On a warm afternoon, Aislin sat down with founder of the Traveling Gentlemen's Boutique, Tyron Harris at a Barnes & Noble in Manchester, Connecticut. Dressed in a T-shirt and workout pants, Tyron entered the bookstore right after his workout to sit down and give Aislin the scoop on his thriving online business.
What do Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common with Tyron Harris? All three were members of the same fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. Tyron Harris, a Connecticut native is the owner and founder of the Traveling Gentleman’s Boutique, an online store for men’s accessories. The Traveling Gentleman’s Boutique offers customers a variety of bow ties, ties, pocket squares, lapel pins, socks and cuff links. As a graduate of Berkeley College and current resident of East Hartford Connecticut, Tyron Harris started his online business after receiving numerous inquiries into his own wardrobe. He was bombarded with questions like “Where did you get this from?” pointing to a tie, or “Where did you buy that from?” These inquiries into his unique style coupled with his love for dressing and traveling led him to start the Gentlemen’s accessory line in cyberspace. Aislin Magazine caught up with Tyron to find out more about his business and about Tyron “the man”. When asked about his hobbies and interests, Tyron went on to say that he loved swimming. Although never joining a swimming team, he was an avid swimmer and could be found swimming for endless hours as a child.
"I’m a shy person, so I express myself through fashion. That’s what got me started."
He describes himself as very quiet, shy, and humble. "I’m a shy person, so I express myself through fashion,” he explains. "That’s what got me started.” Because of his other love for fashion and traveling he decided to start his business, coining the name “Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique”. Tyron’s online boutique business does two things, it allows customers to buy accessories and/or become consultants for the business.
The business allows customers to buy individual items or classic box set monthly subscriptions, which retail for $349 a box. One box of accessories include 10 bow ties, 15 ties, 10 pocket squares, 10 lapel pins,10 pairs of socks and cuff links. The amazing affordability of these accessories was by design, as Tyron discusses the fact he wanted to make and sell quality clothes at an affordable price. All his accessories are either silk or 100% cotton so customers can look like they shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue while paying much less.
"You have the Mary Kay, and the Herbalife, and the new Paparazzi Jewelry, I want to be that brand for men’s accessories where men can buy accessories and learn entrepreneurship."
Entrepreneurial minded individuals can buy starter kits and sell the entire contents to make a profit of $770, which is Tyron’s main goal. According to Connecticut’s Traveling Gentleman, the goal is to teach Entrepreneurship. His hope is to create a household brand name like Mary Kay, while simultaneously helping others reach financial independence. "You have the Mary Kay, and the Herbalife, and the new Paparazzi Jewelry, I want to be that brand for men’s accessories where men can buy accessories and learn entrepreneurship."
When asked what inspired his trendy flair for fashion he spoke of church as a major influence. He talked about the bold and bright colors, the big hats and the pinks and yellows that envelope the entire church on Sundays. The church fashions are what gave him the ideas to pair colors and designs that were unique to men’s fashion.
Other major influences for Tyron were Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs. When asked specifically about his design influences, he went on to say that the risk taking he found in McQueen’s clothing, mixing patterns like plaids with stripes or paisleys, and the more classic fitted look found in Marc Jacobs’ clothing have strongly influenced his audacious designs and stylistic choices. "You might not think there’s going to be an audience but there’s someone out there who is going to want to look different and and feel different and they express themselves through fashion."
Since launching the Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique two years ago, business has been steadily expanding for Tyron Harris. His mix of distinctive designs and bold colors on luxurious fabrics is slowly making him a household name in the fashion industry.
If you want to check out some of his accessory designs, become a customer, or become a part of his team, you can go to www.thegboutique.com to start. You can also find him on Instagram @travelinggentlemensboutique or Facebook at facebook.com/TGBCT. This Berkeley Business major is doing it all by himself, changing the face of men’s fashion and helping others reach their financial dreams.
What’s on the horizon for Tyron Harris? Well, Tyron has already auditioned for Shark Tank, looking for seed money to expand his business. His goal is to be able to sell his accessories on the Home Shopping Network and to have his clothing line sold in one or two retail stores to build his brand. Aislin will be watching the fashion world closely, waiting to see the Traveling Gentlemen’s Boutique explode onto the World Wide fashion scene. And when that happens, we’ll be there.