Sisters Supporting Sisters is dedicated to women of color living out their entrepreneurial dreams. Sisters Supporting Sisters was started due to a lack of outlets to feature the immense talent and creativity of women of color. It is important for women of color to be more supportive of one another in business and life in general. A strong network of relationships amongst minority women would definitely help make the climb to the top a little bit easier–especially if they just happen to be going after the same dreams. Honestly, there is enough money for everyone to do their thing and still be supportive at the same time. Since this month celebrates our men, we decided to highlight a brother. That brother is Corey. Corey is the founder R & C Tie Exchange.
The Brother to Support: Corey
Name of Business, Website, or Service: www.rctieexchange.com and www.myspace.com/tieexchange
Q: What is the story behind the name “R&C Tie Exchange”?
The name R & C Tie Exchange was a name that I created based off the fact that I wanted the business’ name to be timeless and classic. My dad and I had other names but the name R & C Tie Exchange had ring to it. But of coarse the R and C represent the first letter in my Dad and I names, which is Ralph and Corey.
Q: Who’s behind “R & C Tie Exchange”?
Well, it’s just my dad and I for the most part. I also have some great friends that help me with vending and the online store. My Dad helps with appointments at the shop and also he helps me keep things organized. He’s organization skills are vital in the operation. My Dad’s presence is always a plus because I know I have someone I trust. I always know he has my best interest at hand.
Q: What made you decide to start “R & C Tie Exchange”?
The business venture began with friends and colleagues inquiring about my dad’s tie collection. So I decided to go into business with my dad’s assistance. Our core customer base were our friends.Then I took things to the next level with the online store and threw appointments at our showcase location in Downtown Baltimore on 837 N. Howard St.
Q: Is “R & C Tie Exchange” your full-time gig or are you still in corporate America?
R & C Tie Exchange is my passion. I really enjoy operating business online, by appointment and also vending around the Maryland region. At this moment I ‘m not in the corporate world. I’m concentrating on a full time business venture that will allow me to work for myself. It’s always better to work hard for yourself as an owner of a business then to work for someone else, because your work will never be full appreciated. If I’m going to work hard for 8 to 12 hour a day it’s going to be for the full benefit of myself and not anyone else.
Q: What type of products do you offer?
We sell high quality 100 % silk ties, silk bow ties and silk ascots. We offer matching accessories such as cufflinks and hankies. We sell suits and shirts at our showcase location.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge in starting “Tie Exchange”?
The biggest challenge has been getting people familiar with your company and merchandise. Going out doing a lot of foot work, going to malls and just getting out and meeting potential customers.
Q: What’s your favorite tie style or brand that you carry?
My favorite tie styles are stripes and woven design ties. I’m into the craftsmanship of the tie itself. I don’t like printed patterned ties. They just don’t represent high end quality in my eyes. I’m not into the name of the designer, I’m into the quality and look of the tie..
Clutch: What brands of ties do you carry?
We carry brand such as Adam Summers, Dukes and Duchess, Marc Philippe and some Exotic imported Ties. We have styles and design for everyone that wears ties or just want to add something new and unique to there collection.
Q: What are your sizes and price points?
Our price range is from $19.99 for a tie to $39.99 for a tie, hankie and cufflink set. The prices are a fraction of what you would pay in a department store or boutique. We also have sale prices that you maybe able to buy a tie for as low as $9.99.
Q: As an online business, do you find it easier or harder to create buzz and clientÃ¨le for your business? What are some ways you advertise and market “Tie Exchange”?
Well, it takes a lot of work just like any other business. You still have to promote threw word of mouth, business cards and threw promotional flyers and at events that you are vending. I also use MySpace to promote business. My MySpace family has been a great blessing, and they have been very supportive of my business. They are some great people out there, and I really appreciate there kindness and support.
Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business?
I would tell anyone who wants to start a business to make that leap on faith and hard work. You must be professional in your presentation and conduct. Also, find a business that you are passionate about. Because you will have those days when you question if it’s all worth it, but when you doing something you are passionate about it makes it easier to deal with because it’s something you enjoy and have a love for.
Q: What do you think the biggest mistake or misconception people make when starting a business?
Most people think that you are going to make a lot of money starting out, and when they don’t make the money, people just give up on the business. Most business take about 3 to 5 yrs to see a significant profit. So you have to maintain a level head and continue to move forward in business. The money will come, just be patient.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone contemplating or who has just started a business?
My advice is to find a business that you are passionate about. When you have a passion for it you will stick with it threw thick and thin. Take advantage of all opportunities even when you’re not prepared for them. You have to make it happen and be persistent!
Q: Do you plan on expanding your line?
Yes, we will be selling 100 % cotton shirts, 100% wool suits, shoes and more accessories online in the near future. Also, we want to sell some woman accessories and items. I have big plans along with my dad’s help. Things are looking very promising, thanks to all of our customers. We truly appreciate your support. Without you guys there would be no R & C Tie Exchange.