Our mission is to empower and cultivate an inclusive workplace, where all team members have space and time for collaboration and creativity. We consistently brainstorm ways to improve our processes to provide the best experience for our team and our clients.
We love to be creative with products that elevate our clients’ brands, from the newest trends to timeless classics. Our capabilities, supplier partners, and state of the art equipment, allow us to provide the highest quality branded products and services for our cherished clients.
W.S. Emerson has been in the wholesale apparel business for over a century and continues to grow and innovate.
In 1921 on Central Street in Bangor, Walter Emerson opened the doors to this family owned & operated business. W.S. Emerson started with “Uncle” John Vickery as Walter’s first employee, eventually becoming General Manager. The sales team traveled throughout Maine selling national and private apparel brands to retailers. As W.S. Emerson grew, their need for more room became evident leading them to purchase a 4-story brick building on Exchange Street in Bangor. In 1950 John brought in his brother, Winslow Vickery, who later became President and GM. The brothers grew a corporate culture that emphasized family and hard work. John Vickery purchased W.S. Emerson in 1952, after the passing of Walter Emerson. Winslow expanded the business by leasing departments within Robert Miller’s retail stores throughout Maine. In 1965 Urban Renewal took the building on Exchange Street forcing the Vickery’s to build a new home at 15 Acme Road in Brewer, Maine
A new generation took over after Winslow’s death in 1982; Winslow’s sons, John & Russ, became President and Vice President. The 1980’s arrived, and the business continued to expand. When the 1990’s struck, the success of big-box retailers led to more than 2,500 of W.S. Emerson’s retail accounts closing their businesses. As a result, reinventing the company became the top priority. They saw an opportunity to expand into customized apparel. Using their strong relationship with suppliers and partners, they invested in embroidery and screenprinting equipment. This new technology in creative design and decorating was at the cutting edge and allowed W.S. Emerson to continue to re-invent and expand their business.
Today W.S. Emerson is in the hands of the third generation of its founding family. John JR & Betsy Vickery have each worked for the company for over 25 years. Since 2013 they have continued the environment of modern manufacturing while keeping to their roots of community support and service.
With a focus on delivering an amazing experience for the customer, they have created the eCommerce capabilities that embrace today’s modern need for innovative ideas and creative solutions. As business has expanded to include remote workers and collaborators, W.S. Emerson has found ways to help foster the need to connect teams with a shared identity, whether there are miles between teammates, or just a few feet.
W.S. Emerson also reinforces how important quality is by hiring throughout the local community for over 100 years. With an emphasis on collaboration and support, W.S. Emerson is filled with highly skilled and talented people who design & manufacture products. From uniforms, Service Recognition, and support gifts; W.S. Emerson helps foster and support businesses, and communities through Maine, New England, and beyond, while continuing to strengthen their commitment to delivering high quality products and experiences. And while they are celebrating 2023 with a new look, they are forever rooted to the original tenets that still support them as a family and a company.
Join Our Team
We’re hiring! Learn more about open opportunities and apply here.
Latest News & Current Works
Check out what’s going on at W. S. Emerson on our blog; from industry trends to company announcements to recent projects we’ve worked on.