USC retail student is ‘sew’ fashion-forward
By Frenche Brewer, Brewer4@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-5400
There are some fashions that never go out of style. Two of those constants in Southern style are bowties and seersucker suits.
And that combination has turned 21-year old University of South Carolina senior Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management (HRSM) student Ashlyn Tuggle into a style star.
Two years ago, Tuggle was keeping her Citadel boyfriend in step with fashion by designing seersucker bowties for him to wear when he wasn’t in uniform. He got so many compliments from his fellow cadets that he suggested she sell them.
Tuggle said her dream of being an entrepreneur came true and about six months into the business, Southern Beaus (a play on the word bow) got a mention in Southern Weddings magazine. Her bowties are now the “it” item to sport at the Carolina Cup horseraces in Camden, S.C., or in a summer wedding.
“My first customers were for a wedding, and of course, I was so excited, I was freaking out!” Tuggle said.
Tuggle plans to graduate this December with a degree in retail, but she also spends 30 to 50 hours a week designing ties that run from seersucker to psychedelic. She recently expanded her line to include ever-so dainty clutches that often match the colorful bowties.
“The HRSM program has helped me tremendously,” Tuggle said. “I have been able to apply things that I have learned in all of my retail classes to my business. Also, it's given me many opportunities to share my business with others through the previous fashion shows.”