L&B Blog

  • #WCW Series: Carley Ochs
  • Leigh Ann Cobb

#WCW Series: Carley Ochs

For our first installment of {hashtag} Women Crush Wednesday we are excited to showcase one of our all-time favorite brands, Bourbon & Boweties, made right here in the states by the "proud Southern hands" of our #WCW: Carley Ochs!

This inspiring young entrepreneur started out working with textiles, creating bow-ties from old suit/sport jacket linings re-purposing them into useful sentimental keepsakes. In 2012 after a trip to China where she purchased a number of stones on a whim she began experimenting with some gold wire and a red solo cup... The iconic bangle was born! Not knowing it's potential at the time, Carley gave away most of the first designs as gifts, only to receive more and more requests. So she needed a name. "What’s more Southern than bourbon and bow-ties?" Carley jested in a recent interview with Southern Living. Yes, Boweties is spelled wrong (and yes it is on purpose). The word Bower is the old English spelling of Bow Maker. "I figured the Bourbon part of the name would be the men’s side of the line, creating bow ties. And Boweties (keeping the extra E as a nod to history and becoming a “Bow Maker”) would become the female side of the brand creating bangles." Bourbon & Boweties was born.

Once Carley got the idea to branch out to retailers, the business snowballed. She called up an old friend who worked at a high end clothing store in Charleston, South Carolina and asked if she could drive up to see if the store would be interested in selling them. After only reaching out to less than a handful of boutiques in 2012, the bangles are currently in over 2,700 stores throughout the US, all by word of mouth. It just goes to show you, you can't knock a good thing.

When Carley was asked what being a "southern company" meant to her, she replied:
"The fact we are a Southern company doesn’t limit us just to the South, and a majority of our customers don’t live in the South nor come from below the Mason Dixon Line. But I think everyone has a little South in them. To me, being Southern is a feeling of happiness. It’s quality over quantity. It’s slowing down to enjoy the good things in life and you don’t have to be in the South or even be Southern to do that, but that’s why we are a little slower here in the South. We talk a little slower move a little slower, we are enjoying every moment life has to offer. I have been very public about every step of our journey, capturing the entire thing on social media. I feel people really resonate in the story we have. The idea of a Southern born company."

Oh Carley, we adore you, and are extremely honored to have your bangles in our boutiques.

Please come in to either our Grand Haven or Grand Rapids locations to see all the fantastic gems and precious stones, hand wrapped in gold wire and sealed with a southern kiss, just for you!

To see the full interview Carley did with Southern Living, click here.
Follow Carley/B&B on Instagram here.

  • Leigh Ann Cobb

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