Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Each year around the winter holidays, our production staff makes lap quilts to keep meal recipients warm during the colder months. They use our equipment and space to sew the quilts during the day, as the ebb and flow of orders allows. The results are beautiful, as you can see in these photos.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sure enough, there we are! Today Show correspondent Bobbie Thomas links to Beau Ties Ltd. at the end of her article.
(Thanks to Justin for putting up the video for me.)
Thursday, December 07, 2006
I'm relieved the snow is here. Vermont's economy depends so much on seasonal travel--foliage, skiing and snowboarding. If the weather doesn't cooperate, the ski areas (and by extension, everyone else who relies on tourist income) really pay the price.
I won't complain. Our friends in the Midwest got hit hard recently. In my opinion, we're getting off easy. But I do wish I had finished bringing in my outdoor projects from the yard.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
We have been quite busy lately. Deb has finally returned to the office, feeling much better after her recent gallbladder surgery. (I wish I could say I wore my gallbladder-themed tie to welcome her back, but no such luck.) Holiday season is in full swing and we have lots to do. The sewers are working hard and doing a great job keeping up with orders.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Take a look at this necktie blog: burlveneer.blogspot.com.
I wonder if this man knows of the Beau Ties four-in-hand selection? Nice of him to link to my blog.
I think I'll ask Justin to help me move over to Blogger Beta. Meanwhile, I'll try to get my posts back. Maybe they're still out there somewhere.
Friday, November 03, 2006
We had a very entertaining Halloween lunch party here at the office on Tuesday. Several surprise guests, including Queen Bess, the Cat in the Hat, some leaf peepers, and a ghostly apparition, were in attendance. I came in an elaborate disguise: a 75-year-old entrepreneurial businessman who favors bow ties!
Sunday, October 29, 2006
During a recent meeting, a staff member told us that she'd seen Mario Lopez, on Dancing with the Stars, wearing an untied bow tie. Just a few days later, I picked up the November issue of Vanity Fair. There, on the cover, was George Clooney in an untied bow tie.
Is this a new trend we're seeing? Is it possible that these celebrities just don't know how to tie their own? Untied bows seem to be cropping up more and more. I don't think it's the look for me, but I'm curious about your opinions.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Dr. Koop helped design his tie with certain symbolism in mind. The blue stripe with white stars represents his government and military service, and is reproduced from the same pattern shown on his commemorative coin, presented to him by the Navy. (Dr. Koop's stripes do not cross at any point, as they do in the Confederate battle flag.) Red was chosen for the background since Dr. Koop only likes red ties, especially with dress whites. The gold caduceus symbols represent the medical profession. Together, these three elements are intended to be simultaneously patriotic and medical.
Dr. Koop is very pleased with his tie, and I hope you are, as well!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
What is it about "N" that makes it wear out first? Do I use it more often? There are two "N"s in Kenerson, which I type quite frequently, so perhaps that's the problem. But there are two "L"s in "Bill", so why isn't the "L" worn out, as well?
Don't even get me started on "E".
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
It's a dreary day and there's a rather unremarkable sky, but I hope you can still appreciate these beautiful fall colors. I snapped this photo near a cornfield just south of town. Nothing can quite capture those oranges and golds like being there to see them in person. Deb and I are very lucky to live in Vermont!
These leaves won't be around for long. High winds have been battering the trees the past few days, so foliage season is growing shorter, fast. Good thing I have my Maple Corners Beau Tie to help me extend my leaf-peeping! (This tie didn't last long in the catalog, either--only a few four-in-hands left!)
Monday, October 09, 2006
Our sunny weather even arrived just in time for Middlebury College's parents' weekend, which really had the town hopping.
Perhaps if I get a few spare moments I'll grab the camera and snap some shots of a nice-looking tree or two.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Finally, after months of anticipation, I can identify the mystery bow tie wearer being honored with his own design.
I'm pleased to announce that his name is...revealed on page 3 of the Holiday Preview 2006 Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont catalog, arriving soon in your mailbox!
(Come on, you didn't think I'd make it that easy, did you?)
If you can't wait for your catalog to arrive, take a peek at the eCatalog to find out now. Would you ever have guessed?
Friday, September 15, 2006
"Attached is a photo of your humble correspondent, trolling for salsa and iniquity on an evening out in Long Beach, California. You will no doubt recognize the 'Luau' tie, which is among my friends' favorites. The tie earned me many invitations to dance. Sadly, even a tie as handsome as this one did not transform me into an able dancer, and I took my leave after crushing a beautiful foot or two...".
Los Angeles, California
Here's a close-up image of Luau from the Beau Ties Archives, if you'd like a clearer look:
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
There's a bowtiebill who likes to travel by RV, a bowtiebill who loves cars, a bowtiebill who barbeques, and a bowtiebill who shops on eBay. There's even a gentleman who has his own web site and makes his own bow ties. That's just in the first few pages of matches.
Who knew I wasn't the only one?
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Wrong-sized ties look great in your closet but a bit odd around your neck. That's why Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont guarantees that you will be delighted with whatever you purchase from us.
Of course, I want you to be able to wear and enjoy your Beau Ties. Please call our customer service department at 1-800-488-8437 to arrange an exchange. We'll help advise you on the proper size, and send you something that fits!
Joel Kleinguenther of Andalusia, Pennsylvania, wanted to share this great photo of his one-of-a-kind Masonic bow tie. He recently sent us a long tie, which our Beau Ties handsewers carefully converted to a bow. Joel says, "It was the hit of the Masonic Temple..."!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
This great-looking Josh Bach design, featuring Leonardo da Vinci's well-known Vitruvian Man, will debut in the Fall 2006 Beau Ties catalog. I don't think it will provoke controversy in the same way Dan Brown's creation has recently.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Take Network Neutrality, for example. Right now Congress is mulling changes to the Telecommunications Act that would take away the Internet's level playing field. If this happens, small businesses like mine could suffer greatly. In fact, anyone who does business over the Internet--that includes you, if you buy from web sites, download music, or use search engines--could be hurt.
Put simply, today's Internet lets you look at and utilize any site you want, from this blog, to the Beau Ties web site, to national magazines, to government information. The speed and access are the same for them all. If Network Neutrality is threatened or lost, network providers could forseeably control the content you are able to get through your Internet connection. They might be able to charge web sites high fees to provide faster loading speeds, or to work properly on their network. The highest bidders' sites would be easiest and most reliable to access.
Needless to say, it's a cause for concern for small business owners who do business over the Net. How could a small business like mine compete with a huge cataloger if access wasn't equal? Where would we come up with the fees that might be required to get the same Internet presence as a large international company or Fortune 500 retailer?
I am keeping tabs on this issue and hope you will, too. There's a great deal of information and comprehensive explanations of this subject at www.savetheinternet.com if you are interested in learning more. (Countless other web sites are discussing the issue, too, but I find this one to be the most helpful.)
Monday, July 24, 2006
I love to print pictures in my catalogs of Beau Ties customers wearing their ties. It's a true privilege of my job--to get to see how the ties my company makes become a part of people's day-to-day lives. Nearly every day, we receive photos of men, boys, babies and even dogs looking dapper in their Beau Ties--too numerous to count, yet all deserving to be seen. And what is equally enjoyable, they are often accompanied by the story behind the picture, whether it's a special one-time event or just a moment in time.
I think that my blog can become a way for me to share the wonderful photos that my catalogs' limited space can't accommodate. I can post photos here from time to time. Anyone want to go first? You can e-mail them to me.
Friday, July 21, 2006
In order to produce baseball bow ties, Beau Ties needs a licensing agreement with Major League Baseball or its affiliates. The license allows us to use the official team logos. No license, no new ties...and that's where we are right now. We're too small for MLB to consider working with us directly (we know this because we tried).
It's not that we don't like the Phillies. We just can't make ties for them, or another other team for that matter. Wish we could. You'll be the first to know if that changes.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
My heartiest congratulations to Dan Alban, who recently completed Harvard Law School and brought his celebratory, post-commencement cookout right to the ceremony (in the form of his Barbecues Beau Tie!). Dan tells me he also plans to wear a Beau Tie when he takes the Virginia Bar Exam at the end of July. I hope it brings him good luck, excellent recall and clear thoughts.
I think the courtrooms where Dan will be litigating will be among the most fashionable in Virginia, don't you agree?
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
The office is closed today, so I have some time to play on the computer a bit. It's not that I'm not busy, though. Deb and I have family in town for the holiday.
Perhaps we'll catch one of the town parades. Here in Vermont, they're a true piece of Americana. The state's largest, in nearby Brandon, took place on Saturday. Today there's a parade in Bristol, a few minutes drive north and east of Middlebury.
We've had good luck weather-wise so far, as the rain has held off long enough for most marchers to make their way down the parade routes.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
While I do consider myself a gentleman and I did recently celebrate a milestone--and some folks may even think me mysterious--I am not the honoree. Remember that I mentioned his milestone is yet to come.
I can offer no clues, but I encourage more guesses. Rumor has it that Elvis was sighted in Vermont recently... .
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
It won't be too long now until I can disclose his identity, no to mention show you his handsome tie. Until then, keep guessing. Some interesting names have been thrown out there, but you're not even close!
Friday, June 02, 2006
If you're fluent in French, you'll enjoy a visit to the site, which is aimed at CIOs of large organizations. If you need some help (kudos to my son-in-law for the translation), here is a summary of his entry.
Louis is 63 and the president of Microcost, a company he started two years ago. Like me, he didn't really see retirement as a time to slow down. He hopes his blog will help leadership to realize the value of "older" workers in their 50s and 60s.
Louis has been wearing "Noeuds papillons" for more than 30 years!
Or, if you'd rather read something moderately close to the original:
An informal translation from the French (with apologies to the author)
Originally dated April 2006
Several days ago I wrote a paper, "The kids are terrific." I can't resist the pleasure of writing a new piece about how old timers are also capable of creating high tech home runs. To celebrate his 75th birthday, Bill Kenerson decided to start a blog to talk about his passion, and his job—bow ties. His company, Beau Ties Limited of Vermont, is one of my preferred suppliers on the web, but that's not what I want to talk about.
The story of this entrepreneur stands out for more reasons. In 1993, at 62 years old, he decided to create a company to manufacture bow ties that he would be proud to wear but couldn't find in stores. Today, through catalogs and the Internet, he generates revenues of more than two million dollars annually.
What this man offers, for his 75th birthday, the creation of a blog, is a great offering of energy (chutzpah) and optimism for us all. I want to wish him, in your name to everyone, "Happy birthday, Bill." This all is also a great example of adaptation to the marketplace, and the economic size of the project is interesting.
Everything is manufactured in the United States, in Vermont, by a team of 30 employees. The company’s flexibility, its niche in the market, have allowed this enterprise to be born, and to put in one place on American soil, textile products, a business in which our friends the Chinese have a huge cost advantage.
Reflections induced by the age pyramid in information technology
Our computer professionals are young; the first of them came to be about 40 years ago. Even today, we see the "old coders" who started out coding in Cobol and assembler language using punch cards. They are competing with the kids of 25-30 years who were born into Java, the Web and the PC.
The comparison of these very different profiles is complex, all the more reason not to focus too much on young or old. In IT, like in other jobs, age should never be a criterion for assessing the competence and adaptability of the individual. I’ve come across people in our business who are old at 25 and others who are kids at 65 years old. It still happens all too often that one reads job ads that ask for someone under 30 years old, with 15 years of relevant experience, or for someone with 20 years of experience but who’s only 40 years old. (I’m not really exaggerating.) If Bill Kenerson can, at 75 years old, throw himself into creating a blog, he's clearly not the only septuagenarian who can do it.
The next time you hear a 40 or 50 year old say "Create a blog? Not for me, that's for kids," you'll know whose web site to send them to.
In a retirement home in the south of France, an internet tools forum for retirees was created by a former professor who threw himself into the secrets of the web surfers. It shows that older folks prefer to be taught by their peers than by a 25 year old kid. To create the conditions such that IT professionals of a broad range of ages are capable of working together is a big challenge. It is also, when successful, a coup for the person who is behind its success.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Even though I can't endorse him or vote for him, I think it's great fun that Raj Bhakta, the bow-tie-wearing competitor from the fall 2004 season of The Apprentice, is a candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 13th District. Raj and a friend dropped in at Beau Ties several months ago during a visit to Vermont. He purchased a couple of bows and chatted with the staff, and was very congenial. Raj seemed like a nice young man.
Take a peek at Raj's web site, www.rajforcongress.com, if you're curious. (Did I see him wearing a four-in-hand in some of those photos?)
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I do love the idea of a Frank tie, though I'll have to create an image that's significantly smaller than his actual size. In the meantime, here's a new, fish-themed fabric we're developing. We've had many requests for an ichthus-themed tie. What do you think?
Monday, May 22, 2006
Ugh. It's been raining here for what seems like forever. Our next-door neighbors (I mean, in the southern parts of New Hampshire) have been suffering through serious flooding. As a matter of fact, I understand that St. Paul's School (the soon-to-be alma mater of one of my grandsons) closed early and sent students home for the rest of the year when some of their dorms ended up at least partially underwater. I hope it stops soon or we'll all begin to grow mold.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
If only I could offer a hint or two. Nope.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Though I'm not an angler myself, I've got to say that I am really very pleased with this new tie. It's called Flies II, and it came about because customers who loved our first fly fishing tie demanded another.
The design is by Eric Holch, a Nantucket artist. It almost makes me want to take up fly fishing so that I can wear it without apologizing.
Friday, May 12, 2006
We are working with a prominent, Beau-Tie-wearing public figure to develop a new design in his honor. This esteemed gentleman will be celebrating a major milestone in the near future. I only wish I could tell you his name.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Some of your thoughts and suggestions on new designs and patterns have me really excited. Butterflies, architecture, church insignia all are good ideas. Stay tuned to see whether (or when) these inspirations might turn into realities.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
As we celebrate these recent and anticipated births, I've been thinking about a baby bow tie. Many of our customers already buy bow ties for their baby boys. But what about all those proud dads and grandfathers who have to return to the office so soon after a baby is born? It could be fun to create "It's a boy!" and "It's a girl!" ties. Perhaps something sophisticated, with just a touch of pink or blue.
What to wear for those with twins or triplets? I certainly am glad that's not my problem to solve. Besides, those poor guys are probably to exhausted to put on a tie.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
They did win the World Series a couple of years ago, but if I have to wait as long for the next one as I did for that one, I’ll need to figure out how to just about double what would be my average lifespan. I’m not sure I’ve got the time or the energy to do that!
Fortunately, the bottom line is that I like the game -– and I just plain enjoy watching the Red Sox play. It was even fun to see Johnny Damon, even if he was wearing pinstripes out on that beautiful green diamond -– let’s face it, he went 0 for 4. Can’t do much better than that. And to watch David Ortiz crank out one of his patented three-run homers against Mike Myers just made my night. It’s going to be a great summer.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Deb and I had been to Mohegan Sun once when it first opened, and were very impressed with the integration of a variety of Indian artifacts. We were particularly intrigued with their use of open water inside the resort building -- a series of interconnected marble standing pools and running streams culminating in a massive interior waterfall that thunders down a rock wall. It must be several stories high. Very unlike any of the casinos that we're familiar with from Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
It was a great change of pace, but it's good to be back on our home turf. Besides, I find striking it rich to be quite exhausting. (Just kidding -- I did moderately well, and at least I didn't lose my shirt!)
It was a great day. Deb surprised me with a three-day trip to Foxwoods, since we both love to play blackjack. I wore "Winner" and got lots of compliments. (Yes, I know it's more of a poker tie than twenty-one, but it's the thought that counts, right?)
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Friday, April 21, 2006
I came into the office today to find the place festooned with ballons and the kitchen brimming over with birthday treats, like the delicious bow tie cupcakes pictured below. (OK, so there's a few missing already - after all, somebody had to test them.)
It's still not my birthday yet, but after 75 years of waiting, I figure I'm entitled to start the party a few days early. Cheers!
Meet my fish, Frank. His full name is actually Frankincense. He had two brothers, Gold and Myrrh, whom he ran out of town (uh, what is the Waterworld equivalent?). Anyway, I've lost track of exactly how old he really is. I think he's somewhere around 8 or 10 years old. He's outgrown several tanks and is shockingly large.
The best part is, I don't have to walk him.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Some people may say I work in a hen house of sorts. I am one of three men on our entire staff. Our seamstresses all happen to be women. They're dedicated, exceptionally good people, and extremely talented at what they do.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Today was the first of what I hope will be a long string of truly glorious spring days. Vermont can be so dreary during the winter and mud season months. This past winter in particular was especially unsatisfying, with not much snow to keep things from looking grey. It is wonderful and odd to see people in shirtsleeves on the streets, and college students in their flip-flops.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Read Tucker Carlson's unbelievable April 12, 2006 announcement, "Goodbye, bowtie (Tucker Carlson)". I think the title of this post will take you there. If not, try
Some people might throw themselves a party, go on a vacation or buy themselves a lavish gift. I, on the other hand, have decided to go the nonconformist route and start my own blog. I guess it probably won't surprise those who know me: When I was nearing retirement age, I started my own business.
Yes, I admit my business of choice was a little bit self-indulgent. You see, I love bow ties. When I started to have difficulty finding them, I started my own bow tie catalog company, Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont. My wife, Deb, and I partnered to get the business off the ground and have kept it going for more than 12 years. It's great fun, we have an interesting and loyal clientele, and I get my fill of fashionable ties. It has been a fun "retirement" adventure.
Perhaps, in honor of my birthday, I'll search out the perfect fabric for a new tie. Our customers have been asking for one, but so far Deb and I haven't been able to translate our ideas into a design that we think our guys would like. Any thoughts?