NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A small local business is getting national attention and has landed a big deal with the help of Twitter.
Like the flick of a light switch, an idea came to Mike McPherson while in a department store with his friend and business partner, Mace Neal.
"Just throughout we were looking at ties and we really didn't see anything that stuck out to us. It was like one of those fleeting moments where I said, 'hey man we should start our own tie company,'" said McPherson.
Instead of just complaining about the lack of choices McPherson and Neal invested $80 in buying material to make ties, bowties, handkerchiefs and pocket squares.
"It's a very big industry. Ties right now, are doing about $700,000,000 a year as a total industry," said McPherson.
In a time when people were losing jobs, the business partners formed Windsor Neckwear in 2008.
McPherson said it was a risk, but he felt the need and want was there.
"Neckties are something that's a staple in any man's wardrobe," said McPherson. "I dress fairly conservative as far as my suits are concerned, but when I want to add a splash of color or when I want to do something different, the accessories are always the best place to do it."
Over time, the men secured a manufacturer. McPherson said they continue to spend countless hours throughout the day creating every custom designed accessory.
With that same technology used to come up with design patterns, the team reached out via Twitter to Alfred Edmond, Jr. He is senior Vice President and Editor-at-Large of Black Enterprise Magazine, which has millions of monthly readers.
After Edmond became a customer and fan of Windsor Neckwear, business took off.
"We recently signed a contract with him to do a custom line of bowties. He's very well known for wearing bowties. He wears them on his show on MSNBC that he has," said McPherson.
"Same thing with Warren Sapp and NFL Network. We did the exact same thing with him and he wore about a year and a half on NFL network and several other broadcasters on the network wear our ties," he added.
McPherson said to see his creation shown across the world has been an amazing accomplishment.
"I mean it was like Christmas. I guess that is the best way to describe it."
He also said when it comes to any passion, take it one knot at a time and success will come.
McPherson and Neal also make time to give back to the Nashville community.
They each spend many hours speaking and mentoring middle and high school students, as well as local college students, on dressing for success.
In the fall, the custom line of silk bowties will be available through the company's website, www.windsorneckwear.com.