Category Archives: What I love

Add some fiber…Microfiber!

If life hates you like it hates me, then you were also born needing glasses. All the beautiful people skipping about without things sliding down their nose…all the rich folks using futuristic lasers to fit in with the beautiful…and the rest of us stuck being four eyes. But companies like Warby Parker have turned the tables and made us the belle of the ball. And Waltmanco is providing the perfect accessory! They’re even offering you a discount on their amazing ties. So take a minute and check out my interview with the man who married function and style to bring something new and beautiful to the tie game.

close up microfiber tie  

So I ask this of everyone, where did the name WaltmanCo come from?

The simple answer is that my last name is Waltman. But the story behind is that it started out as Tommies Ties because I started it with my cousin Tom. Then we got a letter from Tommy Hilfiger’s attorney asking us to change the name. So, we did.

Your ties are unique, they contain a microfiber cloth on the back. So, where were you when you came up with that idea?

The idea came up a few years ago while on vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho with several of my cousins. We wanted to try something new, and this seemed like a simple enough idea to do.

You launched through Kickstarter, tell us about that experience.

That was the very start of it all, and we weren’t sure how committed we would be to the idea. In hindsight, we should have spent a lot more time preparing for the Kickstarter campaign than we did. For the amount of time we put into it, though, it went very well, and we received good exposure.

waltmanco ensemble

So you’re a genius, as far as I’m concerned, do you agree with my assessment?

I wish I could agree, but I’m afraid it’s just not true.  Actually, I do think the idea for the ties with microfiber lining was genius, but that came from my cousin!

Your ties aren’t just functional; they’re also quite fashionable. So, were you a fashion guy from the start or more of a technical guy?

I’m definitely not a fashionable guy, so it’s a good thing I’ve partnered with my sister Katie. She’s a jewelry designer, and has an amazing eye for fashion. She has more of an influence on the designs than I do.


You are a family business, so who’s in charge of naming the ties?

This has been a team effort. We don’t really do a lot of research or anything. We pick up the tie and blurt out the first thing that comes to mind and see what sticks.

One of your ties is named Mugatu. Is that from where I think it’s from?

Yes! I had already come up with a different name for that tie, but my younger brother made a special request to name it Mugatu. It’s turned out to be one of our most popular designs.

Will you ever make the move to microfiber pocket squares or do you think you’ll just stick with ties?

Our concept is making ordinary things more useful. We actually have ideas for several different “ordinary” products such as wallets that we’d like to improve on. Pocket squares would probably make a lot of sense.

waltmanco ties

And now Five Signature Questions with Christian:

Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?

I’m not sure if this fits the category, but I’ve always really liked King Kong and Godzilla. The recent movies of these are especially cool with the new CGI technologies!

Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?

In any normal situation, it would have to be Superman. Is there really any question?

Which Star Wars Character would you be?

Don’t know. Yoda had some awesome skill in the more recent ones. And he lived a long time. So maybe him.

What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?

Probably Reese’s Puffs.

Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?

Probably both, but usually in the hamper.

What is urple with purple?

Over the years men have embraced the color pink. And with very good reason, it’s an amazing color. It can add power to an otherwise bland outfit or it can be a soft, subtle compliment to a well curated combo. But not all colors are as highly revered. For instance, take the color purple. Not the Whoopi Goldberg movie…that color purple is awesome! Sistaaaa Rememba Ya Naaaaaamme!

Purple ties

Okay so not that purple, the actual purple. Unfortunately purple is often overlooked. Like pork, and I’m not talking about bacon or ribs, I’m talking about pork, the other white meat. You know it exists, but you’re usually like I think I’ll just have chicken or beef…keep that pork to yourself. But pork can be delicious! And purple can be fantastic.

Dapper in Purple - @theamateurprofessional
Dapper in Purple – @theamateurprofessional

Where purple gets a bad rap is in the way it’s often presented or showcased. A lot times, it’s shown in an obnoxious or abrasive manner, when in fact, it’s a marvelous color. Much like pink, it can strengthen or calm your attire. And much like pink, it’s available in a variety of amazing shades and hues.

Purple pocket squares

I urge you to give it a try, but be careful, because for men, purple is also like sesame oil. You only need a little…if you use too much then you get Chopped! And you’ll be all like, I think the judges made a mistake, I made an amazing dish, Scott and Amanda were way off….blah blah blah, wah wah wah. Yeah I know not everyone will get that reference, but it’s worth it for those of you that will.

Purple Ensemble

It’s All in the Dappertude

Do you remember when you were young and you would get in trouble for saying something, and you’d be like “what’d I say?” and some adult would fire back “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it!!!”

In those instances they were referring to your attitude, which in the moment elevated you from child to certified bad boy! And as we all know chicks dig bad boys.

Well that concept has somewhat translated to fashion by way of Johnny Li founder of the men’s wear brand Dappertude. Dapper style for men with a little attitude. In fact you could say: it’s not what you wear but how you wear it…sort of…well I guess in this case it IS about what you wear. Because Dappertude sells men’s accessories and they have some pretty great items…this line of thought is kind of unraveling…QUICK!!! CUT TO THE INTERVIEW! What do you mean I’m being mean? All I said was, cut to the interview. What do you mean it’s not WHAT I said?….Oh OH! I get it. Well played.

Dappertude Founder, Johnny Li

I always like to start with the name…so how did you come up with the name Dappertude?

 There isn’t much story behind how I thought of Dappertude, I wanted a unique name for my business which had the word Dapper in it and also meant something. After a while of brainstorming, I came to the conclusion of Dapper Attitude, motto: dress so that you have the Dapper Attitude. I noticed that it was a long name so I shortened it to DAPPERTUDE.

What inspired you to start up Dappertude?

It all started when I was working on Hong Kong, I was shopping on day discovered the so called pocket square, at first I didn’t wear it a lot but after getting compliments from friends and strangers, I started buying more and more. When I came back to Sydney I noticed that people were wearing suits without the pocket square and I even asked a stranger (who was looking really dapper) why he didn’t wear a pocket square, he just replied “ I don’t know where to get them from.” That’s when it hit me to start DAPPERTUDE. 

Just one of Dappertude’s amazing lapel pins. To see more head to

You’re based in Sydney, Australia, but you have quite a following in the US as well. What’s it like serving customers from all over the world?

It’s fantastic to see that the dapper style isn’t just 1 country’s style but a style that is universal.

Since you are based in Australia, perhaps you can settle an argument for me…who is more dreamy, Hugh Jackman or Chris Hemsworth…AHEM, I mean…who wins in a fight, Thor or Wolverine?

Definitely Thor will win with his crazy hammer and the more dreamy one would have to be Hugh.


Your product selection includes both lapel pins and pocket squares, what’s more popular with your customers right now?

To be honest, right now the popularity between the both is 50/50. Some people only like pocket squares while some people love the lapel pins.

For your limited edition pocket squares, you teamed up with The Bespoke Corner tailors, tell us about that collaboration.

 It just started off with a chat and then I blinked an eye and “hay its ready.” It was so quick but a great collaboration.

Dappertude has a sweet pocket square collection – including this bad boy.

Okay, if you can only wear one or the other, for the rest of your life, do you keep lapel pins or pocket squares?

I’m sorry lapel pins but the pocket squares has been beside me since the beginning, its time to part ways.

Your lapel pins are divided into the Monday, Friday and Sunday collections…so which one are you?

Like any other Aussie, I’m definitely a Friday person. J Fridays are the best days of the week!

What’s cuter, a baby Kangaroo or a baby Koala bear?

They are both cute, very cute.

Here are Johnny’s Dappertudists.

I love Crocodile Dundee!! I mean I LOVE that movie! Wally, Nugget and Donk! But how do the Australian people feel about Mick Dundee? Is he beloved like he is here? And when I say “here,” I am pointing to my heart.

I’m not sure about the rest of Australia but I certainly loved Dundee, its unfortunate that kids these days wouldn’t have a clue who he is… which is a shame because they won’t know that “The funnel web spider can kill a man in eight seconds, just by lookin’ at him.”

Is there anything you’re not currently selling that you would like to see Dappertude carry in the future?

There is a big list of things which I would love to see Dappertude carry in the future. Ranging from cravats and cufflinks to bespoke tailoring of suits, shirts and even shoes. Anything that will bring out the Dapper Attitude in a gentleman.

Johnny is so cool he even has monogrammed shirts! Look at that cuff!

And now Five Signature Questions with Christian:

Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?

Saitama from One Punch Man

Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?

Superman all the way… he’s like invincible….unless batman has kryptonite in his belt… then it’s Batman.

Which Star Wars Character would you be?

I would probably want to be R2-D2….*Big Grin*

What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?

Crunchy Nut!! I could eat this for breaky, lunch and dinner.

Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?

Definitely in the hamper, you can’t be dapper without clean clothes.

Dazi Does It!

Beautiful Ties at an Affordable price…that was Nate Ipsen’s dream. It’s quite different than my dream…which involves unicorns, lasers and the world’s greatest ninja. As you can imagine my dream has proved troublesome to bring into reality…But not Nate’s! He has realized his dream with his company Dazi pronounced {DAW-ZEE} – They make beautiful Neckties, Bowties and more. I had the opportunity to interview Nate, take a look:

So, you were once called Simply Skinny Ties, but you have recently changed your name to DAZI [daw-zee], why the name change? Also what does DAZI mean?
As the business has continued to grow, I decided it would be best to change the name of the company. I didn’t want to simply sell a product with a name on it. I have a strong desire to create a brand that people can be a part of, because our customers are what make our products so great. While brainstorming, we came across the word DASI which is Indonesian for “necktie”. We decided to switch the S to a Z to make it our own. DAZI [daw-zee]. You can read more about our name change here.
How did you decide on what the perfect tie width would be?
I didn’t want a tie that was so skinny it looked like a shoe lace or so fat that it looked like a bib. 2.5” seemed like the perfect skinny width to start at.
A lot of companies make ties, why go into such a competitive market for your first business venture?
I was personally frustrated at how hard it was to find a sharp looking skinny tie that was top-notch quality and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I thought to myself, “If I can design a tie that I love, there’s bound to be other people out there willing to buy it too if I can sell at a lower price point.” I started with only 3 designs and have slowly grown from there, thanks to our awesome customers!
You know sell some pretty great looking watches, what made you decide to add time pieces to the menu?
Thank you. I have been obsessed with watches my whole life and I’ve had a dream of designing and selling them since I was in high school. Part of the reason we changed our name was so that we could include other great products among ties, so this felt like a great time to introduce watches to the lineup!
What’s the coolest thing you’ve purchased since becoming a successful business owner?
When I was first starting up, someone gave me some wise advice and told me to not take any money out of the business if I don’t need it. I’ve funded the whole company myself so I think it’s important to flush earnings back into the company so I can continue to grow. I haven’t bought anything super cool yet, but I can say I’ve purchased more ties than I ever thought I would in a lifetime!
I’ve seen some skateboarding pictures on your Instagram feed. So who’s better, Tony Hawk or Christian Hosoi?
I’m going to have to go with Tony Hawk since he has a video game named after him and I’ve never heard of Christian Hosoi… but I don’t know much about skateboarding!
Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 1.59.41 PM
You’re 23; do you feel your age gives you an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to connecting your brand with consumers?
The majority of our customers are 18-30 years old. Being within that range myself I feel like I have an advantage because I have a lot of friends who have helped grow my customer base as they spread the word among their friends. Without my close friends, my company probably wouldn’t exist today.
Do you have a favorite tie?
The floral ties have really grown to be my favorite (pun intended haha) and I think the Navy Blue Floral tie is my all time favorite. It takes a bold person to pull off a tie like that! It’s hard to keep the floral ties in stock, they’ve definitely been some of our most popular.
There is an element of fun that’s clearly evident in your ties, Instagram feed and website – why is that important to you?
I think it’s important to show people that we’re a fun brand in hopes that they’ll want to be a part of it. You can’t sell a product if the brand behind it doesn’t have a personality.
What has been the hardest or most unexpected part about running DAZI?
Going along with my previous answer above, it’s a lot easier said than done when it comes to creating a lifestyle behind your brand and products. It involves a lot of photography which I know nothing about. However my good friend Keith takes killer photos and has saved the day on a number of occasions.
And now Five Signature Questions with Christian:
Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?
Batman. I’m jealous of his motorcycle.
Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?
Which Star Wars Character would you be?
Boba Fett. I’m better with a gun than a lightsaber.
What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?
I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s my weakness.
Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?
Hamper. I can’t stand a dirty room.
Use code Gasket at for 20% off all neckties!