'Shark Tank': Total Tie Keep Puts The Finishing Touch On A Standard Business Accessory

If you wear ties to work, you know the standard design leaves a lot to be desired. The tie often falls crooked or, over a lunchtime bowl of soup, can easily get stained as you lean over. That's why Shark Tank entrepreneur Dwight A. Littlejohn created Total Tie Keep. It's a simple, ingenious solution for men who want to keep that expensive tie in place.

As CarterMatt mentioned in its episode preview for Littlejohn's Shark Tank appearance, the product seems likely to get an investment. It fills a practical need, and at least one shark — Lori Greiner — is known for her ability to turn clever products into big sellers. It was Greiner who invested in ReadeRest, a magnetic eyeglass holder that attaches to one's shirt, and in Scrub Daddy, the multi-million dollar sponge.

But Greiner is not the only potential investor, if past Shark Tank deals are any indication. Daymond John, who made his initial fortune by founding FUBU clothing, invested earlier this year in Two Guys Bow Ties, which tells a truly unique line of fashion accessories — wooden bow ties, lapels, and fedoras. Business Insider reported John invested $150,000 for 17.5 percent and a 10 percent royalty until his $150,000 is recouped.

In an earlier Shark Tank season, John agreed to mentor the proprietor of Mo's Bows, the Memphis pre-teen who started his own company using scrap fabric from his grandmother at age 9. He declined to take a stake in Mo's company selling bow ties.

In an interview with Heavy, Littlejohn revealed he thought his pitch might suffer because his business is in its early stages. His full-time job is as a federal agent, so he plans to continue with Total Tie Keep once he's reached retirement, only a few years from now. Ties, after all, will never go out of style, especially for the suit-wearing set.
"I am basically a one-man operation with limited time and capital. I figured that would be an issue when I was in front of the Sharks. Plus my business is in very early start up mode and I haven't done much, considering how busy my career can be. I was nervous about that being a question in the Sharks' minds.

"I ultimately hope to get a or some licensing deals or sell the Tie Keep out right and receive royalties. Over the next five years I'm eligible to retire, so I will begin to set up an affordable custom clothing shop with the intent on doing it full time after I have retired."

Littlejohn made the Total Tie Keep for himself. He wore it for a couple of years before deciding to market the product. A friend sent an email to Shark Tank producers, which started his journey onto the show.

In an online demonstration video, Littlejohn shows that the Total Tie Keep uses buttonholes and a series of flaps to securely attach a strip of fabric to the tie and a button-up shirt. The fabric is completely hidden behind the tie which lays flat against the shirt.The product is for sale on Amazon and on the Total Tie Keep website. It's available in black, blue, gray and white, perfect to match with those standard business attire colors.

Shark Tank fans can see how Littlejohn, who has named his business 1st Mpression, LLC, fares Tuesday night on ABC. The program airs at 9 pm, just before the season premiere of Beyond the Tank at 10 pm.

[Image via ABC]