Is Fresno man enough to rock a little sparkle?
We’re about to find out.
A Fresno State entrepreneurship grad has launched Sparkle Ties, a business selling neckties – and, yes, they sparkle.
It’s a fledgling business, but you might be surprised at who is buying the ties and who is already miles ahead of us when it comes to sporting a little sparkle in their outfits.
Clovis native Daniel Malcolm, 28, founded Sparkle Ties and its sister brand, Daniel Malcolm. These aren’t sequined ties, or any kind of light-up Halloween gimmick, but actual high-end neckties designed to be worn with suits.
The sparkles are glass rhinestones, the tiny crystals applied by hand using a heat press method. Customers can special order ties with the higher-end Swarovski crystals.
And they’re not cheap: Sparkle Ties sold at Orloff Jewelers in Fig Garden Village range from $80 to $100 and are made from a poly microfiber blend. The higher-end Daniel Malcolm brand ties are made with 100 percent silk and cost $120 and up.
The ties are also available online, along with a lower-priced line for $39.99. Those ties get their sparkle from metallic threading, but don’t have rhinestones.
In addition to Orloff Jewelers in Fig Garden Village, the little boutique inside Fresno Lexus at Palm and Herndon avenues also sells them.
Malcolm was inspired to launch the tie company after spending some time in South Korea.
“Living in Asia, a lot of men wore colors,” he said. “It wasn’t uncommon at all to see a bright-colored tie with rhinestones.”
As a man who likes to dress up, he couldn’t find them when he came home. So he started making them himself. Malcolm, who is married with two little ones at home, still works his day job in addition to running Sparkle Ties. He’s the director of sales for Malcolm Media ▪ Ag Publishing, a publisher of several ag-related publications run by his family.
The ties come in standard patterns like paisley or stripes, with a little bling mixed in. There’s one with a red paw print on the end of the tie, a nod to Fresno State. He even made a little bow tie with the initials “VEB” in rhinestones for Fresno State mascot Victor E. Bulldog.
And if a man is looking for something a little more showy, Malcolm’s got that also. (Think florals + sparkles.)
Some men react skeptically at first when they see the ties in the store, Malcolm said.
“Generally, they say, ‘Oh, eight stones on a tie? That’s too much,’ ” he said. “But then when they see it as a whole outfit, they go, ‘Oh, that’s not too gaudy; that’s not too much.’ ”
For the most part, though, it’s women who are buying the ties for their husbands.
The people who are wearing them might surprise you, said Orloff Jewelers owner James Orloff. It’s not hipsters in extra-slim suits, but more conservative dressers, he said.
“A lot of women are buying for their men, and (it’s) mostly mature women,” Orloff said.
Orloff, who started his career selling suits and ties, has taken Malcolm under his wing and is helping advise the business. Orloff also wears the ties himself.
The ties say something about the wearer’s personality, he said.
“I like something that stands out,” Orloff said. “When you’re wearing a tie like that, people are going to remember it.”