TieTry is an online service that allows users to literally, “try” ties out – think of it like checking books out of a library or renting dvds from Netflix—order a tie, try it out, send it back, get a new one. We spoke with Co-Founder Scott Tindle about the company’s origin, how it works, and what new products we can expect to see in the future.
Where did the idea for TieTry come from? David Powers and I went to law school together and we ended up spending more time trying to come up with businesses to start rather than paying attention in class. It was always something we’d kind of worked on. We’re both big fans of the show Shark Tank, and there was a woman on one episode who had applied the Netflix model to children’s toys. She’d send out toys, kids would play with them and keep them as long as they wanted, and then when they were done, they’d send them back. From that show, we started thinking that there had to be a way to take that model and apply it to another business. Since we’re both lawyers, we wear ties all the time and thought this would be a great idea to test out.
How long has the website been live? About 3 weeks.
You’ve got quite a few brands here – some big names that people really want to wear but might not be able to go out and purchase regularly. Yeah, exactly – especially not over and over. Our goal is to provide customers with that kind of variety. We’re continuing to add new brands as well as new ties from brands we already carry. We’re committed to making sure that if someone signs up, the tie selection won’t get stale.
Can you tell us how TieTry works? Sure. The user chooses a subscription that works for them – from one tie to five ties in their possession at any time. The idea is to cater to the exact needs of the individual. We’ve got some guys who wear ties every day, and we’ve got others who wear them once a week. Some people only want to wear them for special occasions. Our subscription options allow guys to choose what’s best for them.
Once the customer has chosen a subscription, they can start adding ties to their queue. Once you make some choices, we’ll send you out the number of ties in your subscription, and the packaging needed to return it when you’re finished with it. We based the system on the Netflix queue because so many men are familiar with it.
You mentioned that you’re adding new brands all the time – what are you focusing on right now? We have two big pushes – one is adding more of the high end italian brands that are in demand – ties that retail for $100, $150, or more. We’re also adding a lot of regional brands that are trying to get more exposure. There are a lot of great tie manufacturers out there that people just haven’t heard of, and we’re able to expose people to these brands that they’ll love.
The great thing about this is that it gives people the chance to try a brand out and see if they like it. We don’t discourage people from going out and buying ties – we think TieTry will help sell more ties in general.
If someone gets a tie through their subscription and wants to keep it, can they purchase the tie from TieTry? It’s not something we’re doing right now, but it’s certainly something we’re looking into if there’s a demand for it.
I noticed you offer a few bow ties on the site. A sizable portion of our readers like to wear them – can we expect to see more bow ties on TieTry in the future? We’ve got some bows now and we’re looking at adding substantially more. One cool thing we’re doing is working with a guy who makes hand made bow ties, and we expect a good push to get more added to the site for spring.
Some people are a little harder on their clothing than others. What’s your policy on stains and damage to a tie? If you get a minor stain on the tie that happens during the course of wear, we will treat it and try to remove the stain – no harm, no foul. If it comes out, we’ll keep it in rotation. If it doesn’t, then we get rid of it. If Dave or I wouldn’t wear it, we wouldn’t allow our customers to wear it. If it’s a massive stain that can’t be corrected at all, then we’ll charge the subscriber a replacement fee. The fee is tie specific and not the same price as retail.
What about longer ties? Will you be adding any in the future? We’re going to be adding 50 to 60 to TieTry in February, and we plan to keep expanding on that. We’ve had people asking about that already and we know there’s demand for it, so it’s something we plan to add to.