Our Beginning And History
As a Florida native to the Indian Rocks Beach area, the founder of Southern Will®, Bill Wargin, developed a passion for the saltwater, outdoor lifestyle early in life. From a young age, you could find Bill riding his bike with a bait bucket on the handle bars, a fishing rod in his hand and a backpack carrying his trusty cast net to the nearest dock, beach or mangrove shoreline. Imagine slowly moving through the most beautiful mangrove lined, back country waters mother nature has to offer. Breathing in the fresh sea air, hearing nothing but the swirl of a red fish tail as it breaks the water and the pop of a snook as it draws in its unsuspecting prey from below the glassy smooth water. Quietly hunting for the perfect spot. The pops and swirls get closer. Anxiously awaiting that moment when your rod doubles over and you feel the thrill of a Snook or Redfish at the end of your line. Or go a little deeper for those tasty grouper that put up a world of a fight with nothing to see for miles but the sun and cobalt blue water. It was clear that being in and around the water was a way of life and a deeply rooted passion. Southern Will's trademarked mangrove is a symbol of that deeply rooted passion and a fixture in the beautiful waters of the West Coast of Florida. The Mangrove provides vital life to the inhabitants of the coast and is both protected and respected amongst Native Floridians for all of its gifts that it provides our lands.
While in high school Bill joined a volunteer program with the local Fire Department that soon developed into another passion, helping people in time of need. Bill was fortunate to discover his calling in life at an early age. A young boys dream turned to reality, Bill became a Firefighter landing his dream job with the second largest department in the area. This dream job became more demanding and rewarding than he could have ever imagined. Having his sights set on the Special Operations Division of the Fire Department, Bill joined the Technical Rescue Team, Marine Response Team and promoted through the ranks to the position of Lieutenant. If firefighting and emergency medicine wasn't demanding enough the individuals on these teams were tasked with very specialized rescue conditions. These specialty units require expertise such as, cutting through tons of concrete to locate the victim of a building collapse, hanging off of a 200 foot building to rescue a trapped worker or operating the fire boat to rescue boaters in some of the worst sea conditions you can imagine.
Throughout his career, nature and the Ocean was still a passion and place of peace after the long demanding shifts. Bill found himself wanting to share with others what he had experienced his entire life on the water. In 2014, using the experience and expertise gained throughout the years, Bill received his Captain’s license from the United States Coast Guard. Bill began to share his passion and love of the outdoors and water with visitors to our great sate of Florida and locals alike. Retiring in 2017 from a 23 plus year carrier in the fire service, there weren't too many days where you didn't see Bill out on the water with clients or just out enjoying mother nature. Identifying a need for better clothing that would not only be stylish, express his passion for the outdoors, but be extremely comfortable while offering protection from the sun. Not finding what he was looking for in the retail marketplace, Bill decided to take matters into his own hands and launched Southern Will® Apparel line. Being as passionate about his clothing line as he is about the outdoors, only the highest quality products are used. Sourcing from trusted vendors allows us to offer only the best quality products to keep you comfortable and looking good whether you're on the water, at a ball game or out on the town. Southern Will® has what you are looking for. If not, drop us line, we love suggestions from our customers!