A month of hard work, “a few frustrating moments” and steady hands led BYU student and entrepreneur Benjamin Steele to produce his first successful necktie in the summer of 2015.
Steele now works from his office on Provo’s Center Street as the founder and CEO of Sir Wylde, an online men’s neckwear company.
Steele was inspired by European fashion while serving an LDS mission in Wylde Green, England. After returning home from his mission, he decided to develop a brand that resembled the trends he grew to love, launching Sir Wylde from his college apartment last October.
“At first I was making ties by hand along with three other seamstresses, and we sold out pretty much by Christmas,” Steele said. “So then I thought, OK, maybe this has some merit.”
Steele then created a Kickstarter for Sir Wylde and raised $10,000 in January. He explained his company is currently in a transition phase.
“We just fulfilled a Kickstarter and we realized in order to scale long-term we couldn’t continue making all the products local,” Steele said. “Through lots of hours, we’ve now developed a relationship with a lot of the main manufacturers in America for neckwear, pocket squares and other accessories.”
Steele said he is devoted to providing well-crafted, quality products made in America even though United States manufacturing costs can be three to four times more expensive than manufacturing costs outside the country.
“We manufacture within the United States because we like the quality,” Steele said. “We want our products to be made at a small-scale by craftsmen.”
Sir Wylde currently provides ties for NFL players and announcers. NFL stylists contacted Steele after coming across Sir Wylde on social media. Other celebrity stylists have discovered Sir Wylde as well. Steele said he expects to see Hollywood celebrities wearing Sir Wylde neckties soon.
Steele defined his brand in two words: “America’s gentlemen.” He explained Sir Wylde is all about being classy, original and all-American.
Sir Wylde has experienced a tremendous amount of growth in a small amount of time, according to Steele. Sir Wylde’s creative director Lucy Horrall attributed much of its success to Steele’s dedication to the company.
“I appreciate how passionate Ben is about his business,” Horrall said. “He really believes in it and has made me excited about it as well.”
Steele said he has big plans for his company. Sir Wylde will offer an array of men’s accessories, including leather suspenders, bow ties, fedoras and pocket squares within the next month.
Sir Wylde currently consists of four employees and four summer interns. Steele said he hopes the company will expand and gain even more popularity.
“We just want to grow it,” Steele said. “So many people have become involved. I’d love to blow it up and make it worth their time.”