By Sara Katherine Johnson
When the Clothes Brothers started their clothing company a year ago, they knew profit-maximization would not be their main objective.
The Clothes Brothers, founded by Flower Mound senior Chris Wells and Buena Park, Calif., junior Andy Chon, is a for-profit business with a nonprofit mentality.
More than stressing a financial bottom line, the Clothes Brothers emphasize relationships and serving people.
On Tuesday they held their first Night of Worship in the home of founders, staying true to their purpose of providing opportunities to give spiritually.
They left participation open to anyone, and the college ministry of the First Baptist Church of Woodway helped lead the Night of Worship.
Wells said more people than they had originally anticipated came, so they moved furniture out in order to make room.
“We kind of have a holistic model of wanting to help people— employees, clients and those who are in need,” Wells said. “We want to do this in a spiritual way, in a physical way with the shirts, monetary ways for our employees and through discipleship.”
The company was founded on Oct. 1, 2013, with a mission to serve people by providing shirts to those in need. For every shirt purchased, the company gives one away.
Wells said so far, 120 shirts have been given out.
When the company began, there were four partners. By March they had downsized to two partners. The company has since hired eight employees.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, junior Kevin Renois joined as one of the employees last month. He said they have given shirts to people in many instances.
“I’m from a very poor country,” Renois said. “One thing I’ve always told people in coming to the States is that helping people is not about the helping, it’s about the people.”
Wells said their growth has been gradual, beginning with what they were taught in their classes in the Hankamer School of Business.
“That gradual increase wasn’t too much of a strain,” Wells said. “Now we’re growing more. It’s awesome. In that we’ve got to make sure we’re doing everything efficiently and effectively.”
Over the past week, the Clothes Brothers has been featured across Waco.
“The most challenging part would have to be the fear of spiraling out of control,” Renois said. “It’s been growing exponentially, especially the last few days with all the social media attention we’ve been getting. It makes me a little antsy in a very excited, very hopeful way.”
Wells stressed the unity of the team overall.
“When we hired Kevin and some of the others,” Wells said, “we told them, ‘This is not me and Andy’s business. We’re all in together.’ Everyone is helping move towards the goal and the vision.”
The Clothes Brothers has recently formed a partnership with Spice Village. Wells said he hopes they can do even more in the coming year.
Even though he is graduating in May, a year early, he plans to stay in Waco to continue building the Clothes Brothers.