Small Business Spotlight: 30 Years of Bow Ties in Fort Mill
R. Hanauer, the beloved bow tie shop located in downtown Fort Mill, is owned by father and son Randy and Randall Hanauer (learn more about them in this Q&A!). The shop has been on Fort Mill's Main St. for 30 years now, and although their bows are sold in nearly 400 stores nationwide, they love being a part of the Fort Mill community.
It's a beautiful store full of that small town charm and character where you're always greeted with a smile. I personally love seeing Randall or Randy working through the window as they wave to folks walking by. It reminds me of why I love downtown Fort Mill so much and the welcoming, friendly community it holds.
Their 100% silk bows are handmade right here in Fort Mill. They are one of the easiest bows to tie because of the quality fabric used and the particular way they are cut.
Watch this quick video, "The Making of Your R. Hanauer Bow Ties", to learn more.
We asked Randall some questions so you can get to know R. Hanauer a bit more -- like how this nationally known company comprises only nine people!
You've been in Fort Mill for 30 years now. Why Fort Mill?
Honestly, the answer is proximity. At the time, my parents had a farm in nearby Waxhaw and Fort Mill was the most convenient place to open a sewing shop.
What have you seen most change on Main St.?
With the addition of four restaurants and a brewery, downtown Fort Mill is attracting more foot traffic than ever before.
How has your business and the bow tie business changed over the past 30 years?
R. Hanauer started with a niche that needed to be filled in the menswear industry, which was white cotton pocket squares. At the time, if you wanted to wear one, you would use a handkerchief, which was too bulky. Randy Senior’s main job was a manufacturer’s rep and he continued to do that until 2009. So, it took over 20 years to grow the business to the point where it could support his family without any other work to supplement.
R. Hanauer used to be a 100% wholesaling company, but now it has three sales channels. Wholesaling is still the biggest part of the business, but we added our website in 1996 and our retail shop on Main Street in 2010.
Is there a pattern that sells best in Fort Mill compared to your stores nationwide?
We sell more strawberry bow ties in Fort Mill than anywhere else! However, the best-selling bow tie in every part of the country is plain black satin for black tie events. Classic is always in style!
What's something interesting about R. Hanauer that most people don't know?
We ship worldwide and our products are in close to 400 retail stores across the U.S. and Canada, but we are a very small operation of only nine people.
R. Hanauer | 212 Main St, Fort Mill, SC 29715 | www.bowties.com