Amidst the hustle and bustle of Newport’s Thames Street is SummerTies – a small boutique promising to outfit the perfect summer.
SummerTies is run by Joe Mattison, his friend Ciaran Rogers and graphic designer Rachel Adam Rogers. “I wouldn’t know my graphic designer [Rachel] if we weren’t tied together through my summertime friend – my childhood friend – Ciaran, so that’s where the name came from,” Joe says.
SummerTies started unintentionally in 2012 when Joe couldn’t find a tie to match his outfit. “I had a pair of pants from Murray’s [Toggery Shop] with momma whales and baby whales on it,” he says. “I could never find a tie to really go with it so I said ‘I’ll make it myself!’”
The shop’s ties mimic yacht club or private school style ties but “with fun creatures and critters.”
“A lot of the ties out there are very cartoony,” Joe says, and notes that one reason why their ties are so popular is because the animals are designed to look like they do in nature – such as the “shockingly popular” skunk tie.
Although they started with neckties, they’ve expanded to bow ties and even pillows, ladies’ scarves, beach towels, blazer buttons, necklace pendants (which have been bought to be used as a dog tag), cufflinks and clothing.
“[SummerTies] is a fun summertime brand. We like to wear ourselves, and we hope [shoppers] do too,” Joe says.
424 Thames Street, Newport