Originally from Micoud, and now based in Brooklyn, New York, Vaughn Constable has his eyes set on making an impact in the fashion industry. The 35-year-old launched his company “Twist By Vee” in 2017. It manufactures bow ties of different styles and from various materials. The business also aims to make tangible differences in people’s lives with its “give-back” campaigns. Following a successful “Bows For Boobs” breast cancer campaign in September 2017, Twist by Vee’s latest project, “Bows For a Cause,” seeks to raise awareness in five areas that affect Vaughn, his family, and some of his close friends.
For this campaign, five colour variations of hand-made and lace-covered bow ties have been created. The blue is for prostate cancer and autism; pink for breast cancer; purple for domestic violence; red for HIV/AIDS, and yellow for suicide.
The yellow tie is dear to Vaughn’s heart. At the age 12 he lost his father to suicide. The proceeds of sales go toward various support groups and foundations such as the American Cancer Society and the Heather Hurley Foundation. This week, the entrepreneur officially launched his company, “Twist Saint Lucia Ltd.” at Bay Gardens Hotel. Ahead of the launch, Constable spoke with the STAR:
STAR: What is the aim of Twist Saint Lucia?
The reason for bringing the company here is so these bow ties could be made in Saint Lucia. My hope is to create a training manual, so I’ll be able to train people here, so they can make the bows. I’ve not calculated how many people I would need to make per bow; it’s going to be based per order. However, the training will be continuous; I’m hoping to do that over the summer, like by doing workshops in various schools. Once Twist is completely registered here, local organisations and foundations will be able to participate in future campaigns.
STAR: What influence did your father have on you?
My dad was a tradesman; he was a jack-of-all-trades, and very creative. He built houses, did farming, plumbing, masonry, carpentry and painting. He did everything; he did it all! I do get my creativity from him. Every time I draw, I get energy from him.
STAR: Before you began creating bow ties, did you have any experience in making clothing?
I’ve always been a creative person. I did clothing and textiles at the Leon Hess Secondary School for a few semesters. I’ve always been told that I’m good with my hands. The driving force was having worked in Martinique for a number of years to understand branding, concepts and development.
STAR: What has been your biggest challenge?
Manpower! Manpower! Manpower! It’s a big challenge because I cannot fulfill two huge orders at once. For example, a church in Washington, D.C. ordered 600 bow ties for Christmas last year, and I had to submit it within a timeframe. I also have to have a good turnaround time. There’s also the fact that I refuse to take production to China, so I decided to bring it to Saint Lucia.
STAR: What is your advice to other entrepreneurs?
It’s going to be a lot of work and there’s going to be people who are not happy for you, and not going to support you. There is no start time or end time for working. Also, you cannot do it all by yourself.