At Seattle Refined, we are pawsitively smitten with our furry friends! From Potato the teeny tiny kitten to Rumple the roof-sitting dog - we love sharing stories about our favorite four-legged pals and their people. That's why when we heard about Amber and Tom Meyer and their bow tie biz, it set our tails wagging! The creative couple designs and sews bespoke bow ties for people and pets through their business Ugly Yellow House, based out of West Seattle. Not only do they create wonderful products, they are also committed to helping the community.
Seattle Refined: Amber Meyer, you and your husband Tom own Ugly Yellow House. You have an awesome business creating bow ties for fashionable humans and very dapper dogs. So how did this start?
Amber Meyer: Tom and I really wanted to own our own business. I had a friend from college who was getting married and she wanted to wear a bow tie for her wedding. And so she asked me if I would make it. And one of the things we found is there’s not a lot of bespoke bow ties especially in Seattle. And so we just started researching and broke into the bow tie game. I was trying to figure out what we would do with this remaining fabric. It was just sort of this natural move to dog bow ties cause there’s really nothing much cuter than a dog bow tie. It just sort of spun out from there.
I just think it’s so charming.
If I had to pick a word for it, I’d say sophisticated humor. It’s handmade, it’s high quality and it’s at a really affordable price point. It’s a bow tie that your bow tie connoisseur could wear or your novice would wanna wear. So I think that’s kind of the fun part of it.
I think you guys are bringing the bowtie back to the forefront! Who are your customers?
I would say everyone from human to canine to feline.
What is it about seeing a dog or a cat in a bow tie that is just so hilarious?
You just can’t help but smile. We try to match what we’re doing with humans with our pet bow ties.
I was hoping you could show us some of faves for humans and also pets.
We have some of our classic floral prints, your classic Seattle Buffalo plaid, a good fall gingham. This is a great matching dog bow tie. We try to follow trends of fall but we have a little bit of whimsy, a little bit of fun coming with it. Especially on the dog bow ties. So we’ve got the fun Halloween one, this amazing sort of 70’s print, 'The Owls.'
You guys do a lot of other things, including face masks.
When you look at something like this pandemic you don’t know what to do, you don’t know how to help. But you know that you just can’t sit back. We wanted to start just giving away masks to everyone and anyone who needed them. Our front line workers, our essential workers our business owners our restaurants - everyone who was doing their very best to take care of us - we wanted to take care of them. It was amazing. The amount of people who were willing to help but who also needed help.
How many masks do you estimate your guys donated in the first three months of the pandemic?
Just over 400. Once the shortage was done, we knew it would be OK to venture into selling these.
Your masks are very fashionable.
I think this is one of my favorites - a little Golden Girls. Tom is a jean dork so he put one together out of this amazing up-cycled chambray.
(Amber shows their new Fringe Face Mask)
Oh it’s so cute it’s so cute it brings so much to any outfit!
It does it does. So that goes around the head and rests on the head. We have a toggle that way you can tighten it. I think honestly the best part is the hands free.
You know what else I love about these is that everybody looks good in the mask right?
Absolutely it’s awesome.
The name of your company - Ugly Yellow House? You’re in West Seattle there’s got to be a story behind the name!
We moved up and fell in love with West Seattle. We’re able to find a house and it’s an ugly yellow, and we make everything in our ugly yellow house!
What do you love about what you’re doing there?
If we can make someone feel happy or confident in whatever decision they’ve made of our products to wear - it feels really good.