The startup WILLBO opens a boutique in Laguna Beach

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In their youth, brothers Robbie and Will McInerny were known as the city’s athletes.

The McInerny brothers, who both played baseball for Pac-12 schools, learned that life has a way of throwing curve balls.

Where they were once the big men of the small town Laguna Beach campus, new roles were in store.

“I think any great leader also knows how to follow, and that was something for me too,” said Robbie McInerny when asked what he learned from his time as an athlete.

“The fundamental lessons I learned on the pitch and in the locker room, teamwork and responsibility, doing what you say you’re going to do, being on time, the value of hard work – all of these fundamental lessons I learned. “

WILLBO Hats, T-shirts and Beanies at Laguna Beach.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The ability to accept a role change was unmatched on this list. While his playing days may be in the rearview mirror, he’s now focused on the next frontier.

WILLBO, what the founders call a California lifestyle company, opened its first outlet on Saturday at 353 N. Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

After living under the roof of two entrepreneurial parents, Robbie and Will, along with their business partner Wes Barnes, have teamed up to become a business presence in the community. Much of their brand focuses on their love of the outdoors.

Currently, the store has a fall line highlighting destinations in Yosemite National Park.

Founder Robbie McInerny talks to a Ventura customer after buying a black hat.

Founder Robbie McInerny talks to a Ventura customer after buying a black hat from WILLBO in Laguna Beach.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“We kind of want to keep the spirit of that artistic flavor alive, bringing these Laguna Beach High School alumni back into the community, giving back to the community, and expressing more of a youth movement, if you will. , here in town that I think we’ve lost a bit, ”said Dan McInerny, Robbie and Will’s dad.

Dan McInerny, a former professional baseball player who started his career 15 years at Quiksilver, advised his children that if they wanted to bring a new product to market, it had to be quality.

“My dad said, ‘Hey, if you want to bring stuff to the table don’t bring more sand to the beach because we don’t need more stuff,” said Robbie. “So make sure it’s really well done, and I took that to heart. “

The vision of the founders of WILLBO is that it will establish a community experience, one that brings people together and fosters a deeper connection with the environment.

WILLBO clothing at Laguna Beach.

WILLBO Clothing at Laguna Beach.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

“Each season we will take inspiration from one of the geographic regions of the west – hence the coasts, mountains, valleys, deserts and cities – as a backdrop to celebrate and draw inspiration from,” said McInerny. .

The store will be open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. It will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“Clothes is great, and it’s beautiful and all that, but… it’s not going to change anybody’s life,” Barnes said. “I think we are all aware that having a meaningful connection with someone is one of, if not the strongest, types of emotions and sensations that you can experience.

“This is why I feel really passionate about this brand and its possibilities, because I only see the types of relationships that we have formed in a short period of time and we really want to make an impact on the lives of the people who consume our products. products.

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