Tumbleweed TexStyles Founders Brian Wysong and Jeb Matulich created the brand in 2011 with a $750 investment that has grown to a $4.4 million company today.
At the heart of Tumbleweed TexStyles is a love for adventure and authenticity, two values displayed not only in the company’s product line of hand-crafted T-shirts and hats, but the company’s ethos.
Although the Texas-inspired lifestyle and apparel brand based in Frisco, Texas, has shipped orders to all 50 states and 27 countries in the last decade, the company has humble beginnings with roots in public education. Founders Brian Wysong and Jeb Matulich still operate a homegrown local business celebrating everything that makes Texas great: barbecue, craft beer, music, travel, the outdoors and most importantly, the people.
“With all this amazing growth, it’s still been done by our small team of friends and family who have made it happen,” Wysong said. “We feel very blessed in that sense. I like to think we made it happen, but God’s brought it to us.”
Founded in 2011, Tumbleweed TexStyles started out as a hobby for Matulich and Wysong, who were both full-time teachers at the time at Liberty High School in Frisco. Wysong, the marketing teacher, and Matulich, the art teacher, bonded through their shared hobbies and background, especially because they are both alumni of Texas Tech University. After Wysong noticed Matulich drawing sketches during one of their in-service days at school, they began talking about what it would take to create their own business.
The men took $350 each and invested it in their first run of shirts, which they started selling to friends and family. Fast forward 11 years later, and the $4.4 million company has served nearly 1,500 wholesale retailers over time including an estimated 800 currently throughout Texas. Many shoppers have likely seen shirts from Tumbleweed TexStyles at boutiques and stores across the state, whether it’s the Texas Chica shirt, a nod to the quintessential Topo Chico mineral water, or one of the brand's most popular shirts, the Texas Towns shirt.
“The shirts we sell, we wear and design off what we like,” Wysong said. “Our DNA is portrayed in our shirts and products, and I think that’s really resonated with people. They see us in different communities in Texas at festivals and events living that life.”
In addition to their unique Texas-focused designs, Tumbleweed TexStyles is also the official shirt provider for several iconic brands many Texans know and love, including Dr Pepper and Whataburger. Plus, the company has partnered with other brands over the years like Ozarka Water, Zavala's BBQ, 7-Eleven and TUPPS Brewery. The eclectic aspect of the shirts and the fact that they are hand-drawn allows them to resonate with so many different types of people and brands, Wysong said.
“You can buy one of our shirts at a hipster boutique on South Congress, but they are also at western stores and at a university bookstore,” he said.
Tumbleweed TexStyles has also partnered with Texas musicians and influencers like the Old 97's, Pat Green, Josh Abbott Band, Aaron Watson, Daniel Vaughn, Randy Rogers Band, KHYI and KOKE FM. They also partner with Go Texan, a program through the Texas Department of Agriculture that has a major presence at the State Fair of Texas, where Tumbleweed TexStyles will be a primary sponsor this year.
“Our brand is small, but we have an impact on the economy and culture,” Wysong said. “When we think about Texas barbecue, music, and some of the biggest Texan cultural concepts, they’re asking us to be a part of it because they see our brand and design work amplifying the theme of what they do.”
Although many residents in the DFW metroplex and Frisco may know of Tumbleweed TexStyles or even own one of their shirts or hats, Wysong said many people did not realize the company was based in Frisco.
“People were wearing our shirts not knowing they were designed in their own city,” Wysong said. “They bought them in Gruene or Fredericksburg. We started realizing, what used to be about our T-shirts was now about the brand, and what was once about the T-shirt is now about the lifestyle and entertainment component.”
The typical business will start out with a brick and mortar store and then move to online and wholesale retail. For Tumbleweed TexStyles, it went the opposite direction: online, wholesale, then finally brick and mortar in Frisco’s Rail District in October 2020. Today, people come from all over to visit the store—a fan even came from as far as South Africa for the grand opening celebration—and The Daytripper host Chet Garner recommended visiting the store as the No. 1 thing to do in Frisco. Although the company has a variety of products available online, a visit to the store offers a sneak peek at new items like outerwear and glassware that may be scaled to the website in the future.
“Everyone’s rallied around it as a true destination,” Wysong said. “It’s more than just a store, it’s truly an experience and entertainment component to their Saturday.”
Because the company has roots in Frisco, Wysong and Matulich believe it’s important to give back to their local community, especially public education. Tumbleweed TexStyles donates to the Frisco Education Foundation annually to help graduating seniors, specifically a business marketing student and an art student—similar to the founders’ own backgrounds. Plus, the company also partners with the National Breast Cancer Foundation and other local nonprofits such as Melody of Hope and Frisco FastPacs.
At the end of the day, Wysong and his team want to see their shirts on people having a good time with their family, friends and loved ones.
“We want to see people in the community wearing our shirts in a relational way: hiking, fishing, eating at a local restaurant or brewery, and supporting other local small businesses like us,” he said.
The above story was produced by Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team. Our integrity promise to our readers is to clearly identify all CI Storytelling posts so they are separate from the content decided upon, researched and written by our journalism department.