By Michael Chisholm
“If you have an idea and you find your passion in it, don’t wait for tomorrow, said David Bachman, founder of Neck Candy Tie Company. “Do it today and fulfill your fantasy.”
Before his passing in 2012, Bachman’s grandfather, Donald, bequeathed him a collection of his ties. Honoring his grandfather’s memory and style, Bachman wore a 1975 Johnny Carson necktie out one evening and received a multitude of compliments on his “neck candy.”
He then went out one Saturday and bought several hundred dollars’ worth of fabric and materials. After six hours of work, the “Orange Crush Candy Tie” was born out of an elegant paisley cotton fabric. In the heart of his Atlanta home, David Bachman founded the online store, Neck Candy Tie Company, in 2014 after obtaining his business license.
Bachman, 26, noticed the lack of options and vibrant accessories for gay and straight men in major stores. He believes as a gay man he possesses an overall enhanced eye for fashion that “allows me to pay more attention to even the smallest details in the tie, from the fabric to the design.”
He said he stands by his craft despite the hate that still exists in the South. “My ties are like the men I make them for,” said Bachman. “Gay men like to stand out and be seen. We go against the flow.”
Proud of his business and patrons in the gay community of Atlanta, Bachman said he wants to see them grow along with his company by expanding and employing like-minded people who have a desire to promote equality and individuality.
Bachman said he prefers the classical necktie over a bowtie. He employs a “wear before sell” mentality when picking designs, meaning customers only wear ties that he has worn and observed how sweet onlookers found it.
Neck Candy Tie products are all hand-sewn and can be embroidered as birthday and wedding gifts for groomsmen. Bachman primarily utilizes cotton fabric for his designs. Paisley remains popular, but along with it are designs featuring college and professional football teams, superheroes and patriotic imagery. He even designed a special rainbow tie in honor of Pride Atlanta.
Bachman’s ties have caught candy craving eyes all over Atlanta, including Mayor Kasim Reed, to whom a tie was presented and dedicated to creating more awareness of breast cancer. Mayor Reed tweeted, “@neckcandyties Thanks for the terrific tie promoting #BreastCancerAwareness month & huge congrats on launching your new business in Atlanta.”
Bachman’s ties and passion for creation have given him strength to find his voice. When the Religious Liberty Bill, or the so-called “Refuse to Serve” bill, loomed over Georgia following the historical same-sex marriage ruling, Bachman spoke at the State Capitol opposition rally. As both a business owner and member of the LGBT community, he is able to project that voice.
Bachman has sold ties to customers from Cincinnati to New York City to Los Angeles. Beyond U.S. borders, he has had customers from as far away as the United Kingdom and Brazil. With such a spark in interest for his candy shop goodies, Bachman is hoping to incorporate a larger team to design and create more. Investors have approached Bachman in hopes of partnering, but he grown his company independently while surveying options with potential investors.
Until he breaks ground on a boutique, Bachman is stocked to the brim with an extensive selection of ties in his digital candy shop. They can be purchased at www.neckcandyties.com with many on display on Neck Candy Tie’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
Keep an eye out throughout the city; you may find a sweet treat sneaking into local stores this Christmas. Custom ties range from $39.95 to $46.95 with a minimum order of three ties per design, but you can purchase his “Complete Candy Stash,” nine beautiful handmade neckties, for $275. Ties from the candy shop ship within one to two business days while the customized ties take seven to 14 business days and can be requested through his website or Facebook.
“If you don’t like compliments and conversation, please do not wear my neckties,” said Bachman.