A male college student holds a neck tie.Elma Nfor has decided it’s time to live up to his reputation as the “tie guy.” A soccer player and Wingate junior who lived in Cameroon until he was 8 years old, Nfor is often the best-dressed among his group of friends and would like to see male students all over campus wearing neck ties — most specifically, “The Bonding Tie” he has just begun marketing.

A human services major who is addicted to the show “Shark Tank,” Nfor often sounds more like an entrepreneur than a social worker. But he contends that his money-making motives are all about helping those on both sides of the transaction.

“My dad always taught us that you dress for the job you want, not for the job you have,” Nfor said. “When you wear a tie you look better, people receive you a lot better and, man, does it give you confidence.”

As much as he likes wearing ties, Nfor said he understands why many men don’t.

“When it’s windy, they’re flying everywhere; they get in your food. I see guys putting their ties over their shoulder or tucking them into their shirts,” he laments, wincing. “I have nightmares when I see that.”

The flying-tie issues, coupled with his desire to contribute to the family income (Nfor’s father died five years ago, and his mother is raising four children), led Nfor to seek out a manufacturer to make ties with a keeper loop on the back of the blade and button holes down the back of the tail that connect it to the shirt to anchor the tie.

Now, armed with a sample and an email graphic showing 18 different colors of microfiber fabric, Nfor is working toward his goal of taking orders for 500 neck ties, ties that he’ll have manufactured in China over a three-week period and shipped here for delivery to customers before Wingate’s May 20 graduation.

“We will only accept payment after we have made your product, because our customers come before money,” Nfor said.

Although his goals of playing professional soccer and finding a human services job involving children take precedence over his entrepreneurial exploits, Nfor doesn’t see why he can’t make time for all of it.

“I am an American, so anything is possible,” he said. “With the work ethic that my parents have given us, I have no excuse. They got us from Cameroon to America, so recognizing opportunities everywhere and taking them has been normal for me.”

Nfor can be reached via email at nj.nfor955@wingate.edu or by phone at 502-510-8384. His ties sell for $25.

April 20, 2017