Power Tie: Biden Sports a Vermont-Made Necktie at White House Press Event | Business | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Power Tie: Biden Sports a Vermont-Made Necktie at White House Press Event

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Published October 30, 2023 at 2:19 p.m.


President Joe Biden sporting a Beau Ties necktie at a White House press conference on October 23, 2023. - SCREEN CAPTURE FROM C-SPAN VIDEO
  • Screen capture from C-SPAN video
  • President Joe Biden sporting a Beau Ties necktie at a White House press conference on October 23, 2023.
For Greg Shugar, it was a surreal moment: While watching a live White House press conference on October 23, the owner and CEO of Beau Ties of Vermont noticed that, amid the discussion of the U.S. economy and the war in Gaza, President Joe Biden was sporting a very familiar-looking necktie. That's because Shugar's company made it.

"Oh, there it is!" Shugar recalled thinking. There was no advance warning from the White House communication office or heads up from the Biden reelection campaign. Just that weird sensation when you turn on the TV and see one of the world's most powerful men wearing something you made.

“It’s one of those moments where you say, ‘How cool is that?’" Shugar added.



Actually, it shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise. Not long after he bought the domestic tie manufacturer in April 2019, Shugar got a phone call from the CEO of the Beau Biden Foundation. Founded in June 2015 in memory of Joe Biden's older son, who'd died a month earlier of cancer, the nonprofit group supports programs that fight child and domestic abuse.

As part of its fundraising activities, the Beau Biden Foundation sells products through its online store, which offers two different ties that were designed and manufactured by Beau Ties in Middlebury. The silk one that Biden wore last week at the White House presser features the Beau Biden Foundation logo, with red and white stripes on a navy blue background. It sells for $55.

One of two Beau Biden Foundation neckties - PHOTO COURTESY BEAU TIES OF VERMONT ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Photo courtesy Beau Ties of Vermont ©️ Seven Days
  • One of two Beau Biden Foundation neckties
This wasn't the first time that Beau Ties of Vermont has been front and center on famous and powerful people.

As Seven Days reported in a March 2019 story, since the company's founding in 1993, its ties have been worn by late popcorn magnate Orville Redenbacher, science educator Bill Nye "the Science Guy," retired "CBS News Sunday Morning" host Charles Osgood and former president Barack Obama. Vermont's former U.S. senator Patrick Leahy sported several Beau Ties cravats over the years and, as Shugar noted, was also seen wearing a Beau Ties-made COVID-19 mask during the second impeachment hearings of then-president Donald Trump.

Although the Beau Biden Foundation incorrectly identifies the Middlebury company as "Beau's Ties of Vermont," Shugar seemed satisfied that one of his products was worn by a politician he likes.

"We think it's a classy-looking tie, and we love it," he added. "It doesn’t necessarily make us any more money. It’s just a proud moment.”

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