Fellow Ole Miss alumni and admissions counselors Steven Nelson and Jason Welch are very passionate about two things: Southern fashion and higher education. The two entrepreneurs found a way to combine them in an online store called The Good South.
They believe their efforts honor Southern culture and give back to future generations who hail from Dixie.
“Bow ties are quintessential to Southern style,” Welch said. “We pride ourselves in the simplicity of our brand and aim to represent the Southern lifestyle.”
The Good South specializes in wardrobe staples for any Southern gentleman: bow ties, t-shirts and caps. The Good South’s bow ties are all hand sewn, button adjustable and made in the South. The buttons allow for a unique feature and endless fashion options. Purchasing two bow ties from The Good South allows the stylish dresser to mix and match four distinct looks.
The Good South website is full of information for the beginner bow tie wearer to experts in Southern threads. There is information on how to tie a bow tie and how to best mix and match different styles. A style guide will be launched soon.
Attention to detail was top priority for Nelson and Welch in the two years leading up to the launch of The Good South on Nov. 21. Each order placed is shipped within three days, and includes a handwritten note. The package arrives in a brown paper bag, just like the ones found at retail stores.
While the best part may seem to be the mix of trendy and classic patterns, colors, and mix-match possibilities — the real payoff is where a portion of the company proceeds end up.
“The Good South Scholarship Fund stemmed from our personal experiences as University admissions counselors,” Welch said. “After meeting high school students from across the South, we saw a real need for financial help with college tuition and costs.”
Nelson and Welch noticed the majority of families with college-bound kids can’t afford the entire cost of tuition, books, room and board, meal plans, and more. The natty duo spent the next two years finding a way to help the students they encounter every day.
“We love all aspects of the Southern lifestyle and we hope to create opportunities for college-bound students through The Good South,” Nelson said. “Our first scholarship application will be available this spring. We are looking for well-rounded applicants who not only excel in their studies, but are also leaders and committed to serving their community.”
Each spring, The Good South will pick students who exemplify the lifestyle of Southern graciousness — as a student and citizen.
“We are overwhelmed by the support,” Welch said. “Ties are going out the door everyday.”
While The Good South products are only sold online right now, Welch and Nelson hope to move into retail stores across the South soon.
– Kate Sinervo, Managing Editor, HottyToddy.com