Who are you and what do you do?
Winslow is a two-woman show run by friends Sarah and Jamie. It arose from our shared love of style and giving new life to old garments and materials. Winslow makes bow ties, neckties, and pocket squares from vintage, dead stock, and repurposed wools, cottons, and linens. Each Winslow tie and square is hand-stitched or hand-knit in our Seattle studio on Winslow Place. We use hand-drafted patterns to give each tie a modern shape, and each item is carefully made with the highest attention to detail and quality.
You can find our Etsy shop at: www.etsy.com/shop/WinslowHandmade
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
Jamie: We’re continually on the hunt for inspiring fibers and fabrics. The way we source our materials – primarily from deconstructed garments we find secondhand – can definitely be a challenge. But it’s also the biggest thrill of what we do – finding perfect vintage men’s shirt or lady’s skirt inspires us and our imaginations! When we come across a great garment, we can picture what it’s going to look like once it’s deconstructed and then reconstructed into a bow tie or pocket square. Lately, I’ve had my eye out for camouflage and polka dot prints, as well as high quality linens.
Sarah: We’ve also had a couple of exciting custom orders recently. We just finished up a necktie for a fellow made out of his Scottish family’s traditional tartan. The tartan fabric is left over from kilts that were made for the brothers in the family. What’s so great about the tie is that the tartan fabric has so much meaning, and the tie will allow the fellow to sport tartan even if he doesn’t feel like sporting a kilt!
Are you debuting anything new at the winter show?
Jamie: Yes! We’re going to be bringing several new necktie styles. There will be a variety of brand new hand knit ties, made from reclaimed yarns. Picture a big wool sweater being unraveled, balled, and reknit into a tie. For our sewn ties, we’ll be debuting a new shape: the
square bottom tie.
Sarah: We are also going to start making handkerchiefs – which will have a machine sewn, rather than hand-rolled, hem.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
Sarah: Sew, sew, sew (and knit, knit, knit)! The most important aspect of Winslow is the quality of what we make. Every tie or pocket square we make teaches us something about the materials and construction.
Jamie: We’ve also learned how difficult, but yet how critically important it is to stay true to the founding vision of Winslow. Since we first started daydreaming about Winslow, we’ve been
committed to using reclaimed and recycled fabrics and fibers. Now that we are making more and more items, we’re starting to look at new avenues for sourcing materials while still sticking with that commitment. It’s also very important to us that we make our items ourselves, and that they be made by hand. If we changed these aspects of our business just for the sake of cost or efficiency, we’d be changing the heart our products—which isn’t something we’re willing to do.
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
Jamie: This is such a hard question! My favorite changes with every new tie or square we make. It’s so fun to put together different fabric combinations and seeing how they pair together. So every time we finish a new product we both end up saying “Oh! This one’s my
favorite!” Right now it’s probably a toss up between our bandana bow ties and our solid-front linen neckties with prints on the skinny end. Which leads me to our giveaway item, which will be one of our blue bandana bow ties.
Sarah: I’m with Jamie on the linen neckties – linen just looks so great! I’ve also had a lot of fun with the items we’ve made for weddings. This past summer, we made items for a couple of weddings, including one that I attended. It was amazing seeing Winslow ties walk down the aisle with the groom and groomsmen, and knowing that we’d been able to contribute something to such a special day.
– Enter the Giveaway Drawing! –
To enter this drawing, leave a comment below and tell us about who/what/when you plan to wear your very own Winslow Handmade blue bandana bow tie. Be sure to include your first name and email address so we can let you know where to pick up prizes at the UCU Winter Show.