It’s the end of an era at Barbour! Today, three of its long-time U.S. employees are retiring after successful careers at the U.K.-based heritage brand.
General manager Tom Hooven, along with territory managers Jim Rood and Keith Broadley, are saying adieu to the brand today. These gentlemen have all had a major impact on Barbour’s success in the U.S. over the course of their respective careers.
Tom Hooven joined the company in 1989 and has been with Barbour for over 30 years. “As part of coming on, I moved to New Hampshire from New Orleans, which was a big change,” he said. “With my move also came with relocating the business from Massachusetts to its new corporate headquarters in New Hampshire, a big undertaking that paved the way to the company’s future growth.”
Hooven said when he joined the brand there were only five employees in the U.S., including himself. Now there are upwards of 180 employees with six showrooms across the country, and the business continues to grow.
His proudest moment with the brand was seeing customers from all regions, demographics, and interests wearing and enjoying Barbour. “I still get a good feeling when I pass someone in a Barbour jacket on the street whether I’m in New Hampshire or New York,” Hooven added.
Jim Rood joined Barbour over 17 years ago in 2003, first tasked with helping to launch and introduce the first Barbour women’s collection in the States. The biggest change he’s seen in the business was “witnessing the geometric expansion of the lifestyle brand and product selection across the country equally among department stores and longtime independent retailers,” he said.
Rood says his proudest moment was “seeing the brand come to life in our very first shop-in-shops.”
Keith Broadley first joined the team in April 2002 returning full time in July of 2003. He became an expert in jacket rewaxing. “I’ve done many in-store tutorials and events on how to rewax your jacket, which people love to learn about,” he said.
Broadly said one of his major accomplishments while at the brand was “navigating New York City traffic while towing the Barbour trailer during a major snowstorm.” A major feat, indeed.
Broadly added that his proudest moment was “being able to represent the brand during the Tartan Day Parade in New York City, where I had the honor to meet both Dame Margaret and Helen Barbour. Shaking Dame Margaret’s hand, I have to say is a very proud moment for me.”
Andy Hill, president of sales for North America, added of his colleagues, “It has been a privilege to work with Tom, Jim and Keith over the last five and a half years. Though we have been working towards this date for some time, it is bittersweet for me now that the date has finally arrived. Encouraging our team to learn as much as they can from these three, Tom, Jim, and Keith all have fantastic experience and knowledge of the Barbour brand. Their focus on world class customer service, thirst for product knowledge and emphasis on brand integrity is something we have learned from and will continue to develop going forward. They have been amazing custodians of the brand.”
“I am delighted for the three of them to be moving on to the next chapter in their lives, and I will miss being able to interact with them on a personal level,” Hill continued. “I want to thank each of them for giving the Barbour U.S. team a fantastic platform to build from, and a special thank you to Tom for the guidance in taking this brand forward into the future.”