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Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
March 2013
Brackish Bow Ties makes its mark with handsome, handcrafted accessories

It’s been less than a year since local pals Ben Ross and Jeff Plotner founded Brackish Bow Ties, but their outdoorsy accessories have already been shipped to 18 countries and even spotted on a Pasadena, California, red carpet (at the American Latino Media Arts Awards).

The secret to their success? Feathers. Back in 2007, Ross was looking to spice up his nuptial attire and decided to use Eastern turkey feathers to handcraft bow ties for himself and his groomsmen. Floored by guests’ reactions, he partnered with Plotner, and a company was born. These days, Plotner handles day-to-day operations out of a home office in West Ashley, where five employees create four different styles of tie: The Guinea, Jive Turkey, Carolina Copper, and Phunky Pheasant.

The bow ties have been featured in Time Out Chicago and Uncrate magazines and made a splash at February’s Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. “People appreciate original and remarkable products,” says Plotner, and the Holy City’s popularity as a wedding destination certainly boosts sales.

In January, Grady Ervin & Co. and Gwynn’s of Mt. Pleasant picked up the line, also sold at With several new styles in the works and women’s accessories on the way, it looks like these entrepreneurs are flying high.

Brackish by the Numbers:

  • 24 is the max number of feathers in 1 bow tie.
  • 1,000 feathers are purchased from area farms every week.
  • 2 hours are required to complete each bow tie.
  • 18 ties were ordered by 1 customer to present to each person at their family’s Thanksgiving table.
  • 1 “Jive Turkey” was worn by actor Jon Huertas when he accepted an award at the American Latino Media Arts Awards for his role as Detective Javier Esposito on ABC’s Castle.
  • 225 or so grooms and groomsmen have worn the ties down aisles all over the country.

For more on Brackish Bow Ties, visit