Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather

Photos by Bette Walker

It all started with the search for the perfect groomsman’s gift. Ben Ross was getting married and looking for something outside of the usual monogramed cooler or flask to give his wedding party. What he came up with was a handmade turkey feather bow tie. “My wonderful wife Mary Ann ok’d the first bow ties being incorporated in our wedding – and that’s where it all started,” Ben shares.

The ties were such a hit that Ross and his friend, Jeff Plotner decided to form a company around the concept. Ben explains, “Jeff and I took my idea for a unique and original groomsman’s gift and decided to form a company around various feather bow tie designs as our initial flagship products.”

So, why Brackish? “I grew up and have lived near the ocean for the majority of my life. Ben has always lived inland, mainly Columbia, SC. When the two of us came together to start the business, it was similar to salt water combining with fresh water to form brackish. It also emphasized our love for nature,” Jeff explains.

With nature in mind, the company sources its feathers from various farms from all over the United States that would normally dispose of them. From discarded natural materials they create these beautiful, wearable and sustainable pieces of art.

Each bow tie is proudly handcrafted in South Carolina. Jeff tells us, “We have 10 highly skilled and creative artisans that have a perfected individualized method that emphasizes their talents. The end result is similar but since every feather is hand selected for every bow tie, no 2 ties are identical.”

The one-of-a-kind accessories are lovingly and carefully made and make beautiful gifts if you’re looking for something truly authentic and unconventional. That’s why its no surprise the company has found such a following. Actor Bill Murray was even seen sporting a Brackish bow tie at the 2014 Oscars!

So, how would you describe Brackish Bowties? “For me it would be: family, friends and tribute,” Ben shares. “I had the desire to create something almost as special as my relationships with my family and friends while incorporating my love for nature.”

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