Today we’re talking with local Sprout Collective member Marcus Hawley, founder of the men’s accessory brand Natty Neckware based here in Durham, North Carolina. Natty Neckware took off with the dapper yet simple staple in menswear: the bow tie. A desire to have a classic piece with a bold edge, Marcus says he introduced “funky prints and textures; things that were missing within the apparel accessories market, especially for men”. Marcus has two bow tie patterns available on Sprout Patterns, the Jaxon and for your little one; the Kaden Bow Tie. Read on for a fun look at one of Sprout’s patternmakers.
What was the first pattern you ever created?
“It was a bow tie. I bought the pattern, tweaked it a bit from the original and started making a prototype. I continued to tweak the prototypes until I got one I really liked and just went with it.”
Do you have a background with sewing or patternmaking?
“Honestly, I had no experience. I’m completely self-taught. I took my first sewing class after I started sewing and made my first pattern from the look and feel of the clothing I desired to wear. Luckily, I had my mom there for backup and her expertise as a crafty person and sewer.”
What is your mission statement?
“To create an apparel accessory brand that embraces quality construction, American craftsmanship, community and environmental consciousness. I really want Natty Neckware to embrace many of the ideals I hold as a citizen of the world. I want to create a brand that produces quality accessories that can be passed down through generations, is kind to mother-nature, pays a livable wage and is community conscious.”
If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be?
“There are quite a few places I want to travel but at the top of my list is the continent of Africa. I find much of my inspiration in history, nature, culture, and people. Visiting the Serengeti in Kenya, Victoria Falls in Zambia, the pyramids in Egypt would all be so awesome from both a historical and cultural perspective. I’m a big nature/environment guy. I believe the inspiration I’d acquire would serve as a great foundation for future projects, fashion lines, and collaborations.”
What song do you have on repeat right now?
“Goldlink, no song in particular on repeat just his entire repertoire. I’d consider him alternative hip-hop because his sound is so cool and his music is really creative. I’m just inspired listening to his music because he doesn’t sound like many of the other mainstream hip hop/rap artists out right now. If I had to pick a song I’d say La Brea by Alex Isley. It has a nice melodic feel and the lyrics really speak to me.”
What are you most proud of or what inspires you most?
“I’m inspired by stories of people defeating the odds and living their best lives. Hearing people talk about how they’ve pushed past self-doubt, perceived personal limits, discouragement from external forces; and just ultimately believing in themselves when not many others did. The inspiration I receive from those kinds of people is so contagious, from entertainers that have ‘perfected’ their craft to the freelancer that may be barely making it by but feels the freedom to do their own thing and not apologize for it.”
What is the inspiration behind the patterns you create?
“I was inspired to create a more substantial bow tie that fit my personal style and design aesthetic, which is a bit outside of the norm. Funky prints and textures primarily, which are some of the things I felt were missing within the apparel accessories market, especially for men.”
Of the Sprout projects you’ve designed which is your favorite?
“I love the Kaden Bow Tie. Seeing kids bow ties brings a big cheesy grin to my face and for that moment everything is right in the world.”
“Pizza. I can literally eat an entire pizza in one sitting, solo.”
Top podcasts right now?
“Three podcasts that I really enjoy are The Unmistakable Creative, How I Built This and The Minority Trailblazer Podcast. I’ve really enjoyed the interviews on these podcasts and the motivation the interviewees have given me as a creative business person.”
What is on the horizon for your pattern brand?
“We’re focused on the expansion of our custom wedding services. We’re really excited about expanding our audience and bringing people’s vision to life with our services and the experience we offer. But I have to say, this custom wedding service is mostly for the groom and groomsmen. The bride can admire and be in awe from afar, we love that part.”
Have you made your own Natty Neckware bow tie from the Sprout Patterns collection? If so, we want to see it! Be sure to tag your makes with #sproutpatterns and #nattyneckware