People’s Champion finalist 2018: Bowtees

Bringing bow-ties back into fashion by breaking with tradition, Bowtees is making an impression. But can it win you over to be crowned People's Champion?

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Start-up name: Bowtees
Founders: Kayur Patel and Jessica Harris
Started in: 2016
Based in: Stoke-on-Trent
Business description: Trend-setting t-shirts and bow-ties brand created for people wanting to match sartorial shirts with urban-inspired t-shirts.

Shortlisted categories:

Side Hustle of the Year

The Bowtees story:

Dapper and ‘urban’ at the same time? For Kayur Patel and Jessica Harris wider use of the oft-forgotten bow-tie became a fashion-led mission when they combined the formal accessory with the humble t-shirt.

Running their clothing and accessories business aside their full-time jobs, the pair have discovered a thriving interest in the clothing and accessories combination “created for people who are unapologetically themselves”.

Since securing a £4,500 Start Up Loan to get the business off the ground they expect to see sales almost double.

Using a magnetic, removable smart bow-tie, the accessory can be clipped and unclipped from a casual t-shirt, ensuring every wearer can start a wild night on the town with a guaranteed talking point.

Produced at home and predominantly sold online, Patel and Harris have also taken their wares to markets and craft fairs where they’ve tested a wider range of menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, baby items and accessories.

The interest generated has led to the brand making appearances in the esteemed fashion pages of GQ Magazine, alongside interest from Virgin Atlantic’s on-board magazine and other award nominations.

Why Bowtees made our shortlist:

With full-time jobs to contend with, this little side-line is already suggesting it has the potential to be more. Making a very tidy profit Patel and Harris’ side hustle is being noticed in impressive circles.

While we’re talking fabrics not clay, it seems appropriate that this cottage industry endeavour emanates from The Potteries, where hundreds of micro businesses emerged in the 17th century to become the centre of ceramic production.

Bowtees’ high-fashion mission to create a new bow-tie generation is well underway.

Where to find out more about Bowtees:


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