UVU Student Entrepreneur Uses His Fashion Sense to Help Close International Communication Gaps

noellopez

OREM, UT– October 3, 2016 There’s a unifying magic that happens when someone sees the symbol of their country on another human being. An instant camaraderie, an immediate connection and a sense of unity are born.

 That’s what lead UVU Woodbury School of Business marketing student and entrepreneur, Noel Lopez, to provide LDS missionaries and any other tie-wearing aficionado, a tool that could help start a conversation and establish that all-important bond with a complete stranger.

The neckties created by his company, The Town and Co., each have a logo representing countries throughout the world. “As missionaries, we’re strangers in a strange land,” says Lopez. “Seeing a familiar country symbol on a stranger’s tie says we have a connection even though we don’t know each other. It is the ideal relationship icebreaker for missionaries and anyone communicating internationally.”

Lopez has always had an affinity for fashion and at the end of his own mission in Uruguay, he made a keen observation of some missionaries in one particular area. “They were wearing colors of Uruguay’s flag and Uruguay’s soccer logo on neckties,” says Lopez. “When I went to my mission reunion, I noticed several of the guys wearing the same tie.”

It was then that Lopez realized he could keep his mission experience alive, and create new conversations by designing a tie that featured a country’s logo. “It immediately attracts attention, opening a conversation door that begs the question ‘what is that symbol?’

“Noel’s keen marketing sense and disciplined enterprise approach has served him well,” says Dr. Paul Dishman, Marketing Department Chair. “He is just one example of the numerous student entrepreneurs who have taken what they’ve learned in Woodbury, and started their own successful businesses.”

Now, the whole the world is taking notice. U.S. politicians, members of Congress and foreign dignitaries are expressing enormous interest in purchasing the ties. Lopez credits the Woodbury School of Business for preparing him to meet his greatest challenge to date – scaling to meet the new and increasing demand.

“I love fashion but that isn’t enough to run this business,” says Lopez.  “My Woodbury accounting courses help me understand how to balance and keep the books, and my business school marketing classes have taught me how to market domestically and internationally. You can have a passion like I do for fashion, but you also have to understand the business.” Lopez continues to be inspired by fashion icon, Ralph Lauren, and one day hopes to design a line that will be featured in the Olympic games, like Lauren achieved this past summer.

His family immigrated from Sinaloa, Mexico to Spokane, Washington with his father earning just $2 per hour. “Our family is the American dream in my opinion,” says Lopez. “We could’ve left but my Dad said ‘just keep going, it’s ok. Because of my parents, I have the opportunity now, and like my Dad, I just keep going.”

Lopez is one of many successful Woodbury School of Business student entrepreneurs pursuing his passion. Currently, Lopez’ ties are sold in 11 stores nationwide (and growing), available through his website and Deseret Book. Eventually, he hopes to create ties for each state in the union, and in as many companies as possible. He’s also in the process of creating a product for women. “I’m hopefully inspiring people, one necktie at a time.”

For more information on Lopez’ handmade neckties visit www.thetownandco.com. For more information on UVU Woodbury School of Business visit www.uvu.edu/woodbury.

 

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