Student Neck Deep in the Bow Tie Business PDF  | Print |  E-mail
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Thursday, 17 January 2013 15:27

Recycled ties make stylish new designs

011713n5By Jim Knowles

San Leandro Times

James Bond wore one. Frank Sinatra wore one. And now bow ties are back in style.

At least that’s what Josh Siapno hopes, because he’s building his business on the bow tie. But Siapno’s bows are like no other. The designs jump out.

The 18-year-old creates the bold styles of his bow ties in an inventive way. He collects old regular neckties, takes them apart and sews them back together as a bow ties.

It started last year at San Leandro High when Siapno was a senior. When prom season came around, Siapno discovered that he couldn’t find bow ties that had the style he and his friends wanted. He searched in stores in the Bay Area, and even in stores on a trip to New York.

“No one suppled the bow ties I had in mind,” Siapno said.

So Siapno made it a project in his high school class, NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship), an international high school program that teaches entrepreneurship in mostly urban, low-income areas.

At first, Siapno got his material from his dad’s old ties. His dad picked out a few ties he wanted to keep and let Josh take the rest.

Siapno learned to make a bow tie on his own.

“It was a little research and a lot of trial and error,” said Siapno, who is now a nursing student at Holy Names University in Oakland.

He likes to find a crazy pattern to add a twist to the classic bow tie look. Right now, polka dot ties are his best sellers.

“Polka dot bow ties sell very quickly,” he said.

Siapno knows when he has the right material, right away.

“It just clicks in my head — that’s a good bow tie,” he said.

Siapno sells his bow ties for $25 on his website:




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