As I was scouring the great wide internet for some fashion accessories for my husband Jesse, I stumbled upon a gem of a store. Xoelle: a hip, new (to me) bow tie company. I LOVED the variety of fabrics, textures, and character Elle’s creations have, and am so eager to share them with you. Elle’s own story is equally inspiring!
Meet Elle designer + Creator for Xoelle!
LWF: Little Woodland Friend (Amber)
LWF: How did Xoelle get started? How long have you been doing this?
ELLE: I started collecting vintage neckties in high school and planned to gift them to my future spouse. I also had a serious love for bow ties and tried, unsuccessfully, to get boyfriends and brothers to wear them. When I moved to a new city (San Diego!) for a new job (high school art teacher!) I met a nice young man willingly wearing a bow tie- and 8 months later we were married. I came across the stash of vintage neckties shortly thereafter and decided to turn the lot into bow ties for him. There were dozens so I chose my favorites to give to the Mr. and posted the rest on etsy. They were a hit and soon I was making bow ties out of shirts and dresses and billiard felt by the dozens. xoelle is coming up on it’s 5th anniversary this spring.
LWF: Who and What inspires your designs? What draws you to the fabrics you choose?
ELLE: I adore thrift shopping and often use my bow tie business as an excuse to purchase and collect large amounts of happy second hand fabric. All xoelle bow ties (with the exception of some custom orders) and made out of vintage or second hand clothing, neckties, fabrics, or linens. I design for my husband and my little son and often test my ideas on them. I am drawn to fabrics that are bold, bright, fun, and unexpected. A bow tie is a statement in itself so going bold is generally part of the package- and I love that!
LWF: What advice would you give a person interested in starting their own design company?
ELLE: Go! I think that the most important thing in creative endeavors is to be authentic- be your true genuine self. My own vision gets muddled and I second-guess myself when I pay too close attention to what other bow tie makers are doing. If you are your authentic self, then you have no competition! And then of course the rest is lots of hard work and late nights so make sure that you’re passionate about what you’re doing. But mostly, just go! and do!
LWF: Lastly, what does inspiration mean to you?
ELLE: Inspiration is like this little fire that is burning inside. I’ve found that it needs to be tended and fed. To me that means that I have to have a happy work/life balance. Too much work and that little fire threatens to burn out. Most of the time when I get new ideas for bow ties or designs it’s not when I’m working- it’s when I’m at the beach with my kids or when I’m dancing at a friends wedding. I feed my little inspiration fire by playing, and rarely taking anything in my business too seriously. I feed it good music and rainy days and chocolate ganache lots and lots of pretty textiles- and then new happy ideas come to me and suddenly I can imagine that felted sweater as a bow tie.
“I love what I do and it is a great privilege to outfit the necks of rad men around the world. ” -Elle
Thank you Elle for letting us feature you and your company on Inspiration Den!
If you want to see more by Xoelle check out her blog + shop below!