Tired of wearing the same old ties every week?
Three Anne Arundel County natives have come up with an online solution to this common problem—KnotFriends, "Where guys swap ties."
KnotFriends co-founders Tony Bagdon, Kevin Gentilcore and Ben Flury all met while in college at East Carolina University, but they share an Anne Arundel County background.
Bagdon and Flury graduated from Broadneck High School in 2008, and Gentilcore graduated from South River High School in 2006.
The trio were recently profiled on Technically Baltimore for their start-up company and website KnotFriends, which launched this month.
The idea behind KnotFriends is to share the wealth of ties most men keep tucked away in their closets.
Flury said he owns about 30 ties, but only really likes about 15 of them.
“The others just sit there and take up space, so I’ll be inclined to put those up on the site and then be able to choose from other ties that I might actually wear,” Flury said.
Members of KnotFriends start off by submitting photos of three ties from their collection that they wouldn’t mind sharing. Then, they can browse the site’s collection of ties, all boxed together in sets of three, which were submitted by other members.
Each swap costs $14.99, which covers the ties and shipping. Members get one credit for each box of three that they submit for other members. A box of 10 pre-paid United States Postal Service packages is given to new members for future shipments.
Flury said the idea has really taken off, and they’re still just getting started.
The idea came to the group while they were working internships at various businesses in college, he said.
“Purchasing new ties is too expensive for kids who aren’t getting paid that much,” Flury said. “We shared ties with each other of course, but then we thought, ‘What if you scale that even bigger?’”
After looking into the prospect, Flury said they quickly realized there was a thriving market online for what’s referred to as collaborative consumption. A similar site, Bag Borrow or Steal offers shared purses and bags for women.
“Suddenly, we thought this could really work,” Flury said. “That’s what gave us the motivation to go out and do it.”
KnotFriends even has a YouTube channel featuring videos of the best ways to tie different kinds of ties professionally, a form of online advice I've used from time to time myself.
Do you have a collection of ties you never wear?