Today we’d like to introduce you to Alicia Chester.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Alicia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Shortly after getting married, my husband purchased a sewing machine. He figured I could make small repairs with it. What he did not know is that my grandmother was a seamstress. I had grown up visiting her and knowing the first place I would find her was her sewing room. I would begin making dresses and skirts for myself and neckties to match. When we eventually had our first son, I realized bow ties were only available in stores a couple of times a year. So I started making them and people started noticing.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has not been and still is not smooth. Trying to start a business with an infant is very difficult. To add to that, I have narcolepsy, so sleep when the baby sleeps took on a whole new meaning. Not long after my son started sleeping through the night and I was beginning to find a rhythm, I discovered we were expecting again. I put everything on hold. If someone asked for bow ties, I would make them, but I did not have the energy to run a business. That didn’t mean its no longer difficult. Trying to raise a young family, and help manage a household is no easy feat.
Please tell us about your business.
At Our Southern Gentlemen, I make interchangeable bow ties. I discovered a couple of things after making countless bows for my sons. The first issue I found was storing the bows. I have a box in their drawer and the neck bands were always tangled up. Secondly, this one is more selfish. If I was in a rush, I wouldn’t have time to make the band and bow. So I started making them interchangeable. I also started designing gentlemanly t-shirts. As my boys are getting older, it’s becoming increasingly important to me that they learn to be, act and dress like gentlemen. I look at it this way, “you dress for the job you want” I want my boys to “dress like the young men, the gentlemen, I want them to be. That means shirts on the market that promote a “player” mentality would be unacceptable. I want my boys and all boys to be respectful to all and themselves.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Like I said, raising young kids and starting a business is HARD. I have a determination to keep going though. I’ve stopped and started many times. I start again because I see a need. Parents want more options. Girls have clothing sections two times the size of boys with lots of accessories. I have spoken to moms that agree that boy’s clothing options need to change. If I can make a small change, that’s better than none, so I keep pushing.
- bow with neckband $25
- additional bows $15
- tshirts $22.50
- Website: www.oursoutherngentlemen.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: shopoursoutherngentlemen
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oursoutherngentlemen/
- Other: http://oursoutherngentlemen.etsy.com/