Inside the Boise State University Venture College building in downtown Boise a pop-up of production has taken over a back corner.
Here Hassamudin Muhmand is the tailor for Bow Tie Hustle, a company created by Steve Silva, a Boise State University business grad student who doesn’t seem to believe in down time.
“Even though the classroom was great, I just wanted to challenge myself,” Steve says. “Why not just start something as far as an apparel company?”
He didn’t do it alone. Alongside is David McKinzie, former BSU football player, and Brock Rice, son of Bronco basketball head coach, Leon Rice. All three have strong bonds to BSU but each have an even stronger handle on hard work.
It’s a belief shared by Hassam. Growing up in Afghanistan, he worked part-time as a tailor for 10 years. But after spending time as a translator for the U.S. military, Hassam and his family found themselves in Boise in 2014.
A couple of failed jobs and Hassam decided he wanted to carve his own career. He met Steve at Venture College five months ago. It was connection of kismet. Hassam needed clients, and Steve needed a tailor.
“He’s been a blessing, to be honest,” says Steve.
And Hassam is hoping for more.
“Right now, I’m trying to create my own business,” Hassam explains. “And work as hard as I can to stand on my own feet.”
Steve knows what it takes to stand on your own. The son of Portuguese immigrants, he worked on the family cattle ranch into his early 30s.
“I didn’t see my dad leave in the morning and go off and work for somebody else,” Steve says. “I saw him get up and grind and work hard and build his own business.”
That’s what the Bow Tie Hustle boys are doing now, building partnerships with a companies like Reveal Suits out of Texas that gets them access to sports and collegiate logos and gets their ties into Treasure Valley stores like The Bronco Shop, squeezed in with the sweatshirts and sunglasses.
Steve says he didn’t necessarily set out to be a bow tie salesman.
“This is more of in line of like a side hustle,” he says.
A Bow Tie Hustle, actually, because even a blue collar could sometimes use some more color.
“Yeah, looking good is something,” Steve says. “But it takes a lot of work and grind to get to where you wanna get to.”
Because of school and work, Steve says he’s only able to devote about 20 hours a week to Bow Tie Hustle. Hassam, meanwhile, works sometimes 18 hours a day, sewing and as an Uber driver, with hopes of one day opening a bridal shop.
Bow Tie Hustle also gives back. For every tie purchased they will donate $1 to the Idaho Food Bank back pack program.
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