Today’s wedding vendor interview is with Helen of Blue Eyes Bow Ties, a company specializing in unique and limited edition handmade bow ties! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
My name is Helen and I live a few miles away from the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, England, with my partner, Alex. I started my company, Blue Eyes Bow Ties, at the beginning of 2016. However, I’ve been sewing all my life, making garments and accessories for myself, family and friends.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into the business?
Last year I decided that I wanted to do more sewing and making as this is something I really enjoy. I made a waistcoat for Alex as my engagement present to him and I got to thinking about how to jazz it up a bit. Fortunately Alex loves bow ties so I made him one to go with his new waistcoat. I really enjoyed the process and decided to find some funky fabrics and make some more. Alex suggested that I could try to sell some of my creations so after honing my pattern and skills I put some for sale on-line and signed up to do some markets. I was very pleasantly surprised when they started to sell and particularly when I started getting orders from around the globe! Because I try to source really unusual or funky fabrics they seem to catch people’s attention – particularly those looking for something a bit different.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job has to be receiving such amazing and positive feedback from my customers. There’s nothing better than putting all that time and effort into a project and being rewarded with such kind comments!
If you could pick one unique product or service offering, which would be your favorite, and why?
I make all sorts of bow ties, some more suited to weddings than others. I love it when a bride or groom purchases one of my limited edition funky or vintage designs for their big day. However, I’m currently developing a line of silk Dupion bow ties. I have such a huge range of colours to choose from and, being silk, these bow ties are super special. So, if I had to choose one unique product or service it would be my new line of silk Dupion bow ties.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned in this whole adventure, and definitely the lesson that I’d pass along to others, is to have confidence in your ability and your products. For months after I started selling my bow ties I doubted that they were good enough, despite the amazing feedback I was getting. Only gradually did I start to believe that people really liked them! I wasted a good deal of time worrying about something when I should have accepted what customers told me and enjoyed the moment.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
Making my bow ties is also my hobby and a genuine enjoyment. So I do that quite a lot of the time. I also enjoy going out and about with Alex and eating good food!
Any great stories from working with a client?
I had a great experience working with a man from Italy on a wedding bow tie. He was so lovely to correspond with and loved my designs. In the end he went for a beautiful vintage floral design accompanied by a matching pocket square. At the same time that we were in the ordering process the devastating August earthquake struck in Italy. I was really worried for my client since I knew he lived near to the region that was affected. I contacted him immediately and fortunately he and his friends and family were OK. It was a nice moment and I think he appreciated the thought. He’s since helped promote Blue Eyes Bow Ties by posting a photos and comments on social media.
What makes you different from others in your field?
Absolutely all of the bow ties that I sell are limited editions. I only ever make a few bow ties (usually no more than 5) out of each piece of fabric that I source so my customers can rest assured that they will be one of only a few people in the world with any particular one of my bow tie designs. I also aim to source unique and funky fabrics which allow my customers to show off their individuality. And, unlike many other bow tie makers, I also offer a custom design service where brides can select the fabrics they wish to use.
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
I love to see bridesmaids and groomsmen in individually coloured garments from dresses to ties and, of course, bow ties. The look is so cool and boho which I particularly like. There are also some fantastic colour schemes emerging for spring and summer 2017 and I’m looking forward to sourcing fabrics to complement these new trends.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day?
Last year I got engaged and I haven’t managed to start planning my wedding yet because I’ve been so busy so I’m not sure I’ve got any useful tips or advice! In terms of bow ties however, I recommend as soon as you’ve decided on your colour scheme get your order in and give plenty of time for them to be made and adjusted if necessary.
Great, thanks Helen! For more information about Blue Eyes Bow Ties, please visit her WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to her website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Helen? Add them to the comments below!