Who would have guessed a day out at the parents' house would turn into a worldwide fashion business?
The Clad Stache idea was born three years ago after Taylor Hanna realized he'd forgotten to pack a necktie after an afternoon swim at his family's home. Like father, like son, his dad convinced him to try on one of his bow ties. Thinking the neck accessory was ridiculous looking, Hanna never thought he'd actually try one on.
It was love at first wear, and in 2012 The Clad Stache was born right out of Oklahoma City.
Q: Where did you get the idea to create and sell bow ties?
A: My dad ended up giving me this awesome, handmade bow tie, which I wore anytime I needed to dress up. I then started to buy some of my own bow ties, but after about four it became harder and harder to find ones that fit my style. I wanted something that would stand out from the rest and just be that accessory that would make my outfit pop from everybody else's. I looked into having some custom-made, and the prices they were asking were just ridiculous. They were more than my shirt and pants combined together at the time. One day my wife just said, “You should just start making the bow ties that you envision in your head.”
Q: Had you ever sewn before, and if not, how difficult was it to learn?
A: I'd never sewn anything before so I started with the basics: A straight line, and then I moved on to curved lines, and then decided to take a “go” at my first bow tie. I learned a lot from the process. I've always been the type of person to teach myself how to do things.
Q: What makes your bow ties unique?
A: My bow ties are completely different than anything else on the market. I love to use contrasting fabrics or even fabrics that most companies stay away from. I've used lace. I've used coating material. I use a lot of suiting fabrics. I also use some silk, wool, camel hair, linen, chambray, even upholstery fabric, but mostly cotton blends. The world of cotton gives you some amazing patterns and colors.
I feel like a major part of what makes a bow tie or necktie amazing is its texture. I love texture such as corduroy and velvet. One of our most popular bow ties is an olive green vintage corduroy velvet. It is important to me that not only the color and pattern makes a statement, but that the texture is spot on. I use buttons on the back instead of clasps. This allows for the customer to retie their bow tie each time if they choose to do so. It also allows me to ship the bow tie already pre-tied for those just learning to tie a bow tie.