My story : Hard hat and bow ties

At the origin of So Papillon, there is me, Stephanie. I guess we can say I’m a bit of a mix : born and bred in France, with 50% of Italian blood, and now living in the UK. I have a technical mind (I’ve studied and worked in the construction industry as a Quantity Surveyor for 14 years), but also creative (I love drawing, crochet and of course sewing).

So what’s my story ? How did I get into bow ties ?

It all started when my husband and I moved to Bristol in the UK in 2017. We clearly noticed that British men have a taste for bow ties, and we loved it. We’ve seen so many people dressed up with a smart suit, nice shirt, lovely shoes and good haircut. But too often, the weak point of the look was this dull soulless pre-tied type bowtie. Not that I have anything against pre-tied bow ties, but we can do so much better than these industrial ones! Besides, nothing compares with the sexy look of an untied bow tie at the end of the night.

So I decided to try to make a self-tie bow tie by myself, and the result was… well, not perfect, but let’s say, inspiring. I continued to work on the shape, the choice of fabrics, and the adjustment mechanism. Thanks to precious sewing lessons with Erika from Flo-Jo Fabrics in Bristol, I also improved my technique. I practised again and again until I got to a professional finish that I am proud of. And at the beginning of 2019, my entirely handmade bow ties, or “noeuds papillon” in French, became So Papillon !

Woman sitting with a coffee