Amos Simpson was born in Stafford, England in 1878. The son of a shoemaker, he worked in the trade in England and briefly in Massachusetts, USA. He then migrated to Melbourne in July 1914 at the age of 36, arriving on the Demosthenes.
Simpson married Ida May Chapple in Melbourne in 1917; the couple had no children.
After working for a shoe pattern-making firm in Melbourne, he formed a business, Simpson & Sutherland, in 1922 then Simpson's Gloves in 1924, in partnership with Henry James Atkins. Simpson brought his knowledge of the industry and design skills to the partnership; Atkins his financial skills.
Simpson was a red-haired man with something of a temper, at least at work. He hated to spend money on anything that would not increase production and profits. No scrap of leather was wasted, and nothing ever thrown out, either material or equipment. Ernie Jordon, who was taught how to cut coat linings by Simpson when he joined the business in 1927 at the age of 16, recalled that Simpson would often say 'Near enough is not right but right is near enough.'
The company logo for Simpson's Gloves was a Stafford Knot, acknowledging Simpson's home county of Staffordshire in England. Stafford had a long history of shoemaking.