The bow tie allows all the fantasies. This is one of its great advantages over the tie, and the reason why it has recently made a noticeable comeback on the front of the men's fashion scene. Ben Ross offers a rather amazing model, made with feathers. Yet when he made his very first feather bow tie he wasn't looking for fame or fortune at all, as he explained to The State webzine.
Genesis of the feather bow tie
Ben Ross had no ambition to become the man who invented the feather bow tie when he decided to use turkey feathers to create a unique menswear accessory. Why did he come up with this idea, then? He was simply looking for an original gift for his wedding witnesses.
“12 years ago I got married to my amazing wife Mary Ann. I wanted to give my family and friends something that couldn't be found on the market. Something that shows them how much I care for them, how important they are to me," said Ross, co-founder of Brackish, a small South Carolina company that makes feather bow ties now known in all of the United States.
Ross wanted to incorporate a natural touch into his wedding ceremony. It was by accidentally placing a turkey feather behind a bow tie that he noticed that the shape and configuration of this feather was perfect for integrating into a bow tie. It was the eureka moment.
This is how he obtained the solution to his problem, but also how he laid the foundations, without knowing it at the time, for the creation of a company which today employs more than 50 people, and which turned the careers of Ben and his best friend and business partner Jeff upside down. This venture has earned them a trip to the White House, as well as designing bow ties worn during the NFL and NASCAR conferences, or even on the red carpet of the ceremony. of the Oscars.
It all started with a quill pen
The first feather bow ties were given to Ben Ross' witnesses, including his friend Jeff. Nearly 6 years after the wedding, his friend told him that he had to make a business out of what had become a hobby. Because every time he wore his feather bow tie, he was systematically asked where he had bought it.
“Through his determination, vision and drive, we created Brackish with Jeff,” said Ben. “Initially there was no commercial intent, it was just a special gift for special people. »
Meeting of genres
Ross was born in upcountry South Carolina, Jeff is from the Georgia coast. The 2 friends met while studying at Wofford College. These are 2 people who are proud of their roots, and who are devoted to their friends and families. They wanted to put these characteristics in the mind of their company, starting with its name.
I am fresh water and he is salt water. When you mix the 2 it gives brackish water, so brackish in English, says Ben. This concept is found in all the design stages of our products. For example, the ties produced by Brackish are packaged in pine boxes and burlap sacks (which are used to put the oysters in), which represent land and sea.
The approach of this manufacturer of bow ties could not be more ecological and respectful of animals. The feathers are collected from all over the United States. Farmers used to dispose of it as trash. Today, they are very happy to be able to sell them to someone.
Bow ties made in a kitchen
Initially, Brackish is a business that could not be artisanal. Ross made each bow tie, by hand, on his kitchen table. Initially the bow ties were made at the end of the day. It was only 3 years ago that it became a full time activity. Despite the success, he is still very moved today when he sees someone wearing one of his creations in the street. Whether it's an anonymous person or a celebrity. Because there are celebrities.
Favorite bow ties all the way to the White House
Bill Murray was one of the first celebrities to wear a feather bow tie. It was during the 2014 Oscars ceremony. Since then, they have not been counted. Blake Lively, Terrence Howard, Don Cheadle, Cam Newton and Dale Earnhardt Jr have notably been spotted publicly wearing such a bow tie.
Jeff and Ben were even invited to the White House to represent South Carolina at the Made in America event that took place last July at the White House. Today we tear off these bow ties, which have the disadvantage of requiring a substantial budget (about $200 per bow tie).