The University of Texas' alumni magazine features a three-page article on Chisos in the current edition. Owner Will Roman sat down with Danielle Lopez to discuss boots, Texas, and that fateful trip down to Mexico.
But his decision to launch Chisos—named after the Chisos Mountains in the Big Bend area of West Texas—was something of a whim. After graduating from UT with a radio-television-film degree in 2009, the native Austinite moved back and forth between his hometown and San Francisco, working for tech companies. In 2015, he decided he’d had enough. “Tech is so ephemeral,” Roman says. “I wanted something more tangible.”
He sold his belongings, bought a ’90s Toyota 4Runner, and road-tripped down to Mexico for three and a half months. He spent his time exploring the jungle in Palenque and visited cities like Guanajuato and San Miguel, where he says he learned to appreciate the craftsmanship of the people he met. Shortly after his return, he decided he wanted to craft something of his own. So in January of 2019, Roman started to piece together what he would need to launch the brand. With the help of friends and his second-in-command Kate Doering, formerly chief of staff of a technology company in San Francisco, Chisos was ready to go in less than a year. “It has been an all-out sprint,” he says.