Tie Rentals and Fair Trade
On this week’s edition of things from entrepreneurial NESCAC grads that you can put around your neck:
Cambodian Threads is holding a contest on their Facebook page. For those of you that don’t know, CT is a fair trade company that sells Cambodian-made scarves, ties, and bags. The company was co-founded by Jake Daniels, Conn ’08, and pours a percentage of profits back in to educational development projects in rural Cambodia. Post a picture of a scarf in a “funny, unique, or interesting” place and—if your picture gets the most likes—win a silk scarf.
Bowdoin alum Zac Gittens ’06 was featured in The Washington Post for his start-up Tie Society, coincidentally under a picture of Netflix envelopes (the world thanks you Reed Hastings ’83). Check it out:
Washington Post “I’ve been renting the tartan plaid ties that are trendy right now,” said Masai McDougall, 29, a lawyer at the D.C. office of Bingham McCutchen. “It’s nice to try out styles without having to spend 100 bucks on a tie.” That’s the sensibility that drove native Washingtonians Zac Gittens, 28, and Otis Collins, 27, to create Tie Society in November.
The childhood friends run their business out of Gittens’s rowhouse in Adams Morgan. For a monthly minimum of $11, they mail members the sorts of designer ties found only in high-end department stores. Clients select organically sanitized ties from 300 styles. When a subscriber tires of the ties or wants to try a different style, he mails them back and selects more.
The start-up went from local to national in less than a month. Quaite Dodson, 21, a college student and Bank of America teller from Sierra Vista, Ariz., needed ties to wear to work, and he found the Netflix-style rental model perfect for an entry-level salary. “I found it on Reddit and joined. . . . I’m not a corporate big fish yet, and you need to dress for the position you want, so Tie Society gave me a better selection of designer ties than what I normally get at Macy’s,” Dodson said.