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Nataley Shepherd: Two Guys Bow Ties Production Manager and Office Manager

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Nataley does it all at Two Guys Bow Ties. She’s been around since the company’s earliest days, when we crafted our handmade wooden accessories in our homes. She’s grown with Two Guys and considers it a great place for both her artistic design and leadership qualities to flourish. Read her story here:

2GBT: Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background? What experiences do you think have helped to shape you to be so successful with Two Guys Bow Ties?

NS: Hi, I’m Nataley! Thanks to my super supportive parents I graduated college from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in Art and loved every minute of it, the art part that is.

I started off my college career as a Biology major pursuing a Veterinarian career; but after 2 years of science classes, I realized it wasn’t for me (thank you Lord). I have always loved to create and work with my hands so Art became my passion, and I spent the last 2 years of college weaving on a floor loom or getting messy with a pottery wheel.

Also, while at OBU I had the honor of being a team captain for the Varsity soccer team my senior year and I learned A LOT. A lot about cooperation, respect, authority, leadership, and what it really means to set a good example.

One month after graduating I got to marry my high school sweetheart, Kyle, and we have been married for just over 2 and a half years. We've been together a total of 9 years. Kyle joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school and served for 5 years while we were dating/engaged. Our long distance relationship taught me about appreciation, patience, communication, and the importance of good friends. I think the combination of mine and Kyle’s relationship; the best parents ever; science, art, and leadership have lead me to be a better and well rounded person and employee.

2GBT: What life experiences lead you to work at Two Guys Bow Ties?

NS: After I switched majors to Art, I was really struggling with what I was going to do with this degree. I searched for internships and landed on one for window and visual display at Anthropologie. I applied and met with the design coordinator Kara Paslay, and she hired me even though I had a sad little portfolio. She’s one of the most determined and creative people I’ve ever met. She taught me how to stretch my creativity and be confident about it. I learned A LOT.

The next summer, after I graduated, I reached out to Kara for work. She took me on as an assistant in the interior design business she created with her husband, Tim. That November, Tim and Adam started Two Guys Bow Ties and they needed bow tie makers, so I was hired on. I worked as a part time bow tie maker until the business started to take off and they hired me full time. I am so grateful they took time to teach me and let me grow with the company as a manager in training. It really makes me appreciate how far we’ve come.

2GBT: How would you describe your role at Two Guys Bow Ties?

NS: I manage the office and the production process. I get to keep a hand in most aspects of Two Guys Bow Ties and that's probably what I like most—the diversity of my job. I understand how to make every product from start to finish; I oversee all shipping and receiving; I get to train awesome employees; I take care of office tasks; I’m the customer service rep; I work on our e-commerce platforms; and I act as Adam’s right hand ‘gal’. Additionally, I get to collaborate with Tim on designs. It has definitely taken some learning and training, but I’m so excited to be able to be all that here at this company.

2GBT: What’s your preferred work environment (setting, music, time of day, etc)?

NS: I’m a wanna-be morning person, so I like to think I’m going to be super productive in the mornings. But it’s probably more around 9:30 when I’m finally ready and excited for the day. I’m thankful my office is by a window because I need natural light, or I’ll think I’m in a cave and want to take a nap. For music, put on Ed Sheeran mixed with some T Swift and Katy Perry and I’m pumped (I know I’m a teenager).

2GBT: What’s it like being the only girl working with a shop full of guys?

NS: Thankfully I’ve got some awesome part-time girls that help even the ranks. I think we all work well together.

2GBT: While it might be difficult to make a hardwood accessory for men work for women, Two Guys has launched some fun women’s products this year. Which has been your favorite?

NS: It was really exciting creating some wooden accessories for women. My favorite is the reclaimed wood chevron necklace. The wood gives an ombre effect using white oak, walnut and rosewood; and it hangs long from a dainty chain. I usually wear it with a white shirt and a fun patterned cardigan.

2GBT: Of all the wooden bow ties and lapel flowers, do you have a personal favorite?

NS: There are so many to choose from I don’t know how guys ever decide; but, if I were a guy, I would probably be sporting the Mr. T. The Zebrawood is so bold and beautiful, and leather is one of my favorite things.

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

NS: There are lots of things that motivate me to get up in the morning. Mainly, I want to continue to learn and get better at my job and be successful, while helping Two Guys become more successful. I have connected with this company and feel like it's my own, so I want to continue to stretch my limits here. I am also motivated by my husband who's going through college now that he is out of the military. He is the most determined person I know, and I want to be his support by working and allowing him to focus on school.

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

NS: Probably the first month that I started working for TGBT. It was the first Christmas the company was around, and they had launched everything the month before. Me and 3 other girls were making bow ties like crazy in Adam’s home office. I think we made 600 ties in one very long day. It’s fun looking back on that day and seeing how much we’ve grown. We experienced a similar Christmas this last year. It was crazy busy. It was by far our busiest Christmas yet. It was really cool to watch and be able to remember back to our first Christmas. And, I’m not complaining, but it was pretty exhausting as well.

2GBT: Anything else about yourself that you would like to share ;)?

NS: I have 2 dog babies; Gunny and Roxy. They love Two Guys Bow Ties, and if they’re being good they get to come to work with me sometimes. 

We love getting to work with you, Nataley.  Thanks for all you do for us!

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