Bill Windsor Launched a Company to Distribute Products to the Advertising Specialty Industry

After several years as a retailer, screen printer, and manufacturer, Bill Windsor launched a company to distribute apparel products to the advertising specialty industry.  The business was called The Shirt Tale.  Business #11.

The Shirt Tale brochure 1976
The Shirt Tale brochure 1976

The Shirt Tale had beautiful catalogs to promote its line of imprinted sportswear, heat transfers, and related products.

How to Sell T-shirts book 1976
How to Sell T-shirts book 1976

Bill Windsor published a book titled “How To Sell T-shirts.”

ShirtCan distributor Robert Grant with Bill Windsor in Brussels Belgium
ShirtCan distributor Robert Grant with Bill Windsor in Brussels Belgium

Bill and Barbara began exhibiting at advertising specialty trade shows.

Bill met people like Robert Grant, who signed a contract to distribute Bill’s products in Belgium and France.

 

 

The Wear-House expanded to a 6,000-square-foot store in Winter Park, Florida.

New location of The Wear-House on 17 -92 in Orlando
New location of The Wear-House on 17 -92 in Orlando

Bill divided the 6,000-square-foot space into a 4,000-square-foot retail space, a 1,500-square-foot screen printing shop, and a 500-square-foot office.

It was a big freestanding building on Highway 17-92 in Winter Park, just South of Fairbanks Avenue.

 

1976 Wear-House staff opening party
1976 Wear-House staff opening party

The Wear-House staff at the grand opening party.

Wear-House view from McDonalds of early days in 1976
Wear-House view from McDonalds of early days in 1976

The building was located right next door to McDonald’s.

Bill decided he should try to attract the customers from McDonald’s.¬† He cut a window and door to the McDonald’s parking lot, but it appeared to be tiny on the 120-foot long building.

So, Bill had Rich Sarver create some cartoon characters wearing imprinted sportswear.

Mural drawing on side of The Wear-House
Mural drawing on side of The Wear-House

The characters were 10-feet tall, but the mural still seemed really small.

More mural work on The Wear-House 1976
More mural work on The Wear-House 1976

Bill had Rich Sarver continue to create characters.¬† Rich painted the outline of the art on the wall, and people were invited to come paint.¬† When it was done, the 120-foot x 10-foot mural became the World’s Largest Cartoon Mural.¬† And most of the customers for The Wear-House came in from the door next to McDonald’s parking lot.

Bill Windsor Built an Advertising Specialties Business in Orlando Florida

After a year off the busy Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida, Bill was able to convince wealthy orange grove owner and real estate owner, Jerry Chicone, to rent him a 1,600-square-foot store at 435 Park Avenue South.  The impact was a huge increase in retail sales.

With this move, Bill acquired an advertising specialties business from Tom Bonneville and expanded it into a retail operation.  Bill sold over 100,000 items that could be personalized for businesses, clubs, and more.  Business #9.

Bill’s biggest advertising specialties client was Disney.¬† Bill sold all of the Do Not Disturb signs and shower caps used in the original hotels at Walt Disney World.

To expand on Park Avenue, Bill needed some money.  With the support of dear old Dad, Bill borrowed $10,000 from Sun First National Bank.  He did manage to repay it.

A fabulous cartoonist, West Reid, did the artwork for The Wear-House.

The business had a number of products that schools could sell for fundraising projects.


 

1972 Wear-House - Bill Windsor with display of rings
1972 Wear-House – Bill Windsor with a display of rings

Bill Windsor

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