I started my journey in the third grade when my cousins introduced me to wrestling. Like many of us, I never imagined the grasp the sport would have on me as I grew up. The countless miles logged on the family wagon, youth brackets plastered our bedroom walls, medals and trophies sat on every possible square inch of dresser tops and mantles. Rivalries turned into friendships. Wrestling became my identity throughout my youth, high school, and collegiate years.
The influences and experiences that wrestling provided me is why I am here today and who I’ve become. I met my wife of 26 years because of the sport, she was a wrestling manager. We have 3 incredible children – Briar, Emma, and Sophie who is my youngest at 12 years of age. My oldest two were both State Champions themselves and currently coaching the next generation of wrestlers. When I say I owe my life to the sport I mean it.
It was almost 25 years ago when I founded MATCLUB in the basement of our little house just on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. All I ever knew was wrestling and at that moment in my life I felt drawn back – so doing something within the sport was my only option to calm this entrepreneurial itch I had. I poured my heart and soul into the company every evening after I came home from my job as a graphic designer. Over the years MATCLUB has gone through various changes. From selling merchandise at local youth tournaments, a social network, online wrestling techniques, and now full circle back to providing the best possible wrestling apparel and gear built for performance and style.
Nowadays things still haven’t changed much outside the location we now operate out of. MATCLUB is still a family affair I run out of the basement and garage of our house in Chariton, Iowa. Don’t let that fool you, my shop is complete with a screen-printing press, embroidery machines, various sewing/tack machines, vinyl cutters, heat presses, and everything else I could possibly need to create the apparel and gear we sell. I oversee much of the design work and production of apparel. My wife and youngest child help out with order fulfillment, packing and shipping. Although not within the household, I still rely heavily on the input and opinions of my two oldest children when it comes to product research and development.
It’s been an amazing ride thus far, but I am nowhere near my goal. I want to grow MATCLUB into a household name within the wrestling world. I have big plans and ideas I can’t wait to share with you all as we begin our 25th year as a company. Thank you to everyone who has giving our small little company a chance over the years.