Today we’d like to introduce you to Becky Feinberg-Galvez.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
2017 marks the 35th anniversary of Shop4ties. My father, Arnie Kapp, started the business back in 1982 in the basement of his house after leaving his job selling ties at a store on Michigan Avenue.
He was offered to buy this business he was working at, but decided that wasn’t a wise investment and went out to pioneer the idea of designing and manufacturing custom neckwear. Back in the early days, before the internet existed, he advertised in airline magazines, made a lot of cold calls and went back and forth with faxes to his factory in Korea making sure all artwork was received and ties were being manufactured. I came to work with my father in January of 2011 after leaving my career in teaching. I had moved back from Chile with my husband and asked my father if I could go into business with him. He immediately brought me on and we started working together.
After a few short months of working together, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he fought that battle, got better and we had a couple more years to work together. He sat me at his side and from day one loved referring to me as his partner.
We had three great years working together and even though he was not a teacher by profession, I somehow managed to learn a lot from the old man and have been able to successfully continue to run his business. He passed in January of 2014, two days before my second son was born, and I was promoted to CEO from my hospital bed at Prentice Hospital while holding my son Agustin who was named after Arnie. Today, my mother and I are successfully running Shop4ties and have seen tremendous growth over the past three years. It has been a roller coaster ride that I don’t want to end anytime soon!
Has it been a smooth road?
There are always obstacles and challenges in every part of life, it is just how you decide to look at and deal with them that really matters. Every challenge has become a huge learning experience for me over the past three years. When Arnie passed away, we had many antiquated systems and the business was closely tied with his personal life, there wasn’t a real separation between the two. My mom Rhonda and I worked really hard in 2014 to make sure the business was kept afloat while beginning to swim through a murky swamp and sort everything out. Not only did we stay alive but we had a very stable year that allowed us to reorganize the business and have it begin to run like a “real business.” We have not only reorganized but we have grown it tremendously, brought on more staff and have learned to love to be partners. One of the biggest challenges we faced was going from our mother/daughter relationship to that of partners in business, but with a bit of coaching and a lot of conversation, we are at the best place we have been at!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Shop4ties story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a custom neckwear company, we design and manufacture ties, bow ties, scarves and have added Hawaiian shirts in the past five years. We are a business to business company working with schools, universities, airlines, companies, organizations, non-profits, etc. to design and manufacture their custom neckwear. We take the logo and colors of a particular organization and come up with unique and creative designs using their branding. We are a very niche business in that we don’t offer any other products than the ones mentioned above but we have a timeless and classic product that is always something a man/woman can wear and something that can always be gifted or bought.
We are known for our excellent customer service and superb quality product. We have been working with the same factory for 17 years, my father helped the factory owner in China start his business and in turn, we have become one big family. The relationship we have with Michael and his family allows us to all work together and do what is best for our customers, we are honest and rely on each other and it is amazing to see how important loyalty is all over the world, and especially in China.
We have also been around for 35 years and know what we are doing. We don’t promise what we can’t deliver and understand that our customers are our biggest asset, our customers are what allows us to grow and expand as a business.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
While many people talk about the tie trend as going out of style and men not wearing them very often these days, it is a timeless product that has been around for hundreds of years. A necktie and now more often, a bow tie, is one of the only ways men can accessorize and something that a man can always use on a special occasion, if not every day. We have seen a dramatic increase in our custom Hawaiian shirt orders since more people are trending to go casual and finding unique and exciting ways to both brand and represent their companies or organizations. We are seeing an increase in military units bonding and uniting over Hawaiian shirts as well as fraternities and companies going to conferences or trade shows. The designs are becoming less traditional and more off the beaten path so that everyone is creating a statement with their custom neckwear or Hawaiian shirts. Colors are definitely brighter and people are looking for ways to stand out in a world where there is a lot of noise!
- Address: 2545 W. Diversey, Suite #203
Chicago, IL 60647
- Website: www.shop4ties.com
- Phone: 800-998-TIES
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Shop4ties
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/shop4ties
- Twitter: @Shop4ties