BrownStyle Magazine’s Small Business Spotlight: Ruth Nathan’s

Nicole R. Brown is building a heritage bow tie brand that's sustainable and stylish!

BrownStyle Magazine’s Small Business Spotlight: Ruth Nathan’s
Photos courtesy of Ruth Nathan’s/Nicole R. Brown

BrownStyle Magazine is proud to introduce our new initiative that shines the spotlight on small businesses owned by Women of Color (WOC) and People of Color (POC)— a community that often has limited resources to promote their businesses in today’s highly competitive industries. 

Join us every Saturday to meet the founders who are building their up-and-coming brands in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries one sale at a time. Experience their unique backstory, the inspiration behind their startup, and even find out the brand’s bestselling item that you can shop today! 

This Week’s Small Business Spotlight 

Ruth Nathan’s

Location: Atlanta, GA

Nicole R. Brown, The Owner of Ruth Nathan’s
Photo courtesy of Ruth Nathan’s/Nicole R. Brown

The Brand Story

Nicole R. Brown has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. The creative recalls creating trendy jewelry in her youth, describing herself as a “nerdy artsy kid on Chicago’s South side.”

Fast-forwarding to her post-graduation “starving artist” season in New York, Brown worked two part-time jobs to keep a roof over her head and raise money for her first official company’s startup.

After 15 years in the rat race, Brown moved to Atlanta and launched Ruth Nathan’s, a go-to bow tie company designed for those who want to stand out in the crowd.

“My grandparents inspired me to pursue my dream of designing— especially my maternal grandfather, Nathan. He was an accomplished tailor well known and well-loved throughout Greenville, Mississippi. He taught us to take pride in our attire because it’s how we present ourselves to the world,” she tells BrownStyle Magazine exclusively about the inspiration behind her sustainable heritage bow tie brand. “My dream has been with me from the beginning. I will never stop chasing it— no matter how challenging. Every morning starts with gratitude and positive affirmations to stay focused.”

Ruth Nathan’s Bestselling Item

Port of Spain Lapel Pin


Inspired by the dynamic energy of a bustling city afternoon, this pattern bursts with life and movement. Elevate your ensemble with this lively flower, and let your style reflect the vivacity of urban life.

BrownStyle Magazine’s Small Business Spotlight: Ruth Nathan’s

What Makes Ruth Nathan’s A Small Business To Watch

Ruth Nathan’s is more than just everyday bowties, they also create flowers and pocket squares for people who want to add some extra pizazz to their ensemble. According to Brown, the fabric that she uses is inspired by her travels around the world. “Whether it’s the Port of Spain in Trinidad or the Royal Ontario Museum— every moment in these pieces can encapsulate you in wanderlust,” she tells us.

In addition, Brown says that Ruth Nathan’s is doing good in the community by providing jobs. “I wouldn’t be a success if I ‘make it’ and have not helped others do the same. That’s why I’ve employed businesses in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Atlanta to create our current inventory.”

During the onset of COVID-19, Brown also worked with Custom Collaborative to create bulk orders of masks. “Custom Collaborative helps women in underserved communities gain meaningful employment from learning a sewing craft,” she explains.

The Showstopper

Ruth Nathan’s goal is nearly zero waste in manufacturing. Currently, the brand prints the fabric for their bow ties, pocket squares, and lapel pins on demand with eco-friendly processes in the USA. This method reduces the water used per yard for printing the designs on the fabrics. “It’s good for the environment and gives the wearer a sense of pride, knowing their clothes are doing right by the planet,” Brown explains. “Sexy and eco-conscious can live harmoniously! It is important to pay taxes to Mother Earth.”

In addition, Ruth Nathan’s values building a legacy. “We value creating pieces of lasting value that will stand the test of time. We’re motivated by the need to leave our mark, and we make our tribe feel they can leave theirs, too. They can trust the work we do long into the future,” says Brown. 

What’s Next For Ruth Nathan’s

Brown wants to collaborate with other brands for groomsmen gifts. “I want to create a groomsman proposal kit with custom items to make each groomsman say ‘I do’ to the wedding experience,” Brown shares about the future of Ruth Nathan’s.  

How To Support

To be a part of Nicole R. Brown’s story and help the brand continue to grow, check out Remember, one purchase from a small business could change someone’s life! Also, give them a follow on Instagram.

Janell Johnson is a mom, award-winning entrepreneur, and the visionary behind The Suite by J. Nicole & Co. located in Aston, PA. Using her expertise in retail merchandising, Janell built a space geared towards the self-care experience where people love to discover new brands and shop again and again. She is also the Owner of Suite 828 Co. Home Decor and Accents.