MAKING YOUR TIE A TIE+ IS A HEALTHY ADDICTION
Since the first prototype I've worn a tie+ nearly every day. And the few days I forgot? They were agony.
Once your tie has an actual use it's nearly impossible to rationalize wearing it only for looks.
The tie+ is something I made for myself. Give one a try and you'll understand why it was worth all the effort.
a brief history of the tie+
2013 - Waiting in line to get lunch
"Why can't I clean stuff with my tie?"
As usual it hadn't worked. It never worked. You've probably had a similar thought after a similar failed attempt. That day I decided to look for solutions.
I searched the web and found some hideous ties. I found some patches that needed heat and glue. That stuff was nothing I wanted to deal with. My phone's screen stayed smudgy that day.
I scribbled down the thought in a notebook and went on with my life.
2014 - Lunch. Same line, different year
"I still can't clean stuff with my tie."
A year had passed. I'd tried to use my tie to clean stuff plenty of times knowing that it wouldn't work. But what if it could? Another search of the web yielded no new solutions.
Suddenly the problem was clear: nobody buys a tie for its function. Those microfiber lined ties? The designers had missed the point: ties were hood ornaments, not hammers. They're meant to look good and that's basically it.
Buying ties designed for a function meant buying someone else's style. Nobody wants to do that.
but what if?
But what if a tie could look good and have a function? What something could be added to the ties you already liked and owned?
Keeping your own tie solved the issue of style. Your tie just needed a little addition. It needed to become a tie... plus. Then it all became clear.
I knew what I wanted – it just didn't exist.
Sometimes in life you need to make it yourself.
A day later I'd pieced together the first crude tie+ and it worked. Big things often have humble beginnings.
I spent the next several months frequenting craft stores for all sorts of supplies. Being an engineer helped quite a bit. Online and in person I bought razors, buttons, fabrics, magnets, wedding invitation stamp kits – things got pretty weird. I'm confident my Amazon recommendations will never recover and as a 29 year old male I'd become a regular at Michael's.
I spent countless hours on experimentation, i.e. making a mess.
Then things began taking shape.
Eventually I traded the razors for lasers, and the paint brush for tech.
The designs became specific to 0.001 of an inch.
Beyond impressing myself, I started to believe the tie+ might impress NASA if given a chance.
Once the design was established I created new sizes to fit every tie.
Additional layers were added and I polished some details.
A few more months of tweaking yielded the final designs.
At long last I'd created a product.
The only thing left was figuring out what should come next.
FINAL STEPS TO LAUNCH
Creating a product is one thing; creating a lot of product is something entirely different.
You need to ensure you can progressively scale.
And you can't forget about packaging!
The best products' packaging sells.
I used a sticker maker ($25 from Michael's) and got to work on the labels.
At some point it finally sunk in that I was building a brand.
In more ways than one the tie+ had become a healthy addiction – that was the message I'd bring to the world.
And TAKEITEASYTHURSDAY? If this venture succeeds maybe one day I will.
I made sure the stickers fit vials of multiple sizes.
Always make sure you're killing two [or three, or four...] birds at once.
Then I finally pulled the trigger and got the real stuff, once again ensuring I could progressively scale.
We created a mountain of packaging the weekend before launching – a sight to behold.
If you've made it this far maybe you've got a sense of how it all feels.
The tie+ is launching.
It's finally real.
tl;dr I wanted something that didn't exist so I made it real for the world.