Good Things In Life: Wears Woody
Where in the world is Woody?
It was nine summers ago when brand founder of Wears Woody Mike Norwood bought a nostalgic beach ride–a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. With a hawker’s permit in hand, Norwood quit his day job to pursue a lifelong dream of a shop on four wheels that would revolutionize retail.
In his iconic wagon, Norwood would make his way over the bridge to the Cape, hitting Falmouth beaches to sell flip flops and sunglasses to locals and tourists alike out of the Wagoneer he proudly named “Woody.” His nimble store-on-wheels even made its way onto the steamship to travel over to the Vineyard. “The concept really was that we should go to our clientele rather than assume they will come to see us in a shop,” Norwood explains.
After gaining a following from spending numerous long hot summer days driving Woody, Norwood teamed up with a friend who shared the common goal of launching their own brand of products. “What quickly happened was people really wanted more products from us, with the concept of mobile retail already proven, we added a clever name, a cool logo, a few basic t-shirts, sweatshirts and trucker hats. Before we knew it, the Wears Woody brand was born in the spring of 2013,” he shares.
“Today, the brand features a maturing collection of bold coastal style that pays homage to the original sport utility vehicle we still drive. We source and produce the softest and most durable goods locally in our backyard as needed in short runs, then deliver them directly to you at a fair market price via our own retail locations: a modernized fleet of funky Wagoneers and a mobile surf chalet,” says Norwood. “We are pioneering the ‘mill-to-market’ movement to dramatically improve how we manufacture, making such an impact at the point of sale that we drive away with clients for life. Our grassroots approach is purposely old school and now thankfully admired by tens of thousands who sport our brand along with companies, colleges and clubs that want to put their logo on our product–it’s pretty cool,” remarks Norwood.
Besides sourcing locally and going where their customers are, Wears Woody also has another goal that’s truly at the heart of the business, giving back to support those living with Type 1 diabetes with what they call “Woody’s Drive over Diabetes.” Norwood, who has been living with T1D for 43 years shares, “We are proud to donate up to 7% of every sale to now six nonprofit partners that share our determination to make a significant impact on the lives of people with diabetes.” In addition, in partnership with T1D Exchange, Wears Woody donates 50% of proceeds from every item purchased in their Drive Collection to support their programs which aid to improve the lives of those living with this condition and their pursuits in finding a cure. “With all the great people we’ve met along the way and the progress we’ve made, we still have a long way to go before we achieve our mission of curing diabetes,” shares Norwood. “Until we find a cure for this disease, our entire crew is here to encourage those living with T1D to pursue their wildest dreams and look great doing it.”
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