Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Way I See Things (pt. 2)

Seems that I'm not the only fashion-forward thinking individual who favors the aviator style glasses I mentioned in my previous post, "The Way I See Things". While reading my morning paper (USA Today), I ran across a piece quoting Junior Pence (an exec at Luxottica): "When they wear aviators, they tend to be mavericks or individuals who live by their own rules." Couldn't have said it better myself!

As it turns out, I'm in the rarefied, star-studded company of such aviator-wearing glitterati as Brad and Angelina, Jessica Simpson, and Victoria Beckham. It's heartening to know that they've come around to my way of seeing things.

Now if only Brad, David and Jessica's beau of the moment would all continue following my sartorially savvy lead and start wearing Beau Ties as well...

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Moose Is Loose

For those of you who may not fully grasp what a wild world the bow tie business inhabits here in Vermont, I thought I'd share these pictures of a visitor we had earlier in the week here at Beau Ties Ltd.

That's right - I looked out the front door and spied this young moose loping across the field across from our facility. By the the time I'd gotten the camera fired up, the moose was a good distance off, eventually disappearing behind the building across the street. So, please pardon the "bigfoot sighting" quality of the images, but there wasn't much time for dilly-dallying around.

Anyway, I'll let you know if our newest neighbor stops by to be fitted for a bow tie (I suppose it will have to be a custom pattern - or at least a long neck, Butterfly cut).

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pick of the Day

A while back, we added a new category to our beautiesltd.com website called Bill's Pick of the Week. The ties featured in this category are very limited editions - on the order of a only dozen or so ties being made from each fabric. The fabrics themselves are extremely short yardages that we've acquired, and only allow for short runs of ties. Since they were interesting patterns, it seemed better to create these limited editions, and make them available as Bill's Pick of the Week.

Last Friday, however, we mentioned my latest Pick (which had been put up on the site that morning) in our email newsletter. Turns out Pick of the Week was something of a misnomer in this instance - all 13 of these "Yorkton" ties had sold out by sundown that same day.

So, as it turned out, last week there were two Bill's Picks: "Yorkton" for the day, and "Dance With Me Polka" for the remainder of the week - if it lasts that long.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Better Bow Emoticon

I was logging into aol the other day, and while my mail page was loading, I was treated an to emoticon (one of those little smiley faces people put in their emails, like :-] and so forth). I guess this is aol's idea of educating us on the latest, greatest variants of these curious little combinations of typography. Whatever the case, it got me thinking: Why not a bow tie emoticon? I did a little tinkering, and came up with this:

;-) }{

(You can adjust the smile and wink to suit your mood...)

A bit of research uncovered that variants of :-)8 and :-)X are already in use, but I'll remain steadfast in my defense of the braces (a.k.a. "curly brackets") that I've used as exhibiting more of the panache synonymous with Beau Ties Guys. Anyway, it seems like it could be a great sort of "secret handshake" for all of us Beau Ties Guys to use in our email correspondence.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Barbaro By Mail

In an even more personally touching chapter in the unfolding relationship between our "Derby Line" tie and the late great champ Barbaro, I recently received a lovely postcard from the horse's owners, thanking me for the "kind words" about Barbaro in our Late Spring catalog. I'd just like to say in return that the pleasure was all mine, and I too am delighted and honored to have been a little part of the positive things that have come from his all-too-brief life.

The postcard is a reproduction of Nick Martinez' magnificent painting Barbaro (check out his site nickmartinezart.com for more).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Remembering Barbaro

Several weeks ago, a fundraiser celebration was held at Delaware Park for the late Barbaro, the beloved winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby. A painting by Nick Martinez entitled "Fearless Vision" (inspired by Barbaro's fighting spirit) was unveiled. The painting itself was donated to The University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine at New Bolton Center's "Laminitis Fund" (Laminitis is the illness the claimed Barbaro and Secretariat), and proceeds from a limited edition of prints were also donated to the fund.

Several hundred FOB's (Fans of Barbaro) were in attendance, and I've received numerous reports that more than a few of them were sporting our Derby Line bow ties and neckties. This news was great to hear - striking a personal chord for me, given that we'd just recently introduced the tie in our Late Spring catalog as a tribute to Barbaro. We'd received many requests from our Beau Ties Guys for a "Derby" tie (especially since Barbaro's victory last year), and I'm glad to hear that this tie was not only a hit with them, but moreover that it became part of a great cause and many memories of a noble racehorse.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Are Bows Taking Off Again?

It's always nice to open up one of the many fashion magazines I read and see a bow tie gracing a young gentleman on the first page. Actually, it turned out to be not one, but several bow ties that put in appearances in a multi-page spread from Polo in a recent GQ.

Of course, I'd prefer to see a ten page Beau Ties Ltd. ad spread, but this sort of extravagance is still a bit out of reach for our little homegrown Vermont company's ad budget. But, as the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity, and to see Ralph pushing bow ties for spring can't hurt us.

Given that reading the trades was proving so enjoyable, I continued thumbing through other publications, only to discover that other designers were showing bow ties this season as well. DNR reported that the LA runways (at the LA Fashion Week, not LAX) were graced bow ties from Christian Audigier and Nautica.

Are these all signs that bow ties are taking off again in '07? We're always accepting advance bookings here at Beau Ties Ltd...

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Way I See Things

You've probably noticed from my "profile" picture (and any other pictures of yours truly) that I favor aviator-style glasses. I developed a taste for these back during my days working at Bausch & Lomb.

I recently received an interesting piece of correspondence from one of our catalog subscribers, wherein it was suggested that my glasses must be several decades old and that I should perhaps consider switching to a more current style to woo younger customers...

Being a man who has stood by the fashion statement of bow ties through thick and thin, I'm not one to lose sleep over the trendiness quotient of my eye wear. In fact, the glasses I'm pictured in are current, new frames - and I went to rather great lengths to obtain the "vintage" aviator style I prefer. Anyway, who's to say the aviator style won't be the next big thing in retro?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Brazilian Beauties!

No, this isn't post about sunbathers in Rio di Janiero... Got a great picture from one of our customers in Brazil. Turns out he had his picture featured on a billboard advertising the UNIEURO University in Brasília, where he is the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. Professor Barros is also well-educated in matters of style, as his bow tie attests to.

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Snowy Valentine

In case you haven't checked out the national weather in the past few days - here's your intrepid correspondent's front line report from Vermont regarding our Valentine's Day nor'easter. (Finally, a proper snowstorm like we used to have!)

Beau Ties as it appeared from the parking lot on Thursday morning. Decided I'd be going in the back way.

Good thing this drift was a few feet to the right of the back entrance...

...But not so good if you were hoping for a view out of this window! (That's a bit of sky peeking through in the upper right corner).

The drifting wasn't quite as dramatic at the cafeteria door...

Here's a view out the front door over towards the shipping entrance. Looks like there's still some shoveling to be done!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bloggers with class

I came across a nifty site (blogpulse.com) that let me explore the so-called "blogosphere" - an search for other bloggers writing about bow ties. While there weren't as many results for my searches as I'd hoped for, I found a few folks who'd recently become Beau Ties customers. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued.

Turns out both fellows are teachers (I've always suspected the smartest bow tie wearers choose Beau Ties). M. Sanford, a Canadian teaching French linguistics, was planning to wear his new ties with suits to lend "stylistic credence" to his "academic regalia" (I have to say I'm rather taken with his English linguistics...). The other gent, Fat Jack, had quite appropriately chosen our American Cursive and "wore it proudly with jeans and a sweater vest" as a "diversion from the biker me," as he puts it.

It's nice to know that bow ties are used for such disparate reasons in similar contexts - all part of what continues make to every day here at Beau Ties so engaging. Also, I was delighted to know that both fellows were happy with their ties: Thanks for your kind words, and links back.

Vive le noeud papillon!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Movin' West

Don't worry - there's no threat of a move from Vermont: I just moved in a westerly direction a stone's throw down the hall to another office here at Beau Ties Ltd. HQ a while back. My new digs are situated adjacent to our call center, so I get to see (and hear) first-hand what a great job our Customer Service folks do in making sure everyone gets the Beau Ties they need.

I can also look out into our production area from my new vantage point, and see our seamstresses plying their craft.

I actually made the move before the holidays, and after witnessing our annual Christmas rush at such close range I just have to say how great it is to see the pride, care and personal touch that goes into the fulfillment of each and every Beau Ties order. I could watch from the incoming call to the order being handed off to our seamstresses, to the tie being created and all sewn up in the production area and then being packed off by shipping to complete its journey to its new owner. We've come quite a long way since our first days in the spare rooms in our house! Whatever the case, I'm enjoying the new perspective that comes with my new office - reminds how much of a homey, family operation we still are.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Excellent news

I just got word from Liz, our Custom Sales manager, that a scarf we produced has won a Gold Award in the Service Industry Advertising Awards competition. It's great news to me because it validates the quality of custom work we can do. This was also the first time we had been asked to design a custom scarf; usually, it's ties that customers request.

The scarf was created for the philanthropy department at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts. It was a long and very involved process, but as you can see, the end result was beautiful. (We also designed a tie that complements the scarf.)

Here's Liz modeling the award-winner. Doesn't she look elegant?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fond memories of Frank

Some sad news to report: My goldfish, Frank, known for his great age and girth, has passed on to the aquarium in the sky. He lived a good life of a decade or so. Frank was a very loyal and low-maintenance pet, asking for little in the way of attention, food or accommodations. His eyes were the first to go. Can fish get cataracts? Deb seems to think so, since Frank's eyes were cloudy for the past several months.

There was no burial at sea for Frank. You see, he was so large that there was a very real danger of his earthly (or water-ly) remains clogging our plumbing. We gave him a modest burial plot in the backyard instead.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The weekend

I had a delicious prime rib and a wonderfully dense, moist gingerbread last weekend at the Waybury Inn, where Deb and I hosted the annual Beau Ties holiday party. We held our party post-holidays so that we could keep up with last-minute gift orders!

The Waybury was a new destination for us: Our previous celebratory spot was the Dog Team Tavern, which burned to the ground in a spectacular and mysterious fire some months ago.
The inn was very welcoming and we think it will be the perfect spot for the start of a new tradition.

You may be familiar with the Waybury and not even realize it. The Waybury's claim to fame, in addition to being a fine inn with a charming restaurant and pub, is its 80s-era appearance on the Newhart show. The building's facade starred in every episode as the Stratford Inn.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Welcome to 2007

Happy New Year!

We are back in action after a nice, but all-too-short holiday break in routine.

News here in Vermont is the Legistature's return to Montpelier tomorrow. I read in today's paper that two independent lawmakers will be among the ranks. The newest is an organic potato farmer from nearby Shoreham. (Democrats hold the majority in both the House and Senate.)

Vermont's is a true citizen legislature, with farmers, lawyers, shopkeepers, real estate agents and others all sitting beside one another, approaching challenges and making laws together. I'm interested to see what ideas they generate for encouraging new and growing businesses in Vermont.