Talbot clothes and accessories are sold at upscale department stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, though some of their exclusive neckties are nearly impossible to come by.
Robert Talbot was born and raised in Grenfell, Iowa, in 1905. He went to Grenfell College and later earned a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1931. After working a number of jobs, he finally settled in New York City in 1939 and took a position at a top life insurance company. During World War II Talbot met and married Audrey Sharpe, a woman he had met through the passing of a friend.
At that time it seemed as if Robert Talbot’s life was on a straight trajectory. He had married a woman he deeply loved and they subsequently began to raise a family in Connecticut. He also had a stable job that allowed the family to live an upper middle class life in the idyllic suburbs of central Connecticut. In time Robert would become and executive vice-president and was marked for greater things.
Meanwhile, his wife, Audrey stayed at home and raised the children. She had only one hobby and that was creating silk neckties for her husband and his friends. But their seemingly perfect life was dealt a savage blow when the couple’s three-year-old daughter, Heather, died of a brain tumor. The family was so devastated that Robert promptly quit his job and moved his family to the other side of the nation, California.
Turning a Hobby into a Business
It was then that the family decided to start their own business and Audrey’s little hobby soon became a full time job. Due to the high-quality fabric and the labor-intensive process, the Talbots knew that they could sell their products only to men with deep pockets, so they targeted this niche market. For years Robert Talbott packed the family car with his wife’s unique creations and traveled up and down the California coast selling her handmade wares to haberdashery shops. In time, the demand for Talbott ties grew so great that they were able to open their very own store.
In 1953 the couple opened a store in Carmel, California. At that time they sold only hand-made silk ties and bowties. The couple barely stayed afloat for the first few years but still managed to open a second store in 1960. Then a few years after that men’s fashion changed and people were suddenly willing to pay a premium for quality ties. Designers like Ralph Lauren and Christian Dior had ushered in a new age and the Talbots quickly reaped the benefits.
Today the company has annual sales of over fifty million dollars and they sell to some of the most exclusive retailers in the nation. They have also expanded their product line to include both men’s and women’s shirts and accessories. Although, their silk ties on which the company’s reputation was built are still hand-made and highly sought after.
Ties are separated by era (1920’s through today’s), by style (wide, extra long, square end, knit, silk) and by pattern.
The site carries every novelty theme imaginable, including hard to find vintage unique novelty ties.
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