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Manufacturing Model: Outsource to local factories
Age: 1
Employees: 2
Neighborhood: SOMA
Member since: 2012
Product: Bow-ties
Website: www.tastyties.com






What gave Tasty Tie’s new product launch a buzz? Well, as most buzz’s do, it started with cocktails. After selling out of their first collection- each bowtie representing the spirit of a San Francisco neighborhood- Tasty Ties launched a second, this time inspired by artisinal cocktails from your favorite local watering holes. Here’s owner and designer Jen Hartford’s take on what made the launch successful:

How did the idea for the cocktail collection come about?

San Francisco has this love for artisanal cocktails, so for me it felt like a great opportunity to not only showcase the bowties but create an experience. Now you have bowties, you have cocktails, and you have San Francisco bars that people love. By tackling those three different areas you create a scene, and you create an experience with the product. At the end of the day if I can give people an experience with my product, then I’ve succeeded.

How did you get the bartenders and bars on board?
In the beginning I thought this would be a good-to-have. My partner and I went on a bar crawl (at slower times) and talked to the bartenders about what we were doing. We showed them the product, and gave them a business card. It got me super excited about the launch and made me love San Francisco even more, because so many people embraced this custom-made, attention to detail product. We imagined that mixologists would, but you never know. So most bars thought it was awesome.

What’s been the result of the launch?
This launch was even better than the first, and our website traffic tripled. We had our biggest sales month last month [December] which was also due to the holidays. I think we owe that to the press, including SFMade, Urban Daddy, The Egotist, Refinery29, RackedSF, and a couple of other bloggers. We had to tell people when they ordered that it’s going to take two weeks, but people were willing to wait.

You got a lot of press, and had a great press packet with a collection of photos of each product with the cocktail. Tell us about your strategy. What would you recommend to other businesses?
I think you have to have a story. Start small and build behind that. For me, with the SF Collection and this collection, I started with a concept that I wanted to execute to create an experience. So that’s why when I say start small, I didn’t try to do a collection of bowties for every state— I did something close to home that would allow me to test the waters, and see how people would react. I think the photo shoot was really important. We needed multiple models to challenge the idea that not anyone can wear a bow tie. I needed different races, different genders, and in a bunch of different scenarios. I felt like my models needed to tell their story.
Press is always looking for stories. Find out who’s reaching out to the audiences you’re trying to reach, and send them your product, send them your press brief, send them photos. Send the whole package so it’s easy for them to look through. They get sent stuff every single day, so you have to give them a story. Something that’s new and refreshing, and something they can be proud of.

Your product is pretty retro, and it’s been typecasted as flashy— it’s a very particular accessory, so how do you overcome that?
It will take forever to change people’s perspectives, but ironically bowties kinda blew up after my launch, so that worked to my benefit. For me it goes back again to storytelling, and using different models and putting them in different scenes. The concept behind the line is manufactured so that people can picture themselves at Comstocks wearing their old fashioned bow tie…it makes it something they want to experience. I’ve always been the kind of person that wakes up in the morning and feels like I can wear whatever I want, weather it be a tutu to work or this knit shawl every day. I wish for people to embrace a spontaneous, youthful attitude towards fashion, and wear what makes you happy!