The Cordial Churchman

Most of the companies we’ve featured got their start through an act of deliberate and conscious choice.

Not so The Cordial Churchman.

This South Carolina-based manufacturer of bow ties and other men’s accessories began almost by accident.

Ellie Stager was making some outfits for her children, and her husband, a man of the cloth, lamented that she had yet to sew anything for him. So she made him a seersucker bow tie, and he posted the results online.

The response to Ellie’s first experiment in bow tie making was overwhelming and enthusiastic, with others clamoring for her handiwork. Soon she was assembling ties for a growing contingent of Internet fans. Eventually, that informal business activity evolved into The Cordial Churchman.

The company, based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, offers bow ties in a variety of styles–butterfly, batwing, diamond end–that are only made once you order them. They can also convert your long ties into any variety of bow.

I’ve had two opportunities recently to intersect with The Cordial Churchman.

The first was to purchase a bow tie for one of Frannie’s beloved teachers–a dedicated partisan of the bow tie–upon his departure from her school. They were able to make the tie, get it mailed out and in Frannie’s hands within a few days.

I also purchased, for myself, a pair of suspenders in gray chambray. When I perused the web site, I noticed that all of the suspenders were listed as “sold out.” So I dropped the company an e-mail. A very kind response found it’s way to my inbox, with Ellie indicating that she had enough material and hardware to make a single pair. I gratefully took her up on the very kind offer.

I’m not sure if they plan to reintroduce the braces. It may be possible that I’ve purchased the last pair. That would be unfortunate, as they are truly an exceptional American made product.

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