If you've been in Spruce recently, you may have seen our latest table full of custom ties, bowties, and pocket squares. Moving into 2017, we wanted to focus our time on more local collaborations, community outreach, custom garments, and elevated fashion for our guests. We just happened to find all of these aspects in a company named Knotty.
Knotty Tie is a custom tie company based out of Denver, CO just a couple neighborhoods South of Spruce. I was able to head over to their headquarters to try and learn more about their mission and values.
Why was Knotty Tie Created?
"We built Knotty Tie to provide employment opportunities for resettling refugees..."
"...Many arriving refugees possess sewing skills or have access to learn sewing skills, but aren't able to find employment utilizing these skills. We found that [they] have a much better chance of success when they can overcome the barriers they face utilizing their skills, instead of not working or working a menial job, all while creating value that is good for our company, the community and that builds confidence and experience for the refugees themselves." - Jeremy, Co-Founder/President
What sets Knotty Tie apart?
"In addition to our social mission to support refugees, we are working to make our products with fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles (necktie, bowtie and pocket square fabric transition in February '17!).
We make everything in the USA and pay a minimum wage of $15 for our staff in addition to a generous benefits package. Our customers are treated like family and work 1-on-1 with our awesome design team. We also loan ties to local community members in need through our Tiebrary program. Yep, a Tiebrary." - Jeremy, Co-founder/President
After these initial talks, it became obvious to those of us on the Spruce team that Knotty was the right fit for a collaboration. So, working alongside Anna, Knotty Tie Custom Designer, we came up with this line of custom Spruce ties:
We chose to incorporate timeless styles and Colorado nature in addition to the custom Spruce print on the neck and tail. The Spruce team is in love with the designs and what they represent. Our guests are loving them too as we've ran through our first order in just a couple weeks! After ordering our second edition, I wanted to follow up with Anna and the team.
What is your favorite pattern from the Spruce collaboration?
"Aspen with gold leaves. Our company loves finding ways to represent Colorado and redefine classic patterns with touches of uniqueness...
...The aspen pattern resembles a standard stripe without boring you to death. It's inspiration from natural beauty with iconic gold leaves also remind us of one of our favorite times of year to be a Colorado resident. Lastly, it doesn't cross over into novelty or just have a Colorado logo and is the perfect way to whisper Colorado love with classic and unique style." - Anna, Custom Designer
What is your favorite aspect of collaborating with other brands?
"Collaborating with other brands like Coloradical, Kind Design and Spruce make us a larger part of a community of designers, makers, entrepreneurs and change agents. Who wouldn't want to be surrounded by creatives seeking to make the world a better place by redefining elements of the human experience?" - Jeremy, Co-Founder/President
We couldn't agree more.
Do you have a favorite memory with the Knotty Tie team or a teammate?
"After working with one of our first refugee hires from Iraq for more than three months, side by side, he stopped working one day to say, "Hi, what is your name"?. I couldn't believe that I was supervising him and he had no idea what my name was...
...Later, after a few years of him attending Emily Griffith in the mornings to learn English, he stops working to ask me, "How was work?" Turns out he is a hilarious practical joker but we had no idea until he learned enough English to get comfortable. Just because someone can't communicate doesn't make them dumb, and if you invest time in helping them get comfortable communicating however they can, you'll be pleasantly surprised how intelligent and human we all are." - Austin, Manufacturing Director