Several years ago I dreamed of creating a bakery. In my dream the aroma of melted chocolate from my shop would float across the city ike a benevolent cloud, luring long lines of customers to the front door. But then I drew up a business plan, and reality sunk in. By the time I paid for construction, space rent and insurance, I’d have to charge so much that no one would be able to afford my decadent confections. The cost of building a brick-and-mortar store is devastatingly high. So I did the next best thing: skipped the cost of building a store, and just started selling my baked goods online.
One morning Greg Shugar spilled coffee on his tie and realized he didn’t want to spend $100 on another one. So he and his wife decided to go into the business of selling affordable ties. But he knew what it took me years to discover–you can save your customers a lot of money by skipping the whole storefront-building part and selling your product to customers directly via the internet.
The Tie Bar, the company he co-founded, is one of those enterprises where capitalism works perfectly–everybody wins. He creates a multi-million dollar business, and you get $19 neckwear. When you go to thetiebar.com you’ll find thousands of ties of every imaginable fabric and color at a price that’s about a fifth of what you’d pay elsewhere. They have graced the necks of celebrities and are found on the pages of GQ magazine–alongside $300 designer cravats.
The Tie Bar also sells tie bars (an example of which you see on Jay-Z), along with pocket squares and other male accoutrements. They, once again, epitomize the value championed by this blog–simple elegance.
The irony is that now that they’ve made millions and been purchased by a private equity firm, The Tie Bar recently opened a storefront in Chicago. Maybe there’s hope for my bakery yet.