My husband and I usually watch Shark Tank on ABC on Friday night. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, business owners pitch their ideas to a group of “sharks” (very wealthy investors) in order to get an investment to start or expand their business.
A while ago, a young boy wanted an investment for his line of bow ties, Mo’s Bows. While he did not get an investment, shark and FuBu founder Daymond John offered to mentor the young entrepreneur. Since then his business has grown by leaps and bounds!
During last night’s show, an update was provided on Mo’s Bows. Daymond had helped to broker a deal with a company that makes hand-made ties in order to ramp up production. Where is the facility, you might ask? Belleville, New Jersey!
Robert Stewart has been producing hand-made ties in the United States since 1919. Originally located in Connecticut, the factory is now located on Little Street in Belleville.
Now, not only was I jazzed to see a New Jersey company on Shark Tank, I was especially excited to see Belleville. Why you ask? I lived in Belleville for close to 30 years before a two year stop in Nutley and now 10 years in Rockaway, New Jersey. I loved growing up in Belleville. I still go back to that area to visit family, for all my doctors, and head to Branch Brook Park in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
Originally known as Second River, the area was renamed Washington. Later in June 1797, the name was permanently changed to Belleville. Shared with Newark, Branch Brook Park is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The park’s total number of cherry blossom trees exceeds even the famous collection in Washington, D.C. They are usually in bloom in April and the park plays host to 500,000 while they are in bloom. When my parents were married, they took their wedding photos in the park. When I was a child, I used to go sledding in the park in the winter and hunted for Easter eggs in the spring. The town holds a number of wonderful memories for me.
As spring approaches, I hope you will check out this little gem of North Jersey.