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Three-year old Mad Gringo merges with established Wes & Willy

Greg Chambers of the Mad Gringo brand and Bill Mullen of Wes & Willy. Photo by Danny Schreiber

We have an update on a entrepreneurial story we told this past July about Greg Chambers, the bank sales manager who quit his day job in 2007 to found Mad Gringo, a clothing company featuring men’s tropical island shirts and casual wear.

This past week, the three-year old Mad Gringo merged with the more than 20-year old Wes & Willy, an Omaha-based clothing company geared towards a variety of boys clothing (sold in department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Von Mar, and in more than 800 specialty store). The brands will continue to stay separate – don’t look for a “Mad Willy” or something of that nature – but they’ll now operate under Wes & Willy.

Those familiar with the two companies may have predicted this merger: Mad Gringo has an expertise in ecommerce and online marketing while Wes & Willy has the warehouse, production equipment and support team. In fact, when Chambers got his start with Mad Gringo, the Wes & Willy founder, Bill Mullen, allowed him to work out of his headquarters at 1701 N 24th Street. This past week, Mad Gringo made the permanent move from the basement of the Dundee Bank to the Wes & Willy offices, which are connected to its 25,000-square-foot warehouse.

The Wes & Willy warehouse located at 1701 N 24th Street. Photo by Danny Schreiber.

“Greg is going to be the storyteller,” said Mullen when speaking about the merger. Over these next few months, Chambers will be taking the online marketing techniques that have worked for Mad Gringo, such as having his customers vote on what styles to print, and incorporating them into Wes & Willy’s practices. Chambers sees the Wes & Willy market, mothers buying clothes for their children, as an active online audience that he intends to engage through social media, something that Mullen hadn’t spent time on in the past. “I still have the shadow as my Facebook picture,” Mullen joked with me.

Today, the two companies bring in a combined $5 million in revenue. In five years, Chambers said, their aim is to double that revenue. Individually, they felt they could have had similar goals, but through this merger they’re able to be more ambitious as they bring two strong skill sets together.

To learn more about Chamber’s story, see our article: “Greg Chambers quits day job to start tropical clothing line Mad Gringo.”

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