It’s a classic story of ties that bind—except this one actually starts with ties. Kirk Stafford, who had a small tie company called Mast-McBride, walked into Billy Reid in September 2012. Thomas Wages, a partner at an advertising company, was inside talking to the manager over a bourbon drink. He owned a tie that was too skinny, and he wanted it made into a bow tie. The manager looked from Wages to Stafford; it was kismet. One conversation led to another, and the two discovered they wanted to open the same type of men’s boutique, right down to the last handcrafted leather detail.