We had the good fortune of connecting with Billie “Bowtie” King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi “Bowtie”, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I study a lot. If there is any topic that I am either interested in or feel that I require, I study it. This habit keeps me moving forward consistently.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I own Bow Tie Cigar Company, a boutique cigar brand, located in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. My brand is set apart from others because not only are the cigars really great, but I differentiate myself with the details in my 5-cigar package. It is unlike any other in the cigar industry, period. This makes my business model unique from others within this industry.
My business was formed in 2006. However, there have been a multitude of ups and down. This past December 2020 saw the launch of my new website. It is truly my hopes that I never have to turn my site off again. The business has been a part time venture since its inception. Singular focus on bringing the vision in my head in focus, remains the driving force for me. This includes creating a tangible legacy for my sons. None of this has been easy! I love the journey though. I LOVE DEVELOPING MY BRAND!!! It give me an extraordinary sense of pleasure.
Challenges are just problems. I overcome them with study, implementation and a lot of prayer.
The greatest lesson I have learned is that building a brand is very lonely. No one else can see what you see, the way you see it. Many will not understand either. It is okay though. Choose to embrace it. I know more about myself in doing this, that I ever knew before. It makes you tough, in a very different kind of way.
I want to the world to know that my brand, Bow Tie Cigars is the go to company for the ultimate 5-pack cigar configuration. Other brands may be larger and more popular than mine. But none are better at the lane than Bowtie is.
My story is relatively simple. There are no cigar factories or tobacco plantations in North Chicago, IL., where I was born and raised. As far as I know, no one else in the history of my city has ever owned a cigar brand. I am the first and only. For me, this means it is paramount that I succeed, because it will show every other child from my suburb that you can truly do whatever you want to, even if there is no roadmap to get there.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
City: St. Louis and the Metro-East Illinois areas:
Coffee: Shaw’s – Coffee Roastery and Cafe.
Food – Dinner: I would take them for Italian food at Lorenzo’s Trattoria.
Cigars – Cigar Inn and Jazz Club or Montrey’s or Smoke and Sip
Nightlife – All along Washington Avenue, downtown St. Louis.
Sports – Ballpark Village – Home of the St. Louis Cardinals
Private training – ATT Evolution – Workout facility owned by World Champion Tyron Woodley.
Relaxation – Spa at the Four Seasons. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout is dedicated to my wife Barbara and two sons, Airius and Marcus. My hometown of North Chicago, IL., deserves some recognition too. That place inspires the why, in some aspects of my decision.
Photographers credits include: 1) Bowtie 2) Fred Finch 3) Martin Torres