Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Made by Mom Gift Guide: Hobo Ties offers handcrafted neckwear for men, boys

Posted December 14, 2015

The Manshack family of Raleigh includes two girls - a toddler and a tween. But unlike many of crafty local businesses that I write about, the kids weren't the inspiration.

In fact, it was James Manshack, the husband and dad, who is behind the creation of Hobo Ties, a line of handcrafted neckwear for boys and men. James is the maker. Amy Manshack, wife and mom, is the businesswoman.

"I don't even make anything for my kids," Amy tells me. "It started because of my husband. He had some fabric. It was just a total random thing."

Hobo Ties is among the dozen businesses featured in our Made by Mom Gift Guide, presented by Midwifery at Women's Health Alliance.

Amy and James met while working at a formal wear store. James has always had an interest in fabric. And he's not afraid to take on projects such as fixing a broken toilet and other do-it-yourself tasks. One day, about three or four years ago, he decided to see if he could make his own bow tie from fabric he had on hand.

"It just kind of snowballed from there," Amy tells me. Amy threw up the creations on Etsy. Today, the couple has sold at least 3,000 bow ties and neck ties on Etsy and countless more at craft shows, boutiques, consignment sales and other venues.

There's been a lot of trial and error as the Manshacks worked to figure out the best designs and what their customers want. In fact, many of their products are created because of their customers.

"Our inspiration comes from customer requests," Amy tells me.

Hobo Ties is popular with brides and grooms, who are looking for a custom look. It's also popular with families who are planning portraits. The business offers bow times, neck ties, pocket squares and cummerbunds for men and boys.

James, who works full-time as a sales director, orders all of the fabric. And he makes all of the pieces in his spare time - often at night and on the weekends.

"It is a lot of nighttime work," Amy said. "Every night he is making bow times, pretty much. It’s pretty much overtaken our life."

Amy, a stay-at-home mom, takes pictures of the finished products during the day and then edits the photos and lists them online in the evenings.

"It’s hard to imagine the time we had without it," Amy said. "It really is such an everyday part of our life now that ... it would be odd if it ever ended. I don’t know if it’s a forever thing or if it’s going to grow so big that it’s a huge fashion brand. We just take it day by day and that’s where it’s at right now."

Hobo Ties' Etsy page has more information.


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