50 Years Of Bill

In 1958 — when Ed and Norma Mitchell took a leap of faith and opened a tiny men’s clothing store — their younger son Bill was still in school.

He helped his parents when he could, and joined the store officially in 1965. Since then he’s served in nearly every capacity, from back room to public face. He’s a greeter, back-slapper, problem-solver, contribution-giver, let-me-introduce-you-er, and much more.

Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell

Several years ago he and his brother Jack handed the reins of Mitchells — and its “family” stores in Greenwich, Long Island and California — to the 3rd generation.

Bill and Jack still play important roles, of course. (Though Bill jokes, “I’m on a day-to-day contract.”)

This Saturday (May 16, all day) Mitchells of Westport celebrates Bill’s half-century with the store. Everyone is invited to stop by, say hi, shake his hand and share a story.

If all of Bill’s friends come, the line will stretch out the door, down the Post Road, and waaay past the original location downtown.

Bill (left) and Jack Mitchell on the sales floor, a few holiday seasons back.

Bill (left) and Jack Mitchell on the sales floor, a few holiday seasons back.

16 responses to “50 Years Of Bill

  1. Diane h silfen

    Congrats to a very special person!

  2. Gerry Kuroghlian

    Bill Mitchell is an Earth Angel quietly helping hundreds of people across the state. I am proud to call him a friend. Happy Anniversary and may there be many more!

  3. A good man. Congratulations!

  4. There never was such a selfless and stand up man, as Bill Mitchell. The man exudes class. Im lucky to know him.

  5. Sandy Ceppos

    I am proud to call him my friend and I am lucky to have the privilege to work with him.
    Sandy Ceppos

  6. Diane Cady

    I remember a time some years ago when my brother came from California to visit, a trip that also included his speaking to (I’ve forgotten who his audience was, but he was a Family Law judge)………..TWA lost his luggage. Cold. No sign. So the day before his presentation, we went to Mitchell’s. He chose a suit. They fitted it to him, said it could be ready the next day (the day of his speech)under the circumstances. It was ready and I had a feeling he probably looked better in his new suit than what was in his never-to-be-found luggage. When he comes to visit, he always goes back to Mitchell’s.

  7. David Grant

    When I was a student at Bedford Junior High the Mitchell brothers, first Jack then Bill, were my football heroes. We shopped at the original store and later at the (then) new store where I saw and was greeted by Jack and Bill. What a great family success story

  8. Roberta Tager

    Hearty congratulations, Bill.
    Alway a fan of yours……the Tagers

  9. Louis Gagliano

    Bill has helped anyone who has ever asked him for help- without hesitation or question- It is what truly makes Bill- Bill.

    We love you Bill!!!

    Lou Gagliano

  10. Terry Brannigan

    I wondered if I’d ever find the forum to share my story about Bill…
    Right out of school, I got my first job with IBM. I was heading off for training and had no suitable cloths. My mother insisted that I get a “top coat” (remember those?) and took me to Ed Mitchell’s on a Thursday night.
    Bill personally helped us find a great coat, but it was in need of tailoring. The problem was that I was leaving the next day. We determined that I would still need a coat when I got back, so my gracious mother bought me the coat. At that point, Bill called the tailor up and told him that “we don’t want this guy heading off to his new job without a coat” and asked him to stay late and make the alterations. He then turned to me and asked me what time my flight was and I replied. He turned back to the tailor and asked him to make the alterations and that they would deliver it to my office in the morning which is exactly what they did. I was 22 and my office was a cube. It went down as promised and I felt like an executive.
    Fast forward to exactly one year ago this weekend. Somehow I got bitten by an insect and landed in critical condition in Bridgeport Hospital. Through a mutual friend, Bill heard about a Westport father who was very ill in in the Bridgeport Hospital where Bill serves. While the doctors attended to my medical needs, through Bill an ambassador from the hospital contacted my wife to ensure that my family was attended to as well. Bill personally contacted my wife directly asking if there was anything she needed. While I recovered, Bill made arrangements, and showed up at our house with a set of authentic NY Yankee apparel and took my son and my nephew to a Yankee game. While at the game, all of a sudden Bill pointed to the Jumbotron and there way my son (Bills generous hand at work again). His comment to my son was typical “I’ve been coming to these games for years and you make it on the Jumbotron at your first game!”
    Here is the important point… My NYC office at IBM was a cubical, not the executive suite. The guy in the hospital was a Westport dad, not a couture shopper. Bill’s generosity is authentic. When I got the chance to thank Bill in person, I was half worried that he would recognize my face as the guy from the surveillance videos who comes to Mitchells, drinks his coffee, eats his M&M’s and buys off the sales rack!
    I do not have Bill’s permission to share this story, so I hope he is not embarrassed, but my first and my most recent experience with Bill are exactly the same. A life well spent.

  11. As others have testified, Bill Mitchell is one of Westport’s “Good Guys”! He and his family give back so much to this community. Thanks Bill.

  12. Bill Caldwell

    WOW!! Where did all that time go? 50 years!!! It seems like yesterday I was buying Doncaster suits to look really good at the office…as it turned out I was the best dressed young executive in the office because I had Bill Mitchell dressing me….shirts, ties, shoes, cuff links, etc. Bill, remember our friend Ray H. with the famous lobster pants? On sale too! So cool back in the days.
    Congratulations Bill, you are the best….see you at the parade .

  13. Kathleen Riordan

    My Dear friend Bill,
    My first real memory of meeting Bill Mtchell was when I was being interviewed by Bob Mitchell, early one morning.
    Bob and I were in the conference room, and Bill stopped in, tnroduced himself and said he wanted to say hello to a person who can interfere with Bob’s regular tennis match. He immediately put me at ease…….that is the type of person he is….after I had been at Miitchells for some time, I shared with him something personal about my grandfather and when I left Mitchells, I gave him a special gift, a small token that is deemed priceless by many, Bill included.
    When Inwas saying goodbye to everyone, a very hard, sad day….I looked and Bill and said “and you scarecrow, I am going to miss most of all”,

    Bill, may the next 50 have as many special moments as the first. You are truly a special man and my life is better having had the chance to know you.
    Love, Kathy Riordan (former Jewelry Specialist, Mitchells)

  14. Betty Lou Cummings

    Happy 50 years dear Bill…how Westport has always needed you in so many ways….you are special and thanks for so much…love you…Betty Lou Cummings

  15. Bill epitomizes the best of Westport. Haopy 50th!

  16. Bart Shuldman

    Bill. Congrats on 50 years. You are a true gentleman with a killer smile who truly cares about his customers. Sorry I will not be in town to come by and wish you the best.

    Bart