Author Archives: Eric Stefenson
Good Morning! This is Steve Mayer, the guy behind the Bird Dog Bay brand. Frequently, the question I’m asked to field most when chatting with fans is “What’s your inspiration for your designs?” After years of our marketing manager hammering me to write a weekly blog describing my illustrations and the stories behind them, I’m now waving my white flag. Every week, I’ll provide fans with a bit of a glimpse into the hundred or so designs I create each year. I’m known among friends to be a bit of an embellished story teller, so bear with me: short and sweet is not the Mayer way! Anyway, I hope you find it interesting as the rest of my team thinks you will enjoy it…
BIRDS & THE BEES
Design #285 – portfolio entry #2
When launching Bird Dog Bay, I drew a similar design in my very first collection called “The Birds and the Bees.” It was one of my better executed designs in the line: small images arranged in a step and repeat pattern that paired well visually for a fun, whimsical image. At the time, a few publications featured it as a clever Valentine’s Day gift, though that wasn’t my intention. When that happened, however, I realized I needed to work to expand my portfolio to appeal to a wider range. Essentially, I didn’t want new or hopeful fans to pigeonhole the brand as “the company that makes ‘x’ ties.” All my designs those first few years were carefully plotted; nowadays, I can draw Santa blasting ducks in his powerboat, but in the beginning I made a concentrated effort to throw the biggest visual net I could when I put pencil to paper.
As I began work on Spring 2015’s current collection, I came across my initial ballpoint sketch in my design file. Composed on a cocktail napkin from The Red Lion Bar & Grill in Vail, CO, I had to have been sitting at the bar in the late-90’s, trying to impress some young gal with my illustration skills as I waited for Phil Long’s famous late night cover set. Obviously, I failed to woo, considering I’m still sitting on the evidence, and I’m sure my friends took the mick out of me and my terrible closing game. On the flip side, however, my lousy pick-up evolves into a creative win for Bird Dog Bay. Glass half full?
Steve has been turning out design after design trying to make this Spring Collection our best yet! Here is a little giveaway of what to expect! If you happen to be in Dallas, NYC, or CLT stop on by the show to see the collection in person! We love meeting our fans! New hunting ties, fishing ties, and even cotton boll ties, as well as my personal favorite… new Derby horse racing tie designs! All to match our new dress shirts too!
Thank you to all our friends for making 2014 such a wonderful year for Bird Dog Bay! Now lets make sure 2015 is even better. We have an exciting Spring Collection with more to offer than ever before! More ties designed including some linen and woven silk ties designed by Steve, as well as more Dress Shirts to accompany our whimsy ties. We are excited to see what this year brings! Happy New Year!
Sandy Paws Gus sure is excited for 2015! Email us photos of yourself and others donning your favorite BDB apparel and we will feature you in our blog and social media outlets!
Christmas Day is this week. Here at Bird Dog Bay, we have done all we can to make the Holidays happen! From countless hours promoting the brand through events, tradeshows, social media, and our website, the big day is just about here. Our products really reflect the spirit of giving. Steve works so dilligently on illustrating and selecting the ties for our fans. In A way Steve is Santa Claus, working year round, even harder during the holidays, just to give his gift (our products) to people all over the world. I guess, us helpers at Bird Dog Bay act as the elves, packing and shipping, answering the phones, and doing whatever Santa asks of us. Hopefully everybody has a safe and joyful holiday season, and we are glad if we were able to add to the joy and happiness through our products. Thank you for your purchases this year, and we are excited to see what good the new year brings!
Happy Holidays from Bird Dog Bay
Fun socks are in style… From teenage boys wearing bright and whimsical patterns under their vans with shorts, to businessmen rocking bright colored stripes under loafers with dress slacks. From sea to shining se, the hot item for men is socks… Businessmen can wear them because the add a little pizzaz to their otherwise normal blue and grey suits… Kids like them becuase, well they are fun.
Bird Dog Bay has your feet covered… Literally! From argyle socks, to stripe socks, and polka dots socks too… We have all the classics funky socks covered. With several bright sock colors and designs to choose from picking a pair out is almost as much fun as wearing them!
On top of that we have our design Steve drew which are vastly popular. Some of the most poular designs are the Americas, the fox sox, and the sail aways…
We have gift sets for socks as well as a sock of the month club to make gift giving even easier and more fun.
It is that time of year. Everyone here at Bird Dog Bay is running one hundred miles per hour. It is madness, and it is fun. Bird Dog Bay really has a large assortment of whimsical gifts for men this holiday season, and it shows in how busy we are. I hear women saying all the time how hard it is to buy something for their husband… but then they stumble upon our unique men;s gifts and suddenly realize we have something that they know their husband would love… These moments make up the holidays here at Bird Dog Bay. Our ties, socks, shirts, and boxers are all fantastic stocking stuffers, and we have themes for everyone.
Take a look at our holiday collection, to put you in the spirit…if you know a grinch then take a look at the rest of our collection… Tis the season for giving, and Bird Dog Bay is here to make giving a little easier…
If you cant decide, check out our gift certificates… Let them pick it out themselves…
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping from Bird Dog Bay
Fly fishing is an american pastime. The sport conjures up images of men in the streams and ponds across our great country… From the Snake River nestled alongside the Grnad Teton Mountains to the swamp waters of lake Okochoebee, flyfishing is a terapeutical and beautiful game between man and fish…
Steve has found a way to incorporate this beloved sport into many of our favorite ties and accessories. Hooked on Flies is a beautiful step and repeat fly fishing tie that has fly seemingly dancing across the tie in the manner they do on water… The colors also resonate well with the bright colors of the line and fish of the sport…
Two other fly fishing ties that are oldies but goodies are dry fly dreams and catch and release. Both complimeneting the best selling hooked on flies. Both of these ties, found in lime and magenta seems to draw on the colors of a rainbow tout, every fly fisherman’s favorite catch.
Furthermore, the cown jewel of all of Bird Dog Bay;s fly fishing giifts and accessories is our hand made fly links. These are sure to add that extra zing to any sportman’s outfit… Coming in various colors and designs you are sure to quite the catch next time to put them on.
The skull and bones symbol has been used for centuries. From medieval and prehistoric times, to today it usually conjures up a symbol of death or danger. It is seen everywhere from toxic waste containers, military uniforms, cemetaries, and even bird dog bay neckties. Our use of the skull and crossbones is probably most closely ‘tied’ to the use of the symbol in fraternities, societies, and clubs. Steve really took his necktie designs to the next level when he made the skull and cross clubs tie for this Fall’s collection. Complete with a skull on a classic pendant club crest, the bones underneath the skull head have been replaced with a crossed pair of golf irons, and a small golf ball rests on the skull’s head. It is a fun commentary on country clubs, the skull and bones symbol, and the sport of golf. In a way, it is a skull and bones tie, golf tie, and traditional club tie all in one. It is also just a well spaced statement tie to complement any navy blazer or sport coat.
Enjoy all of our skull and club ties here!
Along with the skull and cross clubs tie, we also offer the “Jolly Roger” skull and bones necktie and bow tie. The Jolly Roger offers up a more nautical vibe rather than the club and society feel of skull and cross clubs. However, it still conjures up an image of allure, secrecy and curiosity to your outfit. Yo ho ho!
Enjoy all our Jolly Roger ties here!
Both ties incorporate the skull and bones symbol in a fun, preppy, and a colorful manner.
Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year… Here at Bird Dog Bay, it is of course even crazier than usual. Despite having almost every conceivable dog tie, hunting tie, fishing, tie and so on… this time of the year we still wish we could have every tie for every person from crabs playing football ties to baseball players drinking beer ties, to dodo birds on yachts ties… but eventually the requests get to obscure… That did not stop Steve from drawing Santa Claus duck hunting… (My favorite tie of the holiday season collection)
This year we are calling black friday, “black lab friday” at bird dog bay in honor of one of Steve’s most popular tie designs…
Do you have a black lab or know someone who loves them? We have you covered. Black Lab Heaven is one of our most popular designs…We have them in several colors, even black lab socks! Shoot, I almost forgot, Steve drew Black lab boxer shorts as well… Despite having been through a couple holiday shopping season, We still find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume and anticipation during “the most wonderful time of the year.” When you are a small, humble company like Bird Dog Bay, all you can do is stay true to who you are and do your best to give the fans of Bird Dog Bay what they want!
Despite being consumed by piles of receipts, web folders of emails, and phone calls every 2 minutes, We manage to stay the course and package each tie and dress shirt in the same particular manner. Every tie folded mechanically into its individual gift box, every shirt package wrapped with care. Everyone that is a part of our small team is all hands on deck…well except for Gus the dog… He has managed to be even more lethargic and unhelpful this year. Anyway, Happy Black Friday and holiday shopping, always remember birddogbay.com is your destination to keep men looking “best in Show” this holiday season! We are here for you, no matter how cold it is in Chicago, or how crazy it is at the studio!
Owls seem to be such an overlooked and beautiful part of the animal world. With their large talons, bountiful coats, and ominous eyes, Owls have a strong and charismatically unique physical character. Steve, is a self proclaimed animal lover, that should be pretty apparent after gazing over our collection of mens neckwear. We have gorilla ties, elephant ties, gator ties, lobster ties, horse ties, a couple dogs ties, and now we have added an owl tie to our extensive collection. The wise bird of prey is a symbol of mystery and of wealth and knowledge, all compelling traits.
The design Steve drew showcases the wise owl in flight after capturing a mouse, It is playful, saturnine, and interesting just like the bird itself. It comes in lime green (a great accent against a fall sport coat, as well as a classic french blue. Steve also made the design in a rich navy blue for all the Rice Owl alumni and friends around the country. Overall, Hooter Hunt provides folks with a fun tie that is wise anytime of the year.
Thanksgiving is appraoching quickley. The great American holiday of family and friends, feasting on food, as well as football and napping. It is my personal favorite holiday. So often shadowed by Christmas, Thanksgiving offers us the chance to reflect and come together. To me, thats what a holiday is all about. Every Christmas, people don their tartan plaid jacket or holiday themed necktie for the Christmas Day party. Yet, why can’t Thanksgiving have some love in the holiday style department. Here at Bird Dog Bay, Steve drew up a classic tie, Turkey Trot for all those fans of the late autumnal feast. The tie has turkeys in their vibrant autumnal feathers juxtaposed to their family members (other turkeys) who are not so fortunate (feathers have been plucked) It is a hilarious nod to the great American holiday as well ass a fantastic addition to an outfit anytime of the year. It comes in blue, red, and orange… Pair it with our Turkey socks to be better ‘dressed’ than the turkey this November.