Another unique company I've come across is High Cotton Ties. This is a true story about a Southern Mother's devotion to style and culture. These wonderful cotton ties were created out of need within the medical profession. A few years ago when H1N1 was going around, doctors were told not to wear ties as they are typically silk, and therefore aren't washed frequently and tended to carry diseases. To combat this decision to remove a piece of attire that provides professionalism and a sense of style, the founder of High Cotton Ties created a cotton tie that could be thrown in the wash as frequently as needed to prevent the spread of sickness. How neat is that?!
Not only are they functional, but they're so stylish!
|Coming in a variety of colors and patterns these ties make a great addition to any gentleman's look for either the tailgate or the executive office.|
|I found this picture on their site, and I had to include it as it looks like our good friends (who just got married) dog Stout. L & C - how much would you have loved him to walk down the aisle with this adorable bow tie!?!|
Ties aside, High Cotton also offers a wide range of Headbands... Ladies, if you've ever wanted to match your accessories to your man's (and let's face it, who hasn't?) here's your chance! Perfect for any occasion, now you aren't just limited to color coordinating.
Additionally, most true southern gentleman have a tux hanging in their closet for those coming out balls, cotillions, formals, and other soirees. High Cotton offers matching cotton cummerbunds as well!
I had the opportunity to catch up with the co-founder of High Cotton ties, Mr. James Hill. Checkout the summary below:
When did you first decide to start your company?
The story behind High Cotton is pretty amazing. In January of 2010, Judy Hill’s son Cameron came home from UVa medical school and informed her that all of the doctors were being discouraged from wearing neckwear of any sort due to the outbreak of H1N1 since guys rarely dry-clean their neckties and they were risking the spread of infection in the hospital. Judy, who is one of the most outstanding Southern women you may ever meet, has been sewing her entire life and thought it would be a sweet thing to sew Cameron a cotton bow tie so he could wash it after work and wear it the next day. Little did she know that she actually had stumbled upon a much bigger idea and once Cameron's new cotton bow tie began attracting attention around his medical rotations, she knew there was a strong market for her products. What started off as a gift for her son in medical school, quickly turned into something that was extremely preppy. The connection that cotton has with the South and its inherent easy-going quality makes it something that is very easy to wear, and something that is very easy to look good in while wearing.
What is your inspiration?
The inspiration for the patterns of the fabric themselves as well as the shape of our bow tie all derive from our owner and fashion director, Judy Hill. She was inspired by her three boys to find something that was clean, comfortable and classic that was fun to wear and always attracted ‘the right type of attention’. We accomplished that by developing a bow tie that allows your personality to take the forefront of the outfit and hopefully assists in making a good first impression. With novelty bow ties dominating the market, going back to what we call ‘classic southern mainstays’ seemed like a refreshing break from the norm that we hope never goes out of style. It is definitely fun to sell something that you believe in and something that you feel represents your lifestyle. We always say that we are glad we aren’t selling something like computer paper because it just could never be this much fun.
What do you hope your products will convey about yourself and your style?
We are firm believers that bow ties should be a regular part of a gentleman's wardrobe, not simply reserved for formal events. By avoiding novelties and embracing traditional patterns, we create our bow ties with the expectation that they will be worn often and be admired just as frequently.Simply put, we not only trust that you will fall in love with our bow ties and cummerbunds, but we also expect them to become a long standing member of your wardrobe. We understand that when you choose a bow tie to wear, it will end up saying a lot about your character. It is our hope that High Cotton Ties will be able to extend itself to our customers as a helping hand to properly reflect their individuality, in good conscience and in good style.
What has been the hardest thing about starting your own business?
The hardest thing about starting any sort of business is the same thing we keep in mind everyday as we continue to grow, that you cannot be 'everything to everyone'. At first, it might be tempting to go out of your comfort zone and expand your line to gain some business, but in reality making all sorts of different products at a mediocre level is a compromise High Cotton Ties was unwilling to make. We should credit our 70 retailers in the southeast for reminding us that we should continue to "do one thing and do it well". That advice has taken us a long way and although we may introduce new products in the future, we hope that our patience, attention to detail, and ability to find a meaning behind our product that our customers can connect with will help us to "do many things and do them well".
What other products do you hope to add to your portfolio?
We have created a real niche for our brand by creating a market for cotton bow ties, so we will always be sure to put a primary focus on our flagship product. We will be releasing our 2012 Spring Collection which is absolutely stunning. We have a lot of styles in nearly every color imaginable and we also have a few tricks up our sleeves that no one has ever seen before, so be sure to keep an eye on our website for the release. You can also look forward to the addition of croakies to our line as well as some new spring t-shirt releases made from our signature Carolina grown cotton.
How would you define today's 'Preppy' and how do you think it compare to the preppy past decades?
Where some might argue that 'preps' have lost their gentlemanly quality over the past few decades and become more insubordinate, we feel like the 'prep lifestyle' is still alive and well-behaved. The world has changed significantly over the past few decades and arguably manners have faded, but we get to hear from people all the time who are the exception to the rule. Everyone we speak with is wonderful to do business with and it always makes our day to hear from the gentleman wearing our products. The only common thread is that these folks were gentlemen long before wearing High Cotton Ties, but feel wearing one distinguishes them from others. Just because you put on a bow tie does not make you are a gentleman, and as long as the High Cotton Ties brand continues to attract people that know the value of being a gentleman at all times, then we will wholeheartedly embrace the 'prep' label.
What to learn more about High Cotton Ties? Check them out here:
And as always, if you have any companies you think I should check out and feature on my blog. Please let me know!