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Posted on Mar 4, 2015 in Andy blogs, Bow Ties, Bowties, contest, Personal Style | 1 comment

Stylish Kids Saying Awesome Things



Kids say the darnedest things.

When we were first married, we assumed that having kids who say hilarious things was the main point of having kids. It was a motivation to procreate. And it continues to be a consolation on days when rooms are a wreck and spaghetti sauce is splattered on new khakis.

Turns out your kids say awesome things too. We had a feeling they would.

Without further ado, it’s time to sit back and enjoy some darnedest-ness from your kids’ mouths. Each of the following children have won themselves a boys’ bow tie on the strength of their answers to the question:

If you were to win a bow tie, what’s one awesome thing you would do while wearing it?”

Winner Number 1.

“I’d pogo stick over the Grand Canyon in a chicken suit doing a triple back flip while singing the national anthem backwards. … I probably can’t do that, but I can ride my scooter with one hand and eat a sandwich with the other.”

-Aleks, age 10, Rock Hill, SC

Alecks, you win! Deacon (age 9) thinks your answer was, hands down, the best in the whole bunch. How did you end up with such superb coordination? Have you heard of Evel Knievel? I bet he would try your bow-tied pogo stick Grand Canyon chicken suit triple back flip national anthem stunt. In any event, you are super cool. You also live in a great town. Maybe we can go on a bow-tied, sandwiched scooter ride sometime. Thanks for entering, and enjoy your bow tie!

Winner Number 2.

“This is a picture of our 3 year old son, Charlie, and his friend Caroline. They were playing dress up at school and Caroline asked him to marry her. She brought him the coat and tie and he said ‘No Caroline! I have to wear a bow tie when I get married!’ We live in the mountains of western North Carolina.” – Katy Seymour, Sylva, NC


Charlie! You win! We’d like to send you a bow tie that you can put in your preschool’s dress-up box, so that all the 3-year-olds who decide to get hitched during preschool have the opportunity to rock a bow tie. Hey–funny story. You’re a 3-year-old, and you already know it’s best to wear a bow tie when you get married. But the owners of this bow tie company didn’t even know bow ties were so important at weddings when they got married back in 2002.

Oh–another thing: I, too, had a clip on long neck tie instead of a bow tie when I got married. I wish you had been there to set me straight. Your bride, by the way, is beautiful. Tell Caroline that she’s awesome. Oh–one other thing: I didn’t get married in preschool, but I did have a very serious girlfriend, another 3-year-old named Kelly Kessler. We planned to marry, but we must have ended up in different classes for Kindergarten, because I ended up marrying someone else (Ellie) instead. Have a great rest of the school year, and a happy marriage!

Winner Number 3.

 “Trip (10) likes to wear bow ties and has a goal of learning to tie his own this this year.”

– Dick Carter, Jr., Topeka, Kansas


Trip! You win! Technically, you didn’t say one of the darnedest things. But we want to reward your sense of style and your ambition to learn to tie a freestyle bow tie. You get a big-boy, grown-up bow tie that you can learn to tie yourself. Then you can show all your friends how to tie them like mature young gentlemen do.

I also want to compliment you on your casual use of the bow tie in this photo. This is proof that shorts and bow ties go together just fine. In fact, there’s a really tall college student who comes to our church who wears shorts and a bow tie every day. EVERY DAY. Impressive, huh?

(Say, what’s the statue behind you? At first I thought it was Iwo Jima. Then I though maybe it was Mary with Jesus. Now I have no clue at all.)

In any event, congratulations, Trip! Here’s to many years of happy bow tie self-tying! Cheers!

Winner Number 4.

Attentive readers will have noticed that we couldn’t stop at 3 winners like we planned.

 “I would go on a date with Mommy.”

– Asher, age 3, Clover, SC

Dear Asher,

Guess whose heart you melted with your answer. Yep, my wife’s. She’s a mom. Of a 3-year-old. We know it’s not super-duper fancy, but with you bow tie, we’re going to send you a gift card for Chick Fil A. Put on that bow tie, have your mommy put on a fancy dress, and take her out for a date courtesy of The Cordial Churchman.

Kids: even better than saying the darnedest things is saying nice things about your beautiful mammas and taking them out on dates. Daddies: you should take your kiddos’ mammas out on dates, too. Then they’ll want to take their mammas on dates, and everybody’s happy. Brian–you must have done a good job of this, cause it’s rubbed off on Asher!

Winner Number 5.

“If I won a bow tie, I’d go back in time with my friend Braylon and we would go bowling with Abraham Lincoln in the White House.” – Lincoln age 8, Spring Lake NC

PS–He would like the navy corduroy one bc he’s “never seen a bumpy bow tie.”

Dear Lincoln, you have a time machine? Can I go with you? I love bowling and I think Honest Abe has impeccable style.

(Did you know that the top hat, like Abe wore, supposedly first appeared in 1797 on the streets of London. A story goes that an English hatter, a Mr. Hetherington, literally caused a riot on the street and was fined a tidy sum of £500 for disturbing the peace for wearing a hat that he invented. Well, it turns out that is a myth. Sadly.)

Congratulations, Lincoln. You win! You’ll get your bumpy navy corduroy bow tie!

Thanks for entering!

And congratulations to all our winners and contestants. You a quality young men with great imaginations and superb style.




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Posted on Feb 20, 2015 in Andy blogs, Bow Ties, Bowties, contest | 17 comments

Free Boys’ Bow Ties?! A Cordial Giveaway


Kids are Cute. But are they photographable?

This past autumn, we had our talented friend and neighbor Ashlee Wells of A. René Photography take some family photos for us.

There’s something about the way Ashlee engages with children that just plain works. What on paper might seem to be an impossible assignment–getting kids to cooperate and look cute for photographs–miraculously happens with Ashlee’s magic touch.

You can provide the genes. You can provide the jeans. You can deck them in button down shirts and Cordial Churchman boys’ bow ties.

But you have to have a photographer like Ashlee, or else.

Everything about our experience was much less difficult than we imagined, even when our kids sometimes seemed intent on derailing things. And the final product made us wonder if perhaps we had the cutest family on earth. Bias factored in and all.


How about some free bow ties?

It feels a little like winning the lottery, I suppose–getting great photos of your handsome boys. So we figured we’d do what people do when they win the lottery: give people a cut.

In this case, we’re going to give away one of each of these three snappy boys’ bow ties. Repeat: not the boys themselves, but their bow ties. (Morally-speaking, it’s probably only a small step from exploiting your kids’ cuteness to giving your kids away in a contest on your blog. But anyway…)

While we’re passing our children’s hearts, souls, and cute smiles around in morally tenuous ways on the Internet, here’s how we’ll do our contest …

Contest Rules and Fine Print

  1. Interrogate your kiddos. You round up your kids and interrogate them thus: “If you win a bow tie, tell us about one super special thing you’ll do while wearing it.” You can coach them a little, but the answer needs to be uniquely theirs.
  2. Share their awesome answers. Post their responses, along with their first name, age, and where you’re from. Share them in one or more places: in the comments on this blog post, on this Instagram, on this Facebook post, or to our Twitter.
  3. We’ll judge your kids’ responses. That’s right. All of us. The Cordial Church Belles, our cute kids—all of us. We may factor in criteria including, but not limited to, cuteness, elaborateness, ridiculousness, romantic-ness, funny pronunciations typed phonetically by proud parents, and the like. Contestants’ responses will be judged and announced Friday, February 27.

Finally, your Bow Ties and their Models

Now, here are your options, on our cute kids:


Above, it’s Blue chambray. This goes with everything, year-round. Pre-tied with velcro fastener. Owen here demonstrates the cordial nonchalance that pairs well with the blue chambray.


Professor Deacon is sporting a navy corduroy bow tie. If you’re a cerebral youngster, you’re probably going to want to opt for this one. Deacon is contemplating a science experiment he’d conduct in this bow tie.


Last, we’ve got Cliffe in his gingham navy bow tie. This is a timeless pattern, and will work especially well for spring, Easter, or…


…for melting your mother’s heart with cuteness. (Blonde curls not included.)

And moms, if you’re getting caught up in the cuteness here, keep in mind that we can make dads (and/or moms!) matching grown-up bow ties. Perfect for Easter or heart-melting.

Alright, friends. There you have it. Kids, let it rip. We’re looking forward to your entries!


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