Name: AJ Techajanta
Occupation: Founder and designer at Bowtie&Cotton
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
My background is in fashion. I spent about two years living in Paris. I think that city has changed me on quite a few levels and also style wise. I’ve become obsessed with the sartorial elements of design, the je ne sais quoi and the understatement style. I find joy in fabric hunting and being able to transform that fabric into a product that will mean something to someone. To me it’s like therapy. Another passion of mine is travelling. It’s all about new places, new experiences… and sometimes new fabric shops or markets. (:
2. What's a typical day like for you?
I actually have a Monday-Friday job besides Bowtie&Cotton. Luckily, it’s a family business. The schedule is a bit more flexible so I’m able to work on my Bowtie&Cotton project.
3. What got you started in this field?
I was working with an online marketing company for almost two years. I had the chance to oversee two US-based online brands and since then I’ve always wanted to open my own shop online. For quite a few years I tried to find what I could enjoy doing and also make a living out of it at the same time. And then one day, one of my friends asked if I could make him a set of bow tie and pocket square... the rest is history.
4. Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
I think Sir Paul Smith and Sir Richard Branson have inspired me a great deal. They appear to be true to themselves, enjoying everything they do and successful in balancing their work, life and family. And after all of these years of success, they still appear to be humble and down to earth.
I had the chance to watch an episode of TV documentary "Iconolasts”, which featured Jamie Oliver and Paul Smith. I already liked both of them before I watched it but I admire Sir Paul Smith even more afterwards. Really recommend it if
you are a fan of his.
5. Any advice you would give to budding designers/ entrepreneurs?
During your journey, there might be some incidents or people that will make you feel really exhausted… try to remember why you started what you’re doing now, look at how far you’ve come, give yourself a pat on the shoulder and keep your eyes on the prize.
6. What's your favourite piece in Bowtie&Cotton's entire collection?
Pip #3 in the Pip floral navy series (featured above). Men love blue and navy and for someone who wants to try a floral tie, this is it. Perfect for spring, summer or even autumn. Fun but not too loud.