COLUMBIA, SC — Trace Jones wanted to spend his birthday this year getting dressed up and going to the Capital City Club for dinner with friends.
There was only one problem: His dad couldn’t find a bowtie to fit him that wasn’t a clip-on. And that wouldn’t do for Trace, who was turning 7 and wanted to tie his bowtie just like his dad, Terry Jones.
So the elder Jones had an idea. He would take one of his old bowties and have his seamstress cut it down and reshape it to fit his son. Voila, a perfectly functioning child’s bowtie was born and, as it turns out, so was a new start-up business that has taken off in the past four months.
Jones, who runs Columbia’s Palmetto Risk Management Group, had several bowties made for his son, including some that matched his own. They got compliments everywhere they went, especially on Sundays at Shandon Baptist Church, where friends kept asking where they could get their own.
So this spring, Jones started Tight Lines Y’all, featuring a range of washable cotton bowties, including four-in-one interchangeable ties and a Daddy-N-Me collection of matching father-and-son bowties, as well as hair bows for the girls. The company’s name harkens to a good-luck call for fisherman, where tight lines mean they are catching fish, Jones said.
Each tie is crafted by Jones’ team of seamstresses in the Columbia area and made with S.C. cotton. Prices range from $20 for a hair bow to between $60 and $85 for a bowtie to $129 or $145 for a father-and-son or formal collection. Jones sells the ties on his website – tightlinesyall.com – but also in a range of stores, including Craig Reagin clothing store in Lexington and M. Dumas & Sons in Charleston.
“The biggest problem we’re having is actually keeping up with production,” said Jones, who recently doubled the number of his company’s seamstresses to four and hired an administrative assistant to handle day-to-day responsibilities.
Jones and his wife – Heather Simmons Jones, who heads up her own economic-development consulting firm – remain heavily involved in the business, checking and packing each order before it is shipped.
“We all kind of jump in and pitch in,” Jones said.
• It’s Bo-Time for about 120 people looking for jobs in the Midlands.
Bojangles is hosting a job fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Wingate by Wyndham at 108 Saluda Pointe Court in Lexington. Two new locations are planned in Lexington County this year, and the chain plans to hire more than 120 hourly workers.
Available jobs include customer-service staff, cashiers, drive-thru workers, biscuit makers, cooks and grillers. Four salaried management positions and 17 hourly shift manager jobs also are available.
Apply online ahead of the job fair at bojangles.com/about/employment or apply at the fair.
• A grand opening is planned for 4 p.m. Wednesday for the newly relocated Bubble Tea Cafe at 1226 Pendleton St. Bubble tea is a blend of tea and natural flavor served over sweet and chewy pearls, or “bobas,” made from tapioca starch, the company said in a press release. It offers more than 40 flavors of bubble tea, as well as desserts.