When Becky Feinberg-Galvez sat down at a coffee shop with a long-time customer of her business, she had a list of names. As the CEO of Chicago-based custom apparel company Shop4ties, Feinberg-Galvez was mulling over a big decision – a new name for the 38 year-old company.
The two women sat, sifting through the names. The list of potentials was promising, but all were missing something.
“There’s something about you and Arnie – a word for what makes your business what it is.” It was on the tip of the tongue of Feinberg-Galvez’s fellow brainstormer. But the caffeine failed to dislodge it. With promises of messaging when it finally came to her, the duo decamped. Back to work.
Days later, the text buzzed in her pocket: Candor. The something that sets them apart. Feinberg-Galvez agreed. There it is.
Candor Threads had the ring she’d been listening for.
Arnie’s in the basement
The business wasn’t always known as Shop4ties. When Arnie Kapp started in the basement of his home in Chicago in 1982, he gave it the authoritative moniker Corporate Textiles. And custom ties for businesses was the name of the game.
From this underground home office, Kapp managed to craft relationships with vendors, manufacturers, and customers. He advertised in airline in-flight magazines. He built a supply chain out of South Korea. All before the internet made transatlantic business a simple matter of the cloud.
“I remember the fax machine going all night,” recalls Feinberg-Galvez. Mornings in the Kapp household started early. As she readied for school, Kapp was already deep into the pile of curling fax paper churned in the night, sorting messages since 4 am and faxing his own across time zones.
With Kapp at the helm, the company grew. Custom-designed ties for businesses and groups were the bread and butter, but always with an ear for what their customers needed. Custom cummerbunds? We can sort that our for you. Bowties? Certainly. Another natural addition to the product list was custom scarves. Why should men have all the custom apparel fun?
A Growing Demand
When Feinberg-Galvez came to the table, she took up the business’s mantra: It’s not only about doing what we can for our customers but about doing what we can do well. With that clear vision for growth, Feinberg-Galvez had an idea for another product.
By that time, Corporate Textiles was renamed to Shop4ties to reflect the way new customers would find them: searching the internet. As the business grew, Shop4ties became Shop4ties And More. So in 2011, embracing the invitation of “And More,” Feinberg-Galvez pitched custom Hawaiian shirts.
With custom Hawaiian shirts, she saw an opportunity. There was a demand for unique custom items that businesses and groups could give team members and clients, and Shop4ties had the ability to deliver a quality product. But there was more to the success of this offering (which grew to account for more than a quarter of yearly sales) than seeing the sweet spot of supply and demand.
Feinberg-Galvez states frankly, “I know that our customers can find another option that’s ten cents cheaper. They choose us because of the types of relationships we build with them.” And this sort of candor and clarity of mission is what is behind the new name.
From the Thread Up
As a completely-custom-designed business, the bridge between each team member and the customer is paramount. “We want to give them something that has lasting value. We create the designs and the relationships from the thread up,“ says Feinberg-Galvez.
This philosophy is evident in the newly rebranded Candor Threads’ core values: make an impact, consciously connect, and have fun and help out. The last of these core values also speaks to the possibilities of Candor Threads: be constantly evolving.
“We aren’t leaving custom apparel and we will always stick to what we know we can do well, “ says Feinberg-Galvez. “I like the name Candor Threads because it isn’t limiting.”
This last core value, Feinberg-Galvez says, is as much about the business’s future as it is an investment in her team. “Everyone is so talented. If there’s a thing that occupies my mind it’s thinking about how to keep this dynamic going and keep our relationships strong – with each other, with customers – even as we evolve.”
For customers who have known the business – by any name – over the decades, that will sound like a familiar sentiment. For new customers of Candor Threads, they’ll quickly see the clear-cut difference.
Candor Threads, formerly Shop4ties, is a custom apparel company that connects groups through wearables for over 38 years. If you would like to learn more about the custom apparel our team can create for you, contact us today!