"Do or do knot!" says Jay and Aj, creators of Knotted Handcrafted Bowties. The duo have found their niche in creating men's accessories along the Gulf Coast. Their slogan speaks for itself meaning to take action in planning and executing. Jay explains, "If you're not going to do everything, then you might as well do knot."
Both Aj and Jay have entrepreneurial spirits that not only spark creativity but also companionship. The team decided on bowties after balancing Aj's crafty hands and Jay's love for the accessory. The two walked into a local fabric store not knowing they would make their first bowtie the same day. "That day it was either do or do knot," said Aj.
After making their first bowtie, they took it to Jay's father. "It's a good idea, but the prototype isn't the best. It's some things you can work on & improve," stated his father.
After going back to the drawing board, the two came up with a new way on how to make their bowties. "If you look at our bowties today, our product is much different from what you can get from department stores," said Jay. With unique patterns and prints, Knotted is "The People's Bowtie". Additionally, Knotted creates custom ties, lapel pins, and pocket squares.
The name Knotted came from a lot of brainstorming and prayer. With Jay's vision, they wanted a name to go along with the product. "We wanted to put our stamp on the city, not just the city, but the world," said Aj. Keeping it simple but staying true to the meaning is what guided them.
"From buying and supporting Knotted, the people are our biggest inspiration," said Jay and Aj. One of Knotted's most satisfying moments was the Kappa League Spring Show. Requiring 100 bowties, this was the largest order the team had ever had and one of the first. It was a great feeling for them to hear the excitement and gratitude for their work. Also, they have found recent success in the local art walk.
When asked about their favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur, they both replied, "The grind and being able to create." Jay added, "There's nothing like working for yourself and having something of good quality." Aj stated, "Giving back to the community makes it fun to be entrepreneurs."
Recently, a donation was made to a local church from the company. "It's all about engaging and opportunity," said Jay. In the near future, Knotted plans to showcase their talents in business expos and pop up shops.
Jay advises anyone with the itch to go out on their own to not be afraid. He added, "Make it be you and make something that's honest to you."