Made in America: Portland Store Manager, Nathan Gray
At Filson, “Might as Well Have the Best” doesn’t stop at the product– we’ve got the most talented team of employees around that live and breathe Filson in and out of the offices. Today we chat with Nathan Gray, our Portland Store Manager. If there’s a department you’d like to see interviewed, leave us a comment below!
How long have you been with Filson:
I’ve worked for Filson for 5 years. I’ve been a customer for about 15 years. I used to spend so much time in the Seattle flagship store trading fishing and hunting stories that David Perry, the Seattle sto
re manager, suggested I just go to work for Filson. About a year later, burnt out in the commission sales world, I asked David for a job. Working for Fils
on has been a great experience so far. It’s amazing how cool it is to go to work when you’re passionate about the products and the company.
What do you do on a typical work day:
Managing a retail store involves some book-keeping and office work, teaching and coaching, as well as visual merchandising and inventory management. But the most rewarding part is being able to help our customers find the perfect product for their needs. The location of our Portland store brings in many customers who are not familiar with the Filson brand, and it’s always fun to be an ambassador for Filson, introducing new customers to our brand.
What makes working at Filson different than other places:
Filson operates with the same values and commitment to quality that we started with back in the Gold Rush. Integrity and doing things right are still important. It’s great to have my personal values reflected in Filson products, and in the way that Filson operates.
What is your favorite product:
I have several favorite products for different tasks. For upland hunting, it’s my Single Tin Pants. My Small Field Bag gets used everyday, but I’d have to say my Jac-Shirt is the most versatile garment I own.
What is one of your most memorable stories in your Filson gear:
It was the last day of the pheasant hunting season in Washington, and my GSP was 7 months old. I’d driven about 5 hours and the snow was coming down hard. Mahli hadn’t hunted pheasants in the snow before, and completely lost any semblance of control. For 5 hours she chased every peasant in the county to the horizon, and I don’t think I ever raised my shotgun. When we got back to the truck I had about 3 inches of snow piled up on my Insulated Packer Hat and on the shoulders of my Shelter Cloth Upland Jacket, but I was dry and comfortable. The grin on Mahli’s face told me that bird hunting is more about the great times in the field with your buddy than it is about shooting birds.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Seattle or the Pacific Northwest region?
There’s no place I’d rather be than walking in eastern Oregon or Washington behind a great pointing dog. It used to be that fly-fishing was the activity that I most looked forward to, but now that takes back seat to the upland season each fall.
What’s coming up at Filson that you’re excited about (volunteer day, product, etc):
I’m very excited to see the re-issue of our Forestry Cloth Cruiser this fall. We’ve had so many customers ask about them over the years, so hopefully we can make a lot of people happy.
Anything additional you want to add before we sign off?
I always hear stories about Filson products being handed down from one generation to the next. It’s pretty neat to see that in practice with my father wearing my deceased great uncle’s Mackinaw Cruiser.