William Murphy is the creator and maker behind the brand Reign Bow Ties. I believe he is the youngest entrepreneur I have featured on (de) blog. Although young, he is very focused and has a strong sense of self. He is a fashionista on a mission. I was very impressed with all he has accomplished at such a young age. Read his story below:
Tell us about your background.
My name is William Murphy. Born in Detroit, MI my family and I moved around a lot until finally my family settled down in Canton, MI at age 12. Now I'm 18, I just graduated high school and I'm on my way to Michigan State University enrolled in the business program. I love just being happy and making others happy while being free and expressing myself at the same time. Some people might think I dress weird because I wear my bow ties with a hat and jeans almost daily opposed to the traditional, dapper suit. I believe that the way you dress is a form of expression. I dress how I feel and I feel that the bow tie is one of the most versatile accessories around, it can be just as casual as it can be formal.
What made you take the leap and start your business?
I've been wearing bow ties since I was 15 years old. In the summer of 2014, I was home one summer day restrained by crutches from an injury I suffered the day before when I asked myself how he could pass the time while on crutches. I always liked the bow tie look, so when I asked myself what I could do to occupy my time over the summer, the answer was obvious. I decided that my wardrobe needed a bit of a touch, the vision was to have a bow tie to match all of my outfits. From there I just couldn't stop, every bow tie looked better than the one before and I loved it, still do.
Why is making and shopping handmade so important?
I don't shop handmade much but I do love the Etsy community. It's easy to connect to all of the crafters who make products handmade. Everyone is so down-to-earth and willing to lend a helping hand or tell you about themselves. Shopping handmade allows you to feel more connected to the creator themselves opposed to just the product.
Tell us about your creative process.
It's all about what's trending, how I feel, and what events are coming up. My target market is young adults ages 17 - 35 and I base what products I produce based on what they like and what's trending now.
What is your studio space like?
At the moment we work from home. We have a table set up with all of our equipment, next to that table is where we keep our ironing board, finally on the other side of the ironing board is a sewing machine and a table where we keep all of the equipment needed to sew the products up, placed neatly in a small supply box.
Who are your favorite makers and artists?
I don't shop much from Etsy so I don't have a favorite maker or artist but most if not all of the artists on Etsy have some of the most beautiful, unique products I have seen. There is just so much creativity and uniqeness in the Etsy community, I don't have one favorite.
Thank you William for sharing your photos and your story.