Main photo credit: Angelo Riley of His Images Ink
Dr. Alvin S. Perry is a charismatic serial entrepreneur on a mission to promote positive self-image and dressing for success through his latest business venture.
The self-confessed fashion geek first came up with the idea for PV Designs Inc. during his busy roster of speaking engagements, where he was well known for his ability to inspire others and his impeccable sense of personal style.
Marked by his signature accessory, the self-tied bow tie, Dr. Perry would often attend conventions clad in a traditional two-piece suit with his youngest child in tow. The father and son duo wore stylish matching bow ties, which made a lasting impression among fellow conference attendees.
This sparked the idea to create a boutique fashion brand that specializes in unisex neckwear and quality accessories, along with a premium reversible bow tie collection for the entire family. “The compliments provided the validation needed to move forward with a new venture,” says Perry.
Since his initial $250 investment, business has been booming, with over $25,000 in sales generated within the first year.
Much of the company’s success can be attributed to Perry’s business savvy and hustle mentality. He utilizes a rare combination of street smarts, academic excellence, proven success as a serial entrepreneur, and management experience climbing the corporate ladder at Fortune 500 companies.
“The first seven bow tie sets were sold for $100 each to guys that were in my network who loved bow ties,” says Perry, who sold select samples to test the market as he finished off his doctorate degree in entrepreneurship from Walden University.
After working hard to source a manufacturer, PV Designs’ [which started out as PV Neckwear/ P5 Neckwear] first major client was Fort Valley State University. The HBCU spent a large sum of money on four custom-designed bow ties. Ever since then Perry has been working hard shipping his products across the country and the globe.
The designer fashion label, which really kicked off in 2013, is already starting to gain brand recognition among influencers and media personalities.
“I love the color and pattern selections that PV Neckwear has to offer,” says Shannon LaNier, national TV correspondent for Black Enterprise Business Report and host of the daily international TV show Arise Entertainment 360. “However my favorite thing about their website is their tutorials on how to tie a bow tie.”
The grassroots metropolitan Atlanta-based startup has two distinct arms. The business provides designer bow ties, neckties, pocket squares, ascots, neckerchiefs, unisex scarves, and cufflinks, which all display the stylish PV logo. They also allow customers to create custom-designed branded bowties, neckties, and infinity scarves using any logo or color scheme that you can think of bringing to life.
Most sales come from custom-branded designs, where elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, for-profit, and non-profit organizations buy bulk product at a $500 minimum order. This side of the business is ran by the Bow-Tie It Up™ brand, which focuses on branding, character building, and fundraising initiatives. This aligns with Perry’s passion to motivate others, especially teenage boys and young men, to dress for success to boost self-confidence.
“The Bow-Tie It Up™ brand is what I’m using as my philanthropic give-back and I’ve decided to take much less margin on these products because I really want to put these products on our young people. I really want elementary, middle school, high school, and college young people learning how to dress, wearing a bow tie and understanding that the way you look is really going to impact the way people are addressing you.”
Nina Hemphill Reeder, senior editor at Upscale Magazine agrees with Perry that appearance matters and often dictates how others treat you.
“Without uttering as much as one word, your style can communicate your tastes and interests,” says Hemphill Reeder. “Style choices seemingly as negligible as your pocket square color, can say you pay attention to details. If you want to reflect an image of competence, then dress how you want to be perceived.”
“In my line of work, maintaining a professional image and a positive attitude is critical to success,” says James Bronner, who heads up the Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show in Atlanta. “We should all encourage our young people to be their best both inside and out.”
Perry says he is motivated by his wife and three children and making a difference. “I want people to feel good about how they look,” he says. “I want to provide them with either customized products for their organizations or just personal products from the P5 side that make you feel good. I want to be in support of making you feel good because you look good.”
PV Neckwear is synonymous with Perry’s obvious devotion to his family. The “PV” logo is composed of “P” for Perry and the Roman numeral five, which symbolizes the five members of his close-knit nuclear family. “Family is very important to me and I have a burning desire to provide a financial legacy for my children,” he says.
Perry has an unshakable vision. His ultimate goal is for the PV designs collection to be featured on the runway shows of Milan, London, New York, and Paris Fashion Week. With his creative flair and superior business acumen, that shouldn’t take too long.
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Watch Dr. Perry’s cute 9-year-old son Coleman A. Perry teach a group of boys how to tie a bow tie!
Check out more of Dr. Perry’s collection here: