Regis student’s business breaks through at 2017 Emmy Awards

Paul Hunter saw his trip to the Emmy as a deciding point for his bow tie business.

“Now we really have no choice,” Hunter said. “This was the decision maker. People loved the product and were obsessed with it.”

Hunter’s company (Re)purpose Bowties attended the 2017 Emmy Awards where he set up in the gifting suite to present his product and company to hordes of celebrities and investors.

And it couldn’t have gone much better.

(Re)purpose gave away more than 300 bow ties, helped create social media buzz and has seen its website flooded with visits and inquiries.

For more than three years, the junior economics major has been balancing his studies at Regis with growing his business that started as a hobby. He makes bow ties out of old clothing and employs underserved populations. Prior to the Emmys, he received a call from a public relations firm asking him to be part of the gifting suite.

He worked with College of Computer & Information Sciences Professor Tricia Litz, whom he was taking a class from, to vet the request.

He also leaned on Ken Sagendorf, the director of the Innovation Center in the College of Business and Economics, to get initial financing. Sagendorf and the Innovation Center also worked to develop a more robust business plan for (Re)purpose. Together, they strengthened his brand positioning, developed a logo, worked on the packaging, redesigned his website and readied the business for the potential of rapid growth.

“When I look back on everything, I know I couldn’t have gotten to this point without help,” Hunter said. “And 95 percent of that is Regis or people related to Regis.”

The next step is to find an investor that can help the business scale up faster. Hunter said the Emmys were a conformation that the product is strong. In addition to the Emmys LASC Clothing in West Hollywood had a launch for (Re)Purpose. The high-end store had the product on the shelf for six days and had already sold out of half of its stock.

“Success doesn’t mean just money,” he said. “We got 400 people talking about how to change the world. Every time they see our ties in their closet, they’ll think about that.”  

To see a video of Hunter and the Innovation Center, click here. To explore the Innovation Center and see how it’s shaping our students, click here.