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Teaching style: Frisco teachers run clothing company
Brian Wysong, left, and Jeb Matulich, right, started Tumbleweed TexStyles last year after becoming friends as teachers at Liberty High School. Photo courtesy of Hillary Wysong.
When Liberty High School teachers Brian Wysong and Jeb Matulich first met each other, they quickly realized they had a lot in common and became friends.
What they didn't know at the time, however, was their friendship would eventually lead to a business venture.
Wysong and Matulich started Tumbleweed TexStyles in fall 2011 and haven't looked back since.
"I do a lot of art on my own -- a lot of Texas-based art," Matulich said. "Bryan came to me, and we became friends over the last couple of years. We started talking about ways we could create a business and tie together things we're already interested in."
Matulich teaches art at Liberty High School, while Wysong teaches marketing classes. After discussing their options, the duo quickly realized the best combination of their skills would be a clothing company.
They were obviously right, as Tumbleweed TexStyles has sold apparel in 70 cities in Texas as well as 37 states. The company has also partnered with 12 retailers around the state to sell their clothing.
"Our goal is to find major retailers that will distribute our clothing, but we also would like to find local boutiques in cities all across Texas to sell our products," Wysong said. "Right now we have partners in Frisco, Grapevine and McKinney in the North Texas area."
Other outlets the company has partnered with include boutique stores in Beckville, Canton, Giddings, Houston, Marfa, New Braunfels, Round Top, Sweetwater and Waco.
In addition to those outlets, Wysong and Matulich frequently attend events around the state, such as Third Monday Trade Days in McKinney.
The company currently focuses on Texas-themed T-shirts, but the pair has plans to add more products to their clothing line as time goes by. Some potential products the two are interested in include hats and children's clothing.
That time could come sooner rather than later, as demand for their products has been increasing. When the two started, they were ordering 50 to 100 shirts at a time; now they order 200 or more at a time from a Denton-based company that makes the shirts off Matulich's designs.
Though they're teachers, Wysong and Matulich don't promote their company to their students. Students have learned of the company, but both teachers prefer to use it as a teaching experience if they have to bring it up.
"If my students ask, I'll let them know, but we're not trying to advertise it to our students," Matulich said. "I can surely bring it up as a way to discuss how to possibly make some money if they want to do art [as a career path]."
Wysong agreed, adding that the company provides him with the ability to illustrate concepts to his students better.
"My students can see that I'm a teacher but that I'm also out in the real world, which builds credibility for me in the classroom," he explained. "With my lesson plans I'm able to apply things I do for the company to what I teach them on a daily basis."
While both love their clothing company, they remain steadfast to their primary jobs as teachers -- something neither wants to stop doing.
In fact, the two even plan to incorporate teaching into their company, if given the opportunity.
"We're teachers and don't plan on quitting our day jobs -- we love what we do," Wysong said. "I could see us expanding down the line and providing internships for students where they could learn about things like marketing and graphic design."