How Keefe Cravat was founded

Story by Kyle Smith 

When Jordan started Keefe Cravat, he had never sewn a bow tie before and knew nothing about designing neckwear. His first project was to re-fashion old neck ties into bow ties. 

He grabbed $10 and headed to a local second hand store, Savers. He saw that each of the neckties cost $2-3. He asked the manager if he could help him out. The manager said, “Sure, I can sell you a box of neckties for $10.”  That box, became Keefe Cravat’s first line of product.

Jordan designed the first collection of bow ties with a hot glue gun, velcro and a handheld sewing kit.

From watching YouTube videos, Jordan became an expert at designing his own handmade neckwear. Next, Jordan decided to learn how to operate a business.

His first step was to join the UMKC Entrepreneurship Scholars, a two-semester business feasibility course.

“When I started E-Scholars, my business was all over the place. I was designing bow ties for men, children and women. My E-Scholars mentors and instructors encouraged me be specific and focus on one target market.”

This focus helped Jordan’s business gain momentum, as did his presentation at 1 Million Cups Kansas City in 2014.

“When I presented on the 1 Million Cups stage, I had no idea what I was talking about. I didn’t know what a business model was and I had a basic understanding of the fashion industry. I just knew I had what it takes.”

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