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Adam Teague: Two Guys Bow Ties Co-Owner and Operator

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Two Guys Bow Ties is more than a catchy name that rhymes. It gives a brief picture into our creation. We’ve already shared about Tim Palsay. The other “guy” in Two Guys is Adam Teague. Learn more about our co-founder, and a little 2GBT history at the same time.

2GBT: Tell us a little about yourself.

AT: I recently turned 30, so I’m just now beginning to feel old. I’m blessed with a wonderful wife of 10 years (come January), and two amazing kids who I love to spend time with.

2GBT: What’s your background? What experiences do you think have helped to shape you to be so successful in the different businesses you have owned and operated?

AT: I went to Oklahoma State University where I studied Marketing and Finance. It wasn’t until after college that I realized I have an aptitude and a passion for starting and growing small businesses. My collective work history has helped to define and sharpen my expertise. I enjoy the challenge of learning new skill sets to overcome obstacles and tackle projects. If I don’t have an immediate solution to a problem, I believe that by working hard I can resolve any challenge and come out stronger on the other end.

2GBT: In the past, Tim has joked that you’re a “serial entrepreneur”. What are some of the businesses you have started and operated in the past?

AT: I used to avoid being called a serial entrepreneur. But, after having been involved in starting or helping with about ten different companies in different industries and markets over the past nine years, I have finally come to embrace the term. In the last decade I've run the business gambit. It started with the launch and eventual sale of my first business—a framed artwork venture—before moving on to getting my first patent on our car seat accessory we designed. The next endeavor was making wooden bow ties, which led to my newest business venture: making custom wooden maps. Each new business has been a fun learning experience, but I can say with honesty that Two Guys Bow Ties has taught me more than all of my other businesses combined.

2GBT: What about the idea of wooden bow ties first appealed to you? How did you know it would be successful?

AT: When Tim first approached me with the idea of wooden bow ties my first thought, as with all new business ideas, was, “Will people buy it?” Having spent a lot of my early years in business learning how to design, research, market, and sell unique products, I did what I do with any new business idea - I put it through my market potential test. It came back with a positive result. I think I realized just how much potential we had with the venture when after just 3 weeks in business we were getting emails from GQ and Esquire wanting to feature our bow ties in their magazines.

2GBT: What is your favorite Two Guys Bow Ties memory?

AT: I have so many fond memories, but two stand out as my most memorable. I am a big fan of working hard to achieve your goals, and I can remember in the early days when Tim and I had just begun selling bow ties like crazy. It was five in the morning and we were at the shop. It was freezing cold (our shop had no heat), and we were completely covered in sawdust from sanding the bow ties. But even after one of the hardest nights of work ever, we were both still so excited about the future of our business that we could hardly contain it.

My second moment was probably when Tim (PR genius that he is) had sent bow ties to Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson. They took them out on air and just talked about them…for almost three minutes! To see that something we had made was on TV for such a huge audience was just crazy. It is just such an amazing feeling to see something you worked so hard to create take off and really become something.

2GBT: How would you describe your role for Two Guys?

AT: As our company has grown over the years, so have our roles as owners. When we first started, we both spent all of our time making bow ties and doing whatever we could to keep up with demand. As we have grown and established systems and processes, we have both settled very securely into our individual roles. My main function is to keep the business running smoothly, moving forward, and growing organically. I handle overseeing our entire team as well as managing all our online and print-related marketing efforts. Without an amazing team, we would not be able to accomplish what we have. I may be in charge of the team, but without people like Nataley Shepherd and Jacob Spalding, I would not be able to do what I do. Nataley is a rock star at keeping the office running smoothly and all the rest of our team of bow tie makers happy. Jacob keeps our machines running top notch and does an outstanding job of running the shop.

2GBT: What’s your preferred work environment?

AT: I would say that I need different environments for different tasks. When I am doing design work like web or graphics, I like to have movies or the TV playing in the background. If I’m writing an email I need to have absolute quiet, and even then I still make tons of typos and grammatical errors (you can ask my assistant). For brainstorming or strategizing I love to be working in a team environment or in a public place like a coffee shop or library.

2GBT: What's your personal style like? Do you have a favorite way to wear your products?

AT: My style has definitely evolved a lot over the past few years. I am a big fan of being comfortable, and finding my own personal style has been a journey. I like wearing vests, so I love the simple pop of color and style that our lapel flower brings to a vest or jacket. I have also recently become a shoe guy and love finding unique shoes that make a statement.

2GBT: Which wooden bow tie or lapel is your personal favorite?

AT: I would say the Fredrick is probably my favorite bow tie because I love the deep color of the rosewood and the way the navy fabric coordinates with most outfits. As far as lapels go, I don’t have a favorite because I like them all so much. I switch them out for a variety of looks.

2GBT: What drives you or motivates you? What gets you up in the morning?

AT: I love to create things that people want, need, or just find exciting. I love coaching and mentoring other small businesses and helping them grow and succeed. Above all, I love my family. I know that what I am doing now will have a lasting impact on them.

2GBT: Any future plans you want to share about 2GBT or your other business ventures?

AT: The Two Guys Bow Tie company has a ton of amazing new things coming down the pipeline over the next few months, so I hope our followers will stay tuned for those. I can’t give them away yet, but just be prepared for some awesome new stuff from 2GBT next month.

In terms of all my other businesses, we are always rolling out new things, growing, and evolving. My newest company Woodenmap.com just completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign and we plan to launch a newly designed map customizer for our website next month. As I learn more about business, one of the biggest things I want to spend my time on is helping other small businesses grow and evolve. I have been focusing a lot of my efforts on growing my small business coaching and online marketing classes through my company www.boxtycreative.com.



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