Have you heard of the Mad Gringo? If not, you’re about to. Greg Chambers, “The Mad Gringo” is the head honcho behind the Mad Gringo tropical clothing brand. He has a unique story that I’m going to let him tell you about in the following interview. He pulled the trigger on a life decision a lot of us dream about every day.
The Mad Gringo brand is quite different from your average tropical shirt look. The designs are crazy wild and are made of high quality materials. These vibrant shirts are “Go Slow” head turners that I believe have a South Pacific flare to them and will brighten up any dull wardrobe. I’m not the expert though, I’ll let the Mad Gringo himself do the talking. Here is my interview with this crazy character.
Mad Gringo Interview
1. A little bird told me that you have an interesting story on how Mad Gringo came to be. Please share!
My story starts with this fact: We all have a Mad Gringo deep down inside.
Mine came out in October 2006. I’d been feeling penned in and stressed out for months – maybe years. So I hopped a plane to Mexico, hoping to find myself- literally and figuratively – on a warm, sandy beach.
Instead, I found someone else.
Here was the man I was not. Deeply tanned. Carefree. Going slow. I had to know his secret.
We talked over a bottle of tequila. I unloaded my frustration with corporate life. The shallowness. The push for more and more. The feeling of less and less. I got angry explaining my job and life. The traffic. The ties. The stress.
He just smiled and shucked more oysters. He had no secret, he assured me.
So over a second bottle, we just talked. With a warm breeze in our faces, and the sound of crashing waves in the air, talk drifted here and there. People. Places. Love. Loves lost. From the same spot on the beach where we saw the sun drop, we watched it rise again.
That morning, I knew I would return home a changed man. “I’m quitting my job, amigo'” I said. “I’m going to really live. I’m going to go slow. Maybe I’ll sell tropical shirts like yours.”
“You’re mad, gringo,” he said, smiling, as he wadded his shirt up for a makeshift pillow.
And right then and there, I named my new company.
2. What is your favorite rum cocktail?
I’m partial to any Rum drink that comes with the warning “Two Drink Maximum”. The Zombie, the Mai Tai or anything from my Intoxica! book by Beach Bum Berry. . .assuming I can get those pages to unstick from each other.
3. What makes the Mad Gringo line so cool and different from the not so Mad Gringos?
Two words: Nap Dust. It gives our garments that little extra dose of laziness to send the signal that you’re not getting anything done today, so don’t ask. (I know, you thought I would say Tom Selleck, but I’m over that phase. Almost.)
4. What is your favorite Caribbean island and why?
Being stuck in the middle of the big island, Omahahu, I’m happy to visit any island. From the in-law funded all expense junket to Atlantis Resort to the bare bones volunteer trip to a rural campo in the DR, I’m a fan. From the stories and pictures sent to me from other Mad Gringos, my next target is a catamaran through the Virgin Islands. I want to visit my stickers and hat at Foxy’s. I’m looking for sponsors.
5. Where can tropical shirt lovers go to get their Mad Gringo fix?
Mad Gringo goods can be found at one of our over 250 resort gift shops and boutiques in the US. And if that’s not enough, the kids tell me there’s this internet thing where you can buy my shirts. www.madgringo.com
6. What are your best selling “Go Slow” items?
The Go Slow Tropical Shirts are the best selling items. Coconut buttons do that. Our single most popular item is the Pineapple Skull and Crossbones Logo tshirt in navy. Size Large. People say it reminds them of something.
7. What does the future hold for Mad Gringo?
Mad Gringo is my ticket to the easy life. As long as you define easy life as lugging shirt boxes around. Someday I hope to find the next Mad Gringo and pass on my legacy. Live off their efforts for a while. They won’t mind. I’m pretty entertaining.
8. Last questions – If you were stranded on a beautiful tropical island in the middle of nowhere and you could only bring 3 things with you, what would they be?
You can’t trick me! I saw Castaway! Twice! I want a knife, a volleyball and Esquire tells me I should take Minka Kelly too. She used to be a nurse.
If you would like more information and to see the Mad Gringo Tropical Clothing Brand visit MadGringo.com and you too can “Go Slow”. I also found another cool story about the Mad Gringo from SiliconPrairienews.com if you’d like to read more.
Founder: Greg Chambers
Headquarters: Omaha (5015 Underwood Avenue)
Store locations: More than 250 retailers nationwide.
I got a couple of these shirts and really dig them. Thought you Castaways might as well.