When Sam Shendow stepped out of the Hotel Jack onto the streets of Winchester, Virginia, he recognized opportunity. The year was 1929, and despite the Depression that was slowing the nation’s economy, this small city showed promise.
The quintessential entrepreneur, Shendow had toted his pinstripe and houndstooth fabric swatches from Bell’s, a fine clothing store in Washington, D.C., to this hospitable historic city. It would be the first of many visits.
Each time the resourceful Shendow arrived in Winchester, he slipped the postman 25 cents to spread the word that the clothier from Washington D.C. was in town to take orders for custom-made suits. His plan was to invigorate his store’s sales by building a client base away from the capitol.
The plan worked.
Soon Shendow had a loyal following of gentlemen in Winchester who anxiously awaited his arrival. Shendow, known as “Mr. Bell,” offered the area’s hard-to-fit customer – the short, the extra long, the portly – the opportunity to own a perfectly tailored suit without ever leaving town. At his makeshift office in the hotel, he consulted on styles and fabric selection and took precise measurements, which he carried back to the D.C. store. There, fine suits were carefully tailored and soon returned to the purchasers in Winchester. It was the ultimate in customer service.
By 1931, Shendow’s Winchester business had become so successful, he decided to open his own store in town. He adopted the name of the District’s store – Bell’s.
Sam Shendow built the business on quality merchandise and unparalleled customer service.
Today, three generations later, Shendow’s son Irvin, daughter-in-law Sarah, and grandsons Scott and Stephen keep alive the founder’s entrepreneurial spirit. They fill the store with superior quality, hand-picked clothing and accessories purchased on regular trips to New York’s fashion district and other leading fashion venues in the US and Europe. They get to know their customers personally, continuing the legacy of first-rate customer service.