Black Adam and Eve
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Picture this. It’s 7:03 am, and the sun just rose over your favorite tree. You’re walking about in the Garden of Eden. Minding your own business. Along comes a serpent talking all this jazz over a Black & Mild and a fifth of Henny like, “you will not surely die if you eat this fruit.” So you fall for it: hook, line, and sinker. And you tell your husband to try some too. Now you realize you’re naked. And then he realizes he is naked. Now here comes God. The first fashion designer to save your behind from destruction and embarrassment. Thus, the first attire is created.

You may be wondering what Adam and Eve have to do with bespoke bow ties. Well, I’m here to make the connection between a naked life and a life with bow ties and accessories that make you feel your best.

Hi, my name is Nicole R. Brown. By the end of my inaugural blog post, I will have shown you what inspires me to create the collections for Ruth Nathan’s and how Ruth Nathan’s can help you live your best life and elevate your style. If you’re new to the brand, welcome. Lovely to meet you!

  1. Q: Wedding attire, Father’s Day gifts, and more–why should customers consider shopping Ruth Nathan’s for a gift or their special day?
Black Groomsmen and groom in suits and ties
Nash Wedding Crew

A: The number one reason you should consider Ruth Nathan’s for any occasion is exclusiveness. You know the feeling when walking into a room, and you’re the only one wearing your favorite hat? Or the feeling you get from strutting in that great pair of leather slippers you got on your last trip to Marakesh that was custom made just for you? That’s the feelingyou get from Ruth Nathan’s. It could be from a lapel flower pin that perfectly matches your wedding colors or a designer mask as a thoughtful Father’s Day gift for a bold and dapper Dad. We create limited-edition pieces to make sure you can stand out from the crowd. (Not to brag, but our unique bow ties are kind of unmatched ;-).

2) Q: What inspires you, creatively?

A: Travel. Travel. And more travel! I’ve seen ports from Trinidad to Bangkok and back with various colorful shipping containers. I was fascinated by the colors these shipping containers displayed. They were bold, and they spoke to my spirit. For me, it’s all about capturing that wanderlust; that feeling of always going, never really knowing where you’ll end up. Thus, began the Ports Collection of ties: Port of Hamburg, Los Angeles, Prince, Savannah, and Spain. Even the Port of Spain Jumbo Bow Tie was inspired by the fact that I always want more of Trinidad. I can never get enough!

3) Q: How has your craft helped you through these challenging times?

A: Ruth Nathan’s is dedicated to transforming the world one dapper ensemble at a time (starting with Bow Ties in New York City). I serve Urban Peacocks, who dress well as a form of self-expression and delight. These Urban Peacocks are men and women who adorn themselves with luxury face masks and matching bow ties, pocket squares, and lapel flowers. Urban Peacocks are the people sitting at home right now playing dress up during family zoom calls and long walks to the mailbox. It gives me great joy to bring fun to someone’s day, letting them escape the dullness of utilitarian items like face masks. You can quickly elevate your mood by elevating your style. For these reasons, my craft has helped me survive these challenging times.

Man walking with bow tie and suspenders on
Model wearing Port of Spain Jumbo Pink Bow Tie

4) Q: What do you love most about being a small business owner?

A: What I love most about being a small business owner is the ability to be flexible. As the virus became more widespread, I’ll be honest, I was nervous. I had no idea what to expect. Sourcing, production, even shopping were all paused for the foreseeable future. The majority of the business was done at pop-up events across the country. I was looking forward to the Grand Opening of the new Artists and Fleas market in Washington, D.C, in March. Since I wasn’t locked-in to manufacturing for the next year, I was able to shift gears, take production in-house, and start creating beautiful masks from my home office. A shift that larger firms would spend months on took me just a few weeks. Even though I’m still working out a more streamlined long term strategy, I’m grateful for the support we’ve gotten thus far. I’m glad to be of service to our tribe, both old and new, with our face masks and matching bow tie gift sets and more. Who would have thought a year ago that I would switch from bow tie maker to face mask dealer?

5) Q: What’s something your customers may not know about you/your business that you want to share?

sewing machine and masks
Mask workshop

A: My maternal Grandparents were Ruth and Nathan Wilson of Greenville, Mississippi. Grandpa Nathan always gave back, especially with his time as a long-standing Boy Scout Troop Leader. I would like Ruth Nathan’s to have a more profound impact on social good too. Before COVID, we would donate a portion of quarterly sales to select nonprofits including, Konbit Mizik, Khan Academy, and the Bow Tie Foundation. Currently, we shifted gears, and we’re donating masks to essential workers who are still in need of PPE. In the future, I’d like to participate in partnerships to encourage youth in Harlem through the arts. Being exposed to the arts at a young age helped pique my interest in fashion and made me excited about the possibilities it could bring. Honestly, artists have helped us through this pandemic: musicians, comedians, authors, and more. We’re a vital part of any community.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and have found a way to brighten your day just by changing your clothes. Visit our online shop to see how we can delight you today. We’re excited to soon be your favorite black-owned bow tie store in NYC. Ciao