’ll be glad you did.

Atlantic Drift: Tailgate Series

 

The other day I was visiting with Nathan over at Atlantic Drift, after I noticed the picture above on their Facebook page.  This is one of the visors from AD’s upcoming “Tailgate Series”, specifically for the University of South Carolina fans.  I probably know some people from Lubbock that might like this color as well.

Soon, they will announce visors featuring the colors of four more schools.  As an industry insider…nope that just makes me laugh too much.  As a good friend of Atlantic Drift, I have been privy to the other four colors.  Good luck trying to drag them out of me though.  That’s just something you’ll have to wait and see.

To be sure you find out as soon as everyone else, be sure to “like” their Facebook page.  We would be mighty grateful if you would “like” our Facebook page as well!

The Friday Faction: 03-23-12

We hope that everyone has a bit of nice weather to enjoy this weekend.  Be safe, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Orvis: More Than Just Fly Rods

99% of the time, when I think of Orvis, I think about their iconic outdoor gear.  Whenever I’m on their website or combing through a catalog, I’m usually drooling over the sporting adventures that they offer, or placing a field accessory of theirs on a wish list.

I can remember just a couple of years back when I really didn’t think that Orvis had much else to offer me.  Sure they’ve always been the go-to guys for fly fishing, but their clothing just seemed a bit too mature for me.  Well, recently I got an eyeful of something that has me taking a look at Orvis’ clothing again.

Alternate View

Honestly, this is one good-looking polo.  The range of colors that they offer is pretty wide, but I think the thing that caught my eye the most was the utility loop on the chest.  This is iconic stuff right here.  The embroidered Orvis logo is pretty plain.  It’s just a text logo after all, but the loop makes a statement of its own and becomes a part of the logo.  At the very least, the Orvis Signature Polo is something that not everyone is doing.

On the down side, the under arm gussets tend to subtract from the classic look of a polo.  In the photo above, the lines that the gussets create reminds me of the polos that Under Armour and Adidas were coming out with a couple of years ago, but I think that might be just because of how the shirt is laying.

I think that when the polo is being worn, the gussets might just disappear, and be hidden.  I intend to find that out though and will be reporting on this at a later time, but for now go check out what’s going on over there.  If it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a look, you might be surprised. 

 

 

A Conversation With Hudson Sutler: Part I

For a short while now, I’ve been visiting with a man named Grant M Hewit.  For the most part, Mr. Hewit is much like any normal man.  If you begin to take a look at everything the man is involved with though, you begin to see that this man is no mere mortal.

For starters, Grant is the President and CEO of the Cross Hudson Group, LLC, where he founded Streaker Sports and produces the Big Apple Pond Hockey Classic.  Add the New York City Wingfest to his list of to-do’s and you have one very busy guy.  The fun doesn’t stop there though.  Which brings us to the reason for today’s post.  Hudson Sutler…a company founded by Mr. Hewit that has caught my full attention as of late.

When I first saw a Hudson Sutler bag, I was amazed by the look of it.  To me, it looked like an old duffel that I used to have and it immediately took me back in time.  Classic and  rugged, Hudson Sutler bags bring back the look of those that we all used to carry, but with some very noticeable updates.  Crafted from heavy-duty 18 oz. canvas, these bags are all there.  Later on, I will do a full review on the bags themselves, but today I wanted to get you acquainted with the man that produces these great items.

The other day, I was able to catch up with Mr. Hewit in between work and prepping for his next triathlon and ask him a few questions.  

First, can you tell us a bit about yourself?  What is it that Grant M Hewit does on a day-to-day basis?  In other words, what fills up your schedule on a normal day?

I fear my day-to-day will sound boring, but I’ve got to answer what’s asked right?  Being the opposite of a “morning person” I spend about 75% of my morning in complete silence until my coffee finally kicks in, and then after that I’m actually a decent enough guy to deal with.  Right now I’ve been hard at work getting our Spring line for Hudson Sutler ready as well as developing new products for the brand (expected at the end of Summer.)  I’m really proud of how much attention to detail we put into our first round of bags, and so I’ve been extremely conscious to put in the same amount of meticulous decision-making into round two.  Thanks to the insanely warm weather here in NYC lately, I usually take a break in the afternoon and hit Central Park for a run before returning to my office.  I’m training for my second 70.3 Ironman, slated for September.  For a guy that looks like Gizmo when he eats after midnight in the water, I’m not sure why I sign up for sporting events that involve swimming, but I really enjoy triathlons.

I’ve found out that you have been involved with Lacrosse for some time now…can you tell us about your past and present roles within the sport?

As the third of four kids, I pretty much did whatever my older brother did, so when he started playing lacrosse, I followed suit.  I played through high school in New Jersey and was fortunate enough to play in college at Princeton.  What made that experience even better was having my younger brother join me for my final 2 years.  When I graduated I moved to New York City and began volunteering with an organization called CityLax. (www.CityLax.org)  Unfortunately, this year my time volunteering has been limited, as I try to grow my business, but I’m still involved in the organization and help however I can.  In the spring, I suit up and play with some old college teammates and opponents, but truth be told I don’t know if what I do anymore is technically “lacrosse” as much as it is just being on a field with lacrosse equipment on.  I love the game though, and try to stay involved however I can.

Let’s get to the reason we’re here.  Hudson Sutler…when did you start this great company, and what inspired you to do so?

Almost a year ago I was working in finance in New York City when I decided to roll the dice and try my hand at starting up a company.  At the time I had already founded a sports apparel brand called Streaker Sports and was doing that, but Hudson Sutler quickly became my next passion project.  The brand (under about 1000 other names) was in development for close to 9 months before it was launched in December.  The inspiration for the brand comes from a true appreciation for “Timeless American Classics.”  White button down shirts, broken in jeans, the movie Caddyshack and a cold beer on a warm day with some buddies to me are just things that are Timeless American Classics.  With Hudson Sutler, we set out to create another classic item that seemed to have been lost over the years; the canvas duffel bag.  In paying homage to our namesake, we set out to have our bags Made in the USA, and be evidence that the American working spirit is alive and well.

Tell us about the design process.  Was there an “it” moment that you wanted to see that would let you know your bags were exactly what you wanted to create?

I don’t even know how many rounds of prototypes we did before I had that “it” moment, but I do remember clearly, getting the last test round of samples and just knowing.  The weight of the canvas was just right, the contrast stitching was just right, the thick, vintage style zipper just clicked and the icing on the cake was the plaid liner.  Beyond that, the moment when I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, was about one week after we launched the brand. I was meeting a friend for lunch, and as I placed my bag down on the chair next to me, our waitress commented “That’s a really sharp bag.”  As a merchant of products meant to be seen and felt, I get really amped every time we get a comment like that, an email from a customer, or even just a tweet about how much people like their Hudson Sutler bags. 

Last but not least.  My Hudson Sutler duffel has been just what I needed.  All of my CrossFit gear fits in there perfectly.  What’s in your bag?

With tri training in full swing, I’ve got a set of workout clothes which always includes (self promo warning) Streaker Sports shorts.  Aside from that, I’m kind of old school and always carry a book (no Kindle for this guy) and a folder with tons of work notes in it.  After missing some late night emails to myself, and Evernote not working on the NYC subway, I reverted back to writing notes.  Work keys, apartment keys and that’s about it.  When the warm weather really kicks in, my Randolph Engineering aviators make the daily trip.

Our thanks to Grant for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit with us.  Next week, we will have part II of our take on Hudson Sutler.  Be sure to check us out then, and in the meantime, click on over to their website www.hudsonsutler.com and check them out.  I assure you, it will be time well spent!

The Friday Faction: 03/16/12

We hope that everyone has a great weekend.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest in Panhandle Prep.

 

 

The Tour Visor: Retro Cool

Let’s take a trip back five years in time, and look around the world of hats.  By jumping in the DeLorean and cruising the streets of Hill Valley, we would notice that today’s tour visor wasn’t that easy to find.  Back then, only a handful of people could be seen wearing the tall fronted, wide brim visor.  Those of note included Bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Bubba Watson of the PGA Tour.  Other than those gentlemen, only a few more were wearing the tour visor instead of the smaller more cap-like version. 

Fast forward to 2012…the tour visor is now in full force and offered by several brands.  For a real quick check of just what is available out there, I’ve put together a grouping of what I think are the best looking ones around.

1. The Atlantic Drift Navy Tour Visor

2. The Southern Proper White Frat Visor

3. The Southern Tide Red Skipjack Golf Visor

4. The Cleveland Blue High Profile Tour Visor

Do you have a favorite brand that offers a tour visor?  Let us know about it!

 

Tom James: Born in the South…Worn Worldwide

Though they have been on board for a few days now, I want to formally introduce a new partner to Panhandle Prep.  Started in the year 1966, Tom James has become  the world’s largest manufacturer and retailer of custom clothing.  You may have heard of them, but better yet, you may be a client of one of their regional Tailors who come to your home or office and keep you properly attired for any situation.

What you may not have known is that the Tom James company has strong southern roots.  Founded in Nashville, Tennessee by a man named Spencer Hays, the Tom James company also has Texas roots as well.  Mr. Hays grew up in Gainesville, Texas and attended Texas Christian University before founding the company.  When I visited with Michele Stephens, Director of Marketing at Tom James, I spoke with her about conveying that message to my readers.

I wear Tom James and know several gentlemen that employ their services as well, but it wasn’t until I started doing a little research for myself, that I discovered this wasn’t only a company with a global reach, but a men’s clothier that can trace its roots right into our backyard.  I don’t know about you, but that means something to me. 

As I visited more with Mrs. Stephens throughout the weeks, and we entertained the idea of a partnership, it became more and more apparent that I needed to highlight this fact.  “Born in the South…Worn Worldwide” is what we came up with, and what I think defines Tom James to the core.  It’s a strong statement to say the least, but it’s something that I can stand behind.  A Texas boy makes good and conquers the custom clothing market…sounds about right. 

 

I welcome our new partner Tom James, and encourage you to visit with them.  Click the link over on the right, and see what they’re all about.  With their unparalleled custom clothing, ready-to-wear selection, as well as fully coordinated complete outfits, you can be assured you’ll be looking your best.

 

Are you already a Tom James client?  Let us know about your favorite Tailor over on our Facebook page   https://www.facebook.com/PanhandlePrep and don’t forget to “like” PHP.  We have some cool giveaways coming in the next few days.

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