There are many bow tie companies popping up online but few are anything like the colorful, customizable dapper accessory tagged, Tri Bow Tie. The pre-tied bowtie company is believed to be the first of its kind. Tri Bow Tie is owned and operated by entrepreneur, minister, and father of six, Marlon Rhodeman.
The Kansas City native is fairly new to the fashion industry, but not to the entrepreneurial hustle. Rhodeman got his small business start at the tender age of 4, while hanging out in his grandmother’s sewing room. As she sewed, he earned his keep by picking up pushpins, which he cashed in for ten cents each. Little did he know that 20-some-odd years later, he and his grandmother would be standing in that very room, hemming what would be the prototype to revolutionize the bow tie industry.
Rhodeman possesses a provisional patented pre-tied bow tie design that allows anyone wearing the classic accessory to tailor it to their personal style. Purchasing as little as three Tri Bow Ties gives customers the ability to create more than 27 different looks.
“It breaks down into 3 parts and the cool thing about it is that a lot of pre-tied bow ties that you see on the market have a pre-tied look,” Rhodeman told EBONY.com “After 2 years of prototypes, we found a way to make it look like it was actually tied.”
In designing the bow, class, customization and ease of style were the driving force behind Tri Bow Tie. His motivation stemming from the power of a dapper appearance and a will to inspire the youth. In 2008, Rhodeman found himself working for the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice where he recalls a young man asking to borrow his traditional bow tie for an anticipated court date.
“I tied it for him and he happened to go to court…[the judge] complimented him on his appearance and the kid ended up getting released and went home”, said Rhodeman. “He looked at me as if, the bow tie did it.”
Sparked by the young man’s release, and the surprising benefit of a polished look, Rhodeman set out to give all bow tie wearers the same sense of personal freedom. In 2014, with the help of his grandmother, Rhodeman was able to create what’s believed to be the world’s first interchangeable pre-tied bow tie. EBONY.com caught up with Rhodeman to talk the uniqueness of Tri Bow Tie, who he hopes to impact and what he wants his children to learn from the family business.
EBONY.com: What makes Tri Bow Tie stand out?
Marlon Rhodeman: We have a provisional patent where the bow tie actually breaks down into 3 pieces. So you have the center strap which looks like the knot that you tie and the left-wing and right-wing. My grandmother found a way to interchange them without losing the quality of the bow tie.
EBONY.com: Who do you hope to impact with your bow ties?
Marlon Rhodeman: I hope to impact the 99% of people who can’t tie a bow tie because statistics show that 1% of people actually know how to tie a bowtie. They always talk about how real men know how to tie bow ties and that it’s a sign of sophistication and so what I wanted to do was to bring something to the pre-tied bow tie that not even a self-tie bow tie has. You become your own designer. [It gives] you that sense of freedom which kind of represented that kid.
EBONY.com: How does your faith play a part in your Business?
Marlon Rhodeman: I believe that god gave me the idea. I believe that everything good and perfect comes from him. So I believe that when god gives you an idea it’s going to affect millions.
EBONY.com: What do you want your children to take away from the family business?
I want them to know what hard work is but I also what them to know how to run a company. I want them to see our hard work and [know] that you can do anything that you want if you put your mind to it.
To learn more about the Tri Bow Tie Company, visit here.