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Just off West Gray and Shepherd, Sam & Davy lives among other boutiques in the River Oaks area. Owned by Filipino married couple Chris Blodgett and Gemini Quintos, the store is quickly becoming the one-stop shop for Houston lifestyle wear. The inspiration for the store comes from Houston native Chris, who always wants to represent his city when he’s on the road.

“I would always travel, and I always have to represent Houston somehow, either sports teams or some Houston gear,” he explained. “But I didn't necessarily like the things are out there.”

The couple shared a laugh when recounting stories of wanting to go out to a nice dinner or a more established restaurant, Chris would still want to wear something Houston-related. However, sports gear wasn’t exactly the recommended attire.

“I always feel like other cities have these brands where designers lean on their cities,” Chris expressed. “We wanted to start it off with really clean, simple Houston, Texas apparel. Good quality was important to us as well, and it grew from there.”

From t-shirts to jackets, Sam & Davy has everything for the people who love Houston the most. In addition, they have also created many sports-inspired designs for the fans who don’t want loud, aggressive Houston sports gear. In late 2020, the business teamed up with Houston Dynamo FC and the Houston Dash to create lifestyle apparel after both clubs rebranded. Last year, Rockets legend Steve Francis worked with them on a drop for the Houston Push. 

For Houston native and sports fan Chris, it was a dream come true. He and the family attend Dynamo and Dash games on a regular basis. There’s a signed photo of Steve Francis on display in the store, which Chris has had since childhood. 

“I think the one word I would use to describe it is right. It feels so right. Chris is a huge sports fan, a huge soccer fan. He's a huge Steve Francis fan, all those very specific things,” Gemini explained. “This is what we've been about forever and now we have all of this.” 

Chris and Gemini aren’t alone in their success as AAPI business owners. The Houston community is filled to the brim with other Asian-owned businesses from retail to restaurants, many of which the couple know the owners personally. For Gemini, who moved here from New York, it gives a true sense of diversity in an authentic way.

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“That’s one of the things I love about Houston. the Asian community thrives and they're thriving as business owners,” Gemini said. “Our parents’ generations own businesses and now, our generation is coming up and opening their businesses and putting their own twist on it.” 

It’s one thing to see so many AAPI business owners, it’s another to have a built-in support system. The couple shared that because they know other owners around the city, it’s so easy to be supportive of each other. Even when they don’t know them personally, there’s a sense of pride and pleasant surprise that overcomes them when finding out a business they frequent, like an antique shop Gemini’s been visiting for years, is owned by a fellow Asian. 

She shared, “The woman that owns the shop with her husband is Filipino and I got so excited about that. And then I'm like, ‘this is what people feel like when they walk in Sam & Davy and they see that the owners are Asian.’” 

A universal feeling that isn’t only shared by only AAPI business owners, but AAPI people everywhere. The couple explained many people walk into their store and have the same reaction when they see Gemini behind the counter or Chris popping out from the back room. 

“They get really excited and I think that's where the pride comes from,” she said. “Like, this random Filipino couple came in and told us, ‘We’re so proud of you.’ They were complete strangers.” 

The sentiment transcends the AAPI community entirely. It seems the entire city of Houston is cheering on the Sam & Davy owners, with many people coming in and sharing their excitement and pride with the couple over their success. 

“People get really excited for us or with us. It feels like Sam & Davy belongs to everybody. I like that people are proud of us as much as they are proud of Houston. It feels like there’s a closeness there,” Gemini said. 

Visit Sam & Davy at 2043 West Gray Street to support these Houston AAPI community leaders and members of the Dynamo & Dash family, and while you’re there check out their Dynamo & Dash collab collection along with all of their other H-Town inspired apparel.