LAURA J. KLOOSTERMAN AND LK WEISS
Co-Founders and Owners, Bowline Co.
Laura J. Kloosterman and LK Weiss have a simple motto for their business: “Bow ties for every outfit, every day, and every body.” As owners of Bowline Co., they sell unique, gender-neutral, and handcrafted bow ties in a wide variety of styles, “from rustic cabin life for the forest enthusiasts to graceful nautical for the coastal chic. These unique ties aren’t simply for formal wear and special events,” the couple say on their website, “but to [also] add a touch of personal flavor to your everyday functional outfits for all occasions.” Kloosterman and Weiss run Bowline in addition to working other jobs—Weiss is “The Portland Designer,” doing design work for major brands, while Kloosterman is a nanny. Their business is inspired by Maine—a number of ties are upcycled from clothing with a distinct Maine flavor, while materials and hardware are sourced from Maine when possible. They suggest other business leaders invest in a good website and photography. (“It will pay off in the end. Trust that.”) They also suggest being both patient and determined. “It takes a LOT of consistent and aggressive work to achieve visibility and recognition, [but] anyone with a single good idea and a strong passion for getting it out there can succeed. We aren’t reinventing the wheel here; we’re just raising the bar.”