A Dressember Bow Tie Tutorial ft. Neck & Tie Co.
The beauty of the Dressember movement, and one of the reasons we chose to participate as a family is how the campaign empowers both women and men, young and old, in the fight against human trafficking. As a firefighter, a bow tie isn’t a part of my husband, Phil’s typical wardrobe, and we knew incorporating it into his daily life for a month would be difficult, but that it would also be worth it.
Over the course of December last year, each morning after Phil got off his shift, he would pull out a tie – whether it was grocery shopping, running errands or meeting up with a friend, this new aspect of his wardrobe became part of his everyday routine. It wasn’t always easy, and perhaps the challenges Phil felt are ones that you’re considering as barriers too in your own decision to participate. Maybe, your job also isn’t conducive to wearing a tie, and the thought of mastering the sometimes-complicated steps of simply tying one is intimidating. We understand because we’ve been there too.
However, this simple addition of fabric to Phil’s wardrobe opened more doors for a powerful conversation on trafficking than we could have ever imagined – it was a vehicle for change that we could never have anticipated. In an effort to encourage more men out there to join the fight with us, we’ve created a simple a video to walk you through the steps of tying a bow tie. While pre-tie neck and bow ties are always an option, having this skill under your belt is just another conversation starter you can use as an advocate this Dressember. And, if like us, it’s not an everyday necessity, it may feel like a challenge – but this video is meant to help you confidently and easily master this skill.
So now that you’ve watch the video, you’re probably thinking, “I’m a pro at this! Where can I get my first bow tie?” Luckily, the team at Neck & Tie Company has you covered! Not only are they partners for this year’s Dressember campaign, they are also mastering the art of the cut and sew tie. As a men’s lifestyle brand, the team dedicates their work to produce the highest quality neckwear accessories while also compassionately addressing a variety of social needs through their giving model. Micah and his wife, Lish, lead their business as a platform to create beauty in the world around them. Here is our interview with entrepreneur and innovator, Micah:
What’s the story behind Neck & Tie Company? When did you get started and what was the inspiration?
Neck & Tie started almost out of coincidence. I have sewn my whole life and altered my own clothing, so when I wanted to tailor a few of my ties to be slim fit I realized I could do it with patterns and styles of my own. That turned into a couple of wedding suits for friends, and then finally the launch of our business. When my wife and I got married, we re-branded and really decided to take the lifestyle brand route with our product.
Handmade items, such as the cut and sew ties that your team makes, is an art! As opposed to a mass-produced item, a handmade tie tells a unique story. What story are you hoping to tell through your own ties?
We are part of a growing market of people wanting to purchase their goods from artisans and makers who care about quality over quantity. We wanted to join in this movement and steer our production away from “fast fashion” and put it in the hands of artisans in our community. We are proud to hire hard working people in our community who are proud of the work they do every day. There is nothing “mass” about our product. This is the story we are telling --capsule wardrobe accessories built on the values of quality and ethical responsibility.
Neck & Tie Co. has an interesting way of giving back to others through each purchase. Can you explain your giving model to us and why you chose this path?
Absolutely! Initially, we focused on efforts for human trafficking and awareness. When my wife (+ business partner) and I got married, we realized that there were so many other areas of need that our hearts were invested in. We decided to launch “giving projects” where we would give a portion of our proceeds to a person, organization or charity that we had some sort of connection with for a period of time. This was really amazing and rewarding, however, we realized it limited us from investing long term in something. Since then, we decided to shift into something a bit more permanent. Currently, we support children in Cambodia through an amazing organization that we know personally called SEAPC. This has been an amazing way to touch many of the areas that our hearts are drawn to (homelessness, education, trafficking prevention, hunger, and leadership education initiatives). Currently, we fully support 2 boys, Chan and Narith, and it is our desire that as our company grows, we will be able to support more and more children!
This year, Neck & Tie Co. has partnered with Dressember and is providing the first 10 male advocates to raise $350 a $50 gift card. Why is the Dressember Campaign an important movement for you all to support?
My family grew up learning about the International Justice Mission through church and charitable events. I have been an advocate for the anti-slavery movement for as long as I can remember. When I learned about the partnership between Dressember and IJM, I knew it was a perfect fit for us.
The issue of human trafficking has always been one near to my heart. One of our first giving projects was with our friend, Paula. She worked with an organization called Seeds of Hope in Costa Rica for two years, helping them establish clubhouses where kids could come and be educated and learn about ways that traffickers targeted children to help them avoid becoming victims. While we are absolutely 100% supportive of action taken to free current victims of this pandemic, we are just as excited about educating and training the younger generation, that they would not become future pimps or victims. Our current giving project is geared similarly (while quite a bit more comprehensive) as well.
Throughout Dressember, men can participate in the campaign by wearing a tie! What would you say to someone who is hesitant to participate because they’re intimidated by wearing one?
What can we say other than the fact that you will be the talk and envy of all your friends! We all know that everyone loves a sharp dresser! We dare you to be that person this December. Not only will you look fresh, you will also be key in bringing a needed awareness to this issue because people WILL ask about it. If you don’t know how to tie a tie, ask your grandpa, dad, uncle, brother or google!
Of the current collections, what are some of your favorite designs?
Ooh, that’s almost an unfair question since I love SO many of them. But if you are going to force me to choose, I would say my top 3 styles this season are the Country Floral for its uniqueness, Chambray in Olive for the texture, and the Aster Floral for the mix of black-tie swag with an intriguing floral accent.
Thank you Micah for your generosity in partnering with Dressember this year! If you're a guy or gal participating in Dressember by wearing ties or bow-ties, consider stopping by Neck and Tie Co. for all your formal attire needs!
About the Author
Michaela Judge is a military veteran and Southern transplant. As a Public Relations specialist by day, she is overjoyed to use her love of writing to help fight for freedom and justice through Dressember! Her favorite moments are spent with her husband, Phil, and daughter, Ellie, adventuring in Charleston, South Carolina, and spreading hospitality.