Spotlight: 10 Questions with Bowtie Collector & Bailey Nelson Country Manager JC

Spotlight is a segment that shines a light on local Kiwi guys doing cool things, chasing down their dreams and owning life. Every spotlight will feature 10 questions to uncover a little about who these guys are and of course a bit about their style. 

I had the pleasure of meeting JC through my relationship with handcrafted frame maker Bailey Nelson over the past couple of months and I've got to say I've been nothing short of impressed. He's a passionate guy, who puts all his energy and enthusiasm into his work and it's infectious. He's the kind of guy you instantly get along with and you forget the fact you may have only known each other for a matter of minutes. 

JC has been a part of the Bailey Nelson story very early on, from its humble beginnings selling frames at a Sydney stall to now rolling out across New Zealand and just recently the call up to launch in London town. JC hails from the USA, met his wife in Australia, has been living in Christchurch and is packing his bags to try being a Brit. It's a whirlwind adventure and he's loving every moment of it and when you get to know him, it's not all surprising as good things happen to those who do good. 

Here's 10 questions with JC, from Bailey Nelson. 


1. You’re a Californian, living in Christchurch and now about to move your life to London. How did this all happen and when did you start working for Bailey Nelson?

My journey with Bailey Nelson started at the William Street Festival in Sydney, where I travelled with the intention of enjoying the festival with my good mate, and ended up assisting with the BN stall. I immediately fell in love with the product and concept of BN. Affordable and stylish eyewear with a fun and easy buying experience. It was a great fit and after some volunteer work, I successfully convinced the founders to open their first store in Melbourne and allow me to run it in Dec. 2012. It's been an exciting adventure since, with the opportunity to repeat the process of opening new stores and spreading the fantastic brand in a new territory in NZ and now, again in London. I feel very fortunate and lucky to love what I do and I always have fun at work with a great team and great people in the local communities to work with, like yourself. 

2. What drew you to work and stay at BN for 5 years?

The culture of BN and the people. I am able to work with a team of passionate, genuine and fun people across all the stores and teams. Everyday is different in our stores, as we have new customers with different optical needs and fashion styles. Styling customers and helping them find their next new look is one of my favourite parts of my job. 

3. Where do you draw most of your personal fashion inspiration from?

Working in retail always has me around great shopping locations. I enjoy the styled looks in windows and exploring new looks in stores. Instagram is also a place to get some good ideas, like layering and combining different patterns in cool new ways. 

4. Wearing bow ties is your signature look. How did this start and where do you source these from?

The Bow Tie is my calling card now and started at the first Melbourne Market after wearing and tieing my first bow tie at Derby Day during Melbourne Cup Week. I loved the look and the differentiation from a standard tie. The bow ties were a hit at the market, and became part of my look at the first Melbourne store. The look stuck with me and I love the uniqueness. I source them from all over the place, and will look for new ones on any travels I take. I often seem to attract bow ties as gifts. 

5. How many bow ties do you have?

Haven't counted in some time, but I would say close to 30. All self-tie, as do not believe any discerning gentleman should wear a clip on tie of any sorts!

6. What’s one app all guys should have on their phone?

Goodreads and Monocle 24. I am an avid reader and enjoy the personal and professional growth through books and podcasts. 

7. Who’ve you just recently started following on Instagram?

Benny's Barber Shop in Christchurch. We have recently just started working with Ben and I am excited for what he is up to with his business. His vision for what a barber shop can be is next level with exciting ideas to come in the next couple months. His crew are great and a clean cut is important for the overall look of any outfit. 

8. What are three of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new pair of frames or spectacles? 

Face shape, personal style, and frame fit. Getting a frame that sits well and is proportionate to your face is most important. Spectacles and sunnies can say a lot about your personality, fashion style and should make you feel comfortable and confident. 

9. What’s next for Bailey Nelson, they’ve had a pretty rapid expansion rollout across Australia and NZ.

The next few years will be exciting with continued expansion across Aus, NZ, Canada and the UK. We want to provide wonderful experiences in store with incredible new frames being released every month. 

10. What’s your go-to look over Winter?

Layers! Brogue boots, chinos, collared shirt, bow tie and cardigan with scarf and coat. Layers add texture and depth to outfits that cannot be done in the warmer seasons. And of course some sweet Bailey Nelson Specs, with the Parker and Joyce as my go-to shapes.