Last year, Marilyn made some bow ties for her son because he couldn’t find what he was looking for. When she and her husband were at a small boutique during the Pride parade in Edmonton, her husband noticed that the socks being sold at the store matched her bow ties. While he was announcing this excitedly, the owner overheard and asked about them. After seeing photos, she told them, “I’ll buy every one.” Now, after only a year, Marilyn has stores reaching out to her to sell her bow ties, they’re already stocked in four stores around Canada and are also sold out of her home and online. With their cool designs, it’s no surprise MBM Bow Ties is becoming popular with everyone from greying teachers to young LGBTQ people, being worn at the pride parade where it all began.
As we sit down for coffee, Marilyn, MBM’s bow tie artist, beams with pride that her products are Canadian-made, created with lightweight material and a breeze to put on. The entrepreneur tells me that she hand-sews them herself, and the exciting part is that they’re limited edition – meaning, all of them are completely different, so you know you’re getting a unique piece every time. The bow ties cost around an affordable $50 CAD because of the strap that makes them so easy to put on – instead of charging hundreds of dollars to create the cut of a self-tieing bow tie. The boxes the bow ties come in are light and see through, so you can collect them, stack them up and show them off. MBM bow ties are the perfect addition to any outfit, a cool way to express your personality and great as an ice breaker at parties.
The thing I love about Marilyn is that like every good entrepreneur, she’s bursting at the seams with ideas. Aside from the already numerous designs on her website and even the ones that haven’t made it up yet – ghosts and pumpkins Halloween, Pokemon and superheros for Comic Con and upcoming holiday themes – Marilyn tells me some of the exciting designs that are a surprise for the new year (sorry, it’s a secret!). While bow ties have been a great way to bring old-school charm to an outfit, and everyone from Bill Nye to the Kardashians to our fall cover model Tania Safi have been known to don them, MBM Bow Ties is bringing new style to a classic fashion piece. With countless styles to choose from, they’re a great gift for special occasions or just a treat for yourself– in fact, Marilyn even does custom designs – so if you want to send someone a bow tie with cats all over it, she can do that! (And if you want a bow tie for your cat, she can do that too!)
Throughout my coffee with Marilyn, I felt a warmness that’s similar to unpacking a home-made lunch from your mother with a handwritten note that tells you to have a nice day. This warmness carries over into Marilyn’s work, with every unique, hand-made bow tie giving you the feeling that it was created just for you. Before MBM’s bow tie artist and I get up to go our separate ways, she generously presents me with Boo – an adorable, glow-in-the-dark bow tie with ghosts wearing little hats all over it – and I absolutely love it. Since it’s black and white, it goes with any outfit – which works great because I’m planning to wear mine to Halloween parties all month. MBM Bow Ties kindly partnered with FLURT to give away the same bow tie to one lucky Edmonton reader just in time for Halloween. To enter, follow @mbmbowties and @flurtmagazine on social media, as well as like the photo of Boo on social media by October 23rd.
For more information on MBM Bow Ties or to find out where to buy them, go to www.mbmbowties.com