Since the 1970s, William Morton has been helping people present themselves to the world.
“Presentation is everything,” Morton said.
Morton, now 76, began working at Bing’s clothing store in the mid 60s while attending Kentucky State University. That job changed his life.
For more than 40 years, Morton has been in the distinctive men’s clothing business. His latest storefront was W&W on Versailles Road, right next to the church he is the pastor of, Thou Kingdom Come Ministries.
In 2017, however, business began to fall off and he had to close the doors. He still does some consulting on the side and is working on another business plan.
“I didn’t anticipate people buying stuff off the computer,” he said. “The computer can’t measure you. A computer doesn’t know how clothes are supposed to fit.”
Morton went to measuring school and knows how to properly tailor clothes.
But he said, through the years, people have seemed to lose etiquette with their dress.
“The young guys think that when they have jeans and a sport coat on that they’re dressed up,” he said.
He said he doesn’t think that etiquette is completely lost, “it just isn’t communicated.”
He hopes to revamp dress etiquette with his new business venture still in the works.
Throughout his years as a business owner, Morton has been through ups and downs and has learned many lessons along the way.
Some of his greatest lessons, however, came when he served in the Army during Vietnam.
“My military career was an eye opener for me,” he said. “At 18, I went into war. When I saw the second and third world countries’ lifestyles, I could appreciate America much more.”
It’s also important to Morton that he cares for and shows compassion for his community. Morton said his church is “community minded.”
“We feed people who need food and clothe people, pay bills and minister to the children,” he said. “We’re not just a church in name, but a church in deed.”
Morton is married to Willena. He has three children, William Jr., Darick and Mylena; and nine grandchildren.
FRANK.: What kind of advice do you have for young men and women starting a business?
Do good research about what you want to embark upon. Talk to people who are in the know. Make sure you are familiar with the lay of the land. And, wherever you establish a business make sure you know what was there before you and what happened there before you.
FRANK.: How has it been being a business owner?
It’s been a journey of learning. There were a lot of things that should have been communicated to me. Going into business is more than just turning the key and making sure you have enough money for rent, utilities and inventory, but to have a complete knowledge of what you’re embarking on.
FRANK.: What kind of example do you hope to set for those looking up to you?
I want to leave a mantle of integrity and a mantle of love. I think those are the two important things. This is a love without exception. The whole gospel message was to the world and not to a culture.
FRANK.: What are your hopes for future black generations?
That there will be restoration in the culture itself. The challenges that we had on the plantation were ingrained into our DNA and therefore caused us to not thrive.
I’m a veteran. I’m a warrior. We have to learn about the enemy. We need to get a lot more understanding of why things are the way they are in our culture, so that when we go forward, we’ll know how to embrace things.
There are a lot of people that do things and they don’t know why they do them.
There are things communicated in a person’s DNA and they’re not even aware of it. This has happened for generations. We have to get an understanding of why it happened and then we can address it in an intelligent manner.
One of the worst things you can do is compare yourself to someone else. If we can compare ourselves to what the word of God says, then we can get on the same page.