By Jen Heller Meservey
One day a group of college guys started summer internships and discovered it was pretty expensive to keep up their new corporate wardrobes. They now had to wear neckties to work every day but, being college students, they didn’t have the cash to build up their tie collections. Their solution was KnotFriends, a website designed to help professional guys save money on ties by swapping them with each other. “After all,” said co-founder and owner Ben Flury, “women swap clothes to save money and have a bigger wardrobe. Why not us?”
At KnotFriends, guys can purchase a box of three swapped ties for $14.99, or swap their own boxes of ties to earn credits for more. Members swap a variety of tie styles, colors, patterns, and fabrics, from skinny ties to bow ties. Since the site launched in July, KnotFriends has already accumulated over 150 active members with over 300 ties available.
The mission of KnotFriends, according to Flury, is “to provide an exceptional experience to our members by facilitating the exchange of neckties online.” Flury estimates that a guy could save up to $500 per year by swapping ties with KnotFriends. The six members of the KnotFriends team own over 350 ties between them. “With so many users posting tons of different ties, we’ve seen just about everything,” Flury said.
The KnotFriends blog provides how-to articles on everything from tying the perfect knot to avoiding hangovers, and even easy recipes for men. Step-by-step instructional videos demonstrate how to tie some of the most basic knots, like the “four-in-hand,” and the “half-windsor.” The KnotFriends Facebook and Twitter pages share funny tie memes, comics, and photos of celebrities wearing fashionable ties.
KnotFriends is free to join, and every new member receives one credit toward a free box of ties, prepaid shipping labels, and boxes to swap his own ties. Swappers post photos of the ties they have available for other users to pick, then ship them out themselves. Frayed, damaged, or stained ties are strongly discouraged, and members are instructed to provide ratings and detailed reviews of the ties they receive to ensure that only the best ties are swapped. Swappers can keep their ties, or swap them with someone else to earn more credits.
The KnotFriends team is still busy developing new ideas for the website. “KnotFriends wants to be the go-to place for everything neckties,” Flury said. “In the very near future, KnotFriends will allow users to swap, sell, buy, and donate neckties.”
The team was recently featured on “The Next Great Thing,” a segment that spotlights the hottest new businesses in the Washington, D.C. area.
If you’re a guy who wears ties to the office, or a girl who wants to make a quirky fashion statement, visit the KnotFriends website to sign up for your free membership and start swapping and saving.
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