By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Business leaders take note: Dylan Ciaccio, incoming senior at Marlborough High School, is already making his mark in the marketplace with his Etsy shop, “ChaChee Ties.” An aspiring entrepreneur, Dylan’s bow tie business is his latest and most successful business enterprise to date.
After swim team’s season ended, Dylan found himself with lots of free time. Not one who likes being bored, he looked up things to do on the internet and found “Learning to Sew a Bow Tie.”
“I’ve always thought bow ties were awesome,” Dylan said. “They are just so much more fun than regular neck ties.”
After learning some sewing basics from his mother, Dylan watched a YouTube tutorial. He thought to himself, “Hey, I can sell these!” ChaChee Ties was born.
“It took some practice to make one that looked nice, but it was fun learning something new,” he noted.
His passion for entrepreneurship began when he was about 6 or 7 years old with a computer game called “Zoo Tycoon” about building your own zoo. He thought it was really cool and exciting to build something and began thinking of ventures that he could do on his own.
After honing his bow tie craft, he set up shop on Etsy, the online marketplace. He started slow, but with his Milky Way-themed galaxy bow tie, his profile increased. People purchasing this specific tie helped put Dylan on the map. His business strategy focused on selling his ties at a low price so that people would take the risk of buying from someone without any reviews. He also has Facebook and Instagram pages to help promote his business.
Dylan then focused on building relationships with his customers.
“Not only did this allow me to learn more about what customers wanted, but I also made friends across the world,” he said.
One of his customers was from the Netherlands who purchased a significant number of baseball-themed bow ties for his musicians who performed at a major baseball tournament.
Bow ties are a niche market but Dylan offers a variety of fabrics and prints. Customers range from connoisseurs and collectors to grooms, groomsmen, and groups who want matching bow ties for parties. He even has a line just for dogs!
Dylan has been inspired by his older brother who majored in business and is currently working with Microsoft. Other inspiration has come from his teachers.
“My business teachers certainly helped me learn a lot about business,” he said. “I especially give thanks to my freshman history teacher, Mr. Sheldon Vigeant. His childhood and journey really changed my perspective on everything and inspired me to want to help people.”
Reina R. Rago, communications coordinator for Marlborough Public Schools, said “I am impressed by Dylan’s steadfastness and business acumen…Dylan’s passion and humility are truly inspirational. I admire his commitment to creating a business by himself and want to see him succeed and inspire other students to do the same.”
Dylan’s bow ties have also inspired teachers at Marlborough High School. Principal Charlie Caliri wears a bow tie every Tuesday which he refers to as “Bow Tie Tuesdays.”
Dylan offered this advice to his peers: “See everything as a learning opportunity, be patient, and don’t be afraid of failing. And especially for a full-time student, don’t let other people tell you that you are not capable of doing something.”
He added, “I hope that I’m inspiring some of my peers, a lot of people have been supportive of me.”
During his senior year, Dylan will continue to be very active with his school while he fills out college applications and makes his bow ties. He will be involved with Business Professionals of America Club, Latin Club, and National Honor Society as well as participating on the school’s swim team.
When asked what he has learned from his current business venture, Dylan stated, “Bow ties have taught me patience, perseverance and the importance of taking risks.”
His risks are beginning to pay off.
For more information or to purchase one of Dylan’s bow ties, visit his Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/ChaCheeTies?ref=search_shop_redirect.