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Behind The Scenes

The Forage Origin Story

When Stephen Loidolt and Shauna Alterio thought up Forage, they conceived of it as a one-off project—not the full-blown line of upbeat, vintage-inflected bow ties it is today. Thankfully, they documented the process, and Shauna is happy to recount the tale of their beginnings.The worksite“We had a show at the Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco, and they basically told us, ‘Do whatever you want.’ So we were tossing around a bunch of ideas—we wanted to make something that we hadn’t made before. That’s kind of our favorite thing—to do something that we never expected that we would do. All of the ideas we came up with seemed equally ridiculous, and Stephen wanted to make bow ties.”Bow-tie construction underway“We booked ourselves a week at a cabin in West Virginia and made every single bow tie for the show. We made 150 bow ties. And while we were making them, we were sitting there telling ourselves, ‘What are we going to do with 150 bow ties if nobody buys them? This is insane!’”The first collection“Before we even left the opening for the show, we already knew we’d have to replenish the stock because they were doing so well. It was super unexpected. Stephen had been wearing bow ties for a while, but we just weren’t sure that anybody else would love them that much, too.” See Shauna and Stephen’s latest creation: a checked tie that comes with a *secret message*.
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Forage's His/Her Inspiration

Shauna Alterio is Stephen Loidolt’s work wife and real wife. And one of the most fascinating parts of creative coupledom (in our minds, anyway) is how two disparate visions can come together in one cohesive line—in this case, Forage’s assemblage of thoughtfully crafted ties, made from subdued florals, speckled wools, and in-your-face checks. Shauna talks us through a sort of Venn diagram of their influences.Stephen’s Set: “Something that we always joke about is that I’m quintessentially a girl, and Stephen’s quintessentially a guy. He drives a pick-up truck and loves to make things in his workshop. He loves things like these crazy old knives. The small wooden one was given to us by our friends who run Three Potato Four—it’s carved to look like a knife. Stephen also loves nautical stuff—and has a lot of nautical tattoos—and he collects a lot of books of old handwriting and type”Shauna’s Set: “I love a lot of color. Whenever I buy thread, pencils, or anything, I like to buy it in every single color. You can see a little box—it’s filled with paint samples from all the walls in our house that I can take with me to match colors. There’s a letterpress block of a bow—it’s one of the things that inspired us to first start doing lady bow ties. There’s also a cake topper—I have an enormous collection of them that I used for décor at our wedding. We both collect things that we love, and everything ends ups turning into inspiration for something else.”The Intersection (a.k.a. Forage!): “When it comes time for us to collaborate, we always do the same thing: We trust our gut. Whenever we try to predetermine something—say, a color—it never works, so we are very organic and work with the things that are around us. We love a masculine, traditional design for our packaging—there’s definitely an elegance to turn-of-the-century design that we really like. Then we can play a little bit more with fun patterns. We’re always collecting fabrics. I love to mix some floral in, and sometimes, if it’s too much, Stephen says, ‘I will not wear that.’ But sometimes he likes prints that are so traditional, and I say, ‘Stephen, that’s probably already a bow tie somewhere.’” They fused their tastes to make another Of a Kind edition, and this time it’s a classic necktie that any (stylin’) dude can pull off.
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