Teenage business wiz gearing up for backpack giveaway


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Shelden Gibbs’ bow tie business, Classic Knot, is not a household name yet, but he is moving ever closer to getting there.

The Buffalo teenager is handing out free backpacks for his third annual, “Back2School Summer Jam Giveaway” on Saturday, August 24 at Martin Luther King Park with the backing of several corporate sponsors.

The thirteen-year-old entrepreneur actually started his bow tie business when he was 10 years old, and his success is creating a high demand for him to share his experience with young listeners and adults.

Gibbs was a guest speaker Thursday at the Northland Workforce Training telling a group of 70 students from Buffalo Public Schools’ My Brother’s Keeper program how he got started making and selling bow ties.

The young CEO said he got frustrated because clothing stores did not have a tie he liked, “So at the age of 10, I began to cut out my old dress shirts and make my own bow ties.”

Classic Knot has grown a large following, mostly over the Internet, across the United States, and worldwide, so Gibbs has started outsourcing some of his production, and he is offering much more variety in his merchandise, for men and women.

But he believes he has even greater growth potential getting his product onto store shelves, “Trying to get my bow ties into retail stores, that is what we have been focusing on, and the bag work, doing that, and just continue to grow my business.”

Shelden’s mom Rhonda Woods said her son has continued to be humble through his near-celebrity status–she has no trouble getting him to take out the garbage, do his chores, and keep up his school work.

“The community has been so embracing and so supportive. The avenues and the doors that have been opened that Shelden has been afforded has been amazing, amazing.”

That community support is the reason Shelden says his top priority is the upcoming Summer Jam backpack giveaway, next week.

“There will be free food, a live DJ, clowns, bounce houses, and most important the basketball tournament.”

For more information on the “Back2School Summer Jam Giveaway” click on this link to the Classic Knot website.

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