The Monarch School Program and your view of the Refugee Crisis in Syria

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Zach Barnhorst

Last year around this time I ran into and old friend and schoolmate named Shane Walton.  Shane was the greatest athlete our high school had ever seen.  He was a teammate on the Soccer team where he was head and shoulders above most mortal men, but it was on the football field that he really shined.  He went on to play cornerback at Notre Dame and then briefly with the St Louis Rams before a back injury led him out of the NFL.  The greatest thing about Shane though was not his athletic prowess.  It was his kind, humble, caring demeanor.  Even at the age of 16 or 17 he carried himself like a gentleman.  It was no great surprise then that when I ran into him last year he was involved with a program like the Monarch School.

The Monarch School in San Diego offers a comprehensive program designed to help students impacted by homelessness.  It serves some 450 students each year.  There are some 20,000 homeless children in San Diego County.  Shane is involved as a consultant and when I let him know some of the community outreach and philanthropic goals of ZB Savoy he connected us with the program. One of the elements of the Program, along with Academic, Social, and Emotional Skills, is to develop life skills.  So they pair the kids up with a local businesses to give them some work experience as interns.

I received two names Israel and Vincent. They were set to arrive on Thursday at 1pm. I had very little idea what to expect. What I received was two extremely motivated, personable, friendly, intelligent young men who had a to scrap through life to get to where they are. And who have somehow done so without bitterness.

When the Labor Board defines an “internship” one of the requirements is that the intern gains as much or more benefit as the employer does. And this can be an unknown for a small business. Will the whole of the time be spent training and teaching? I have found that having the surprisingly upbeat, cheery energy of Israel and Vincent in the shop would far out way any time cost, but on top of that these guys pick up skills in no time at all. I shouldn’t be shocked by this, but my own ignorance has certainly allowed me to be pleasantly surprised.

How does this tie in to the Syrian refugee crisis? Much of Europe’s population is growing older and as that happens the able bodied younger workforce is growing smaller. The refugees that are coming in from Syria are mostly young able-bodied men who are escaping a country in which they are surrounded by violence from their own “government”, from the rebel forces and from crazy religious extremists. If European countries can find a way to get over some of their fears, they too may be pleasantly surprised by how quickly these men may be able to add a net positive value to the current situation.  

Easy to say from across an ocean and a sea I know.

Posted in

Opening Day at Del Mar

Posted on July 15, 2015 by Zach Barnhorst

5 Must Follow Rules to Style Success

The Del Mar Race track opened its gates for the first time in 1937 and Founding Father Bing Crosby was there to welcome the very first patron.Them boys knew a thing or two about how to look proper for the gamblin' season.  Most of what was true then holds true today.  Here are 5 of the big ones.

1) If you are wearing white socks, we don't wanna see em.

2) If you're gonna wear a set of suspenders, you wear that set of suspenders. If you are going to wear a belt, why, wear that belt.  But dontcha go wearin the two of em at the same time.  Be kinda like wearin a bowtie and a necktie together.

3) Far better that your bowtie compliment your pocket square or your lapel flower than that it match it dead on.  Just try to keep it all in the same color family.

4) Get a good hat.  Period.  We are partial to the Panama, but a nice Pork Pie or the classic Boater Straw always looks smashing darling!

5) If you are going to wear your shirt open at the collar and with no Bowtie, well then you may as well just run right out into the middle of the traffic on the 5.... No, no, no sorry about that, what we meant to say was if you are going to wear  your collar open, make sure you have some properly sized collar stays and make your pocket square count!

(Secret Rule #6) If you are winning a gang of money on those ponies... it don't matter what you're wearin'.)

Enjoy opening day. May the women look beautiful, and may the men be the best possible accessory for those beautiful women.

For all of your last minute bowtie, pocket square, lapel flower, suspender needs, visit us at 1028 Broadway Ave in Downtown San Diego CA 92101.

Posted in

The birthday of 'Merica

Posted on July 03, 2015 by Zach Barnhorst

It's just about the 4th of July People.  Time to celebrate America.  Old Glory.  Stars and Stripes. Fireworks.  Basically all the awesome stuff.


Here are 5 things that you don't know about Old Glory unless you are a total Flag Nerd (which we totally respect)....

1. Betsy Ross is credited with designing the original flag though there is no historical evidence confirming this.  ...oh, except that her grandson said that she did it ...100 years later.

2. The current 50 States flag was designed by then highschool student Robert G. Heft for a class project. He recieved a B-. Then in 1959 President Dwight Eisenhower selected Heft's design.  Heft promptly gave his teacher the bird.  There is no historical evidence confirming this last part either.

3. "Old Glory" was actually the name of a specific flag.  It was sea captain William Driver's.  It was given to him by the "Women" of his hometown Salem, Massachusetts. Aight baller...

4. In the opening credits of Gilligan's Island (at :22) one can see Old Glory flying at half mast.  This was due to the fact that the day of this shoot was Nov. 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was shot.  This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the internet is filled with all kinds of bizaar and useless information.

5. There are 6 US Flags on the moon.  5 of them are standing.  The sixth was blown over by Apollo 11's exhaust as Buzz and Neil departed.  ...that is if you believe we made it to the moon. Oh that Hollywood.

Posted in 4th of July, Fireworks, Old Glory, san diego, Stars and Stripes

Tie one on your Tie-riffic Beau

Posted on June 16, 2015 by Ashley Swapp

Father’s Day is in a hot second! Instead of agonizing over what to get that dapper beau in your life, select one of our Father’s Day packages. So complete with swagger, you’ll be guaranteed a high-five!

  • Package Includes:
  • Captain Curran Bowtie - $44
  • Lapel Flower - $20
  • Genuine Leather Wallet - $40
  • Suspender Set - $44 

$138 Value – Only $110 for Father’s Day
Buy Now! 

  • Lapel Flower - $20
  • Sartre Neck Tie - $70
  • Wooden Tie Bar - $30
  • Genuine Leather Brown Belt - $60
  • Summer Weight Gray Scarf - $40

$220 Value – Only $176 for Father’s Day
Buy Now!

  • The Richmond Necktie - $70
  • Genuine Brown Leather Belt - $60
  • Blue Linen Pocket Square - $30
  • Cufflinks - $20
  • Genuine Leather 3 Pocket Card Case -$30

 $210 Value – Only $180 for Father’s Day
Buy Now! 


For a chance to win one of these packages for free, enter our Instagram contest! Here’s how to enter:

  • Follow @ZBSavoy on Instagram and @-Tag yourself in the comments of one of our photos.

That’s it! You’ll be entered to receive one of our packages for free! Winner’s will be selected and notified Friday, June 19. 

Posted in accessories, apparel, bow tie, bowtie, fashion, Father's Day, handmade, Leather, Mens Fashion, merchandise, neckties, san diego, suspenders

Shuck some oysters, drink some beers, and throw a tie on at Oysterfest San Diego

Posted on June 11, 2015 by Zach Barnhorst

The tie is not dead. In fact, some of the people wearing them are the people that we idolize most thanks to their awesome music and rock star lifestyles. These same people are the influencers of our world, the ones who let us know what is cool and what’s not so cool.

So this Saturday at San Diego’s Oysterfest, when Thievery Corporation, Little Hurricane, Paulo Da Rosa, and The Young Wild take the stage, take a look at their neckwear. 

This fashion trend isn’t new. Take Angus Young from AC/DC’s standard outfit: a suit with shorts accompanied by a necktie. The Roots: ties on ties on ties. Local Legends Truckee brothers: Chris Hoffee is always sporting a necktie (Not to mention, sometimes a ZB Savoy).


The point is to remember that it is our musical influencers that shape the future and define not only the current trends but also future trends. So this weekend, when you are sucking down beers and shucking oysters at North Embarcadero Park in Downtown San Diego, follow the lead of some of our heroes. All of the below tie clad Artists will be rocking their proper festival performance attire. Don’t be afraid to follow suit. Pun intended.

Little Hurricane Necktie       DJ Who and PauloDaRosa        Fishifonics



Posted in Artistic, beer, Birdy Bardot, bow ties, Eddie Cutless, festival, FishFonics, Little Hurricane, Mikey Beats, neckties, oysters, Rebecca Jade, san diego, saturday, The Young Wild, Thievery Corporation, Through The Roots, Who and Paulo da Rosa

How to build a retail shop on a DIY budget #2 (Part 2) "Signs Signs Everywhere Signs"

Posted on June 08, 2015 by Zach Barnhorst

In the last post, our trusty sign maker Dave had just given me a quote after coming out to see the shop.  The conversation went like this...

Them - “Hey Dave did you end up drawing up that Bowtie Guy’s sign?”

             “(inaudible mumbles)”

              (to me)“Was that going to be a lit sign?”

Me –  “Nope. Just the sign. No lighting.

Them – “OK cuz if you want it lit you’ve gotta get a permit before we can start, but we can get it for you” (wink)

Me –   “Right. Nope not lit”

Them – “Dave. Its unlit”

              “(inaudible mumbles)”

              “Ya he says it’ll probably be around 5 Grand”

Wow. And also…absolutely not. Not when all I wanted was for my 2’ ($45) sign to be blown up to a larger version,  add a “return”. Why couldn’t I just make that little sign bigger? No really. Why couldn’t I?

I called Carolina from North Shore Printery back. I asked her if we could make a bigger version of the sign we had made a few weeks back. Like could we make a 5’ tall version of it. She said we could, but that it would be easier and cheaper to make it 4’ tall since the sheets of PVC come as 4’ x 8’ Sheets. That sounded smart. OK 4’ tall by 5’ wide it is.

I explained that I might be using it to put on the front of the building and did she think it would stand up to the elements? She told me we could use a 6mm (twice as thick as my last signs) to help it keep its form. It was a little more expensive but it would be worth it and that otherwise she thought it’d be fine.

The Cost: $240.

So the next step was to figure out how to get a “return”? And how do we hang it? I consulted my awesome carpenter Justin on just what we could do. I explained that basically I just wanted black on the sides the top and the bottom and a way to mount it. Did it have to be exactly 6 inches he asked? Nope. Could it be 5 ½ inches? Absolutely. What if we just built a frame. 4 pieces of 2”x6” (actually 1 ½ x 5 ½ ). A top 2 side and a bottom. Painted the frame black. Screwed the PVC sign onto the front of the frame, Anchored another couple 2x6s to the wall and screwed the frame/sign to the anchor.

Seemed like such an easy plan that it couldn’t possibly work. But it did. We simply screwed the $240 PVC sign onto a painted 5’x4’ frame made up of 4 pieces of 2x6 ($11), used a handful of anchors ($5ea) to mount 2 additional 2x6s (another $5.50).

The sign is sturdy, strong and lightweight and most importantly it is an invitation to the party that looks beautiful and enticing. It took 2 of us to guide it up and hold it in place as Justin scrwed it permanently in. But ultimately it took 30-40 minutes to get it mounted. The sign cost us all in just under $300.

I still don’t know how costs of $5000 would be justified, or if perhaps even after my long conversation with Dave (again, not his real name), he still didn’t understand what I wanted. And if so, then that is on me for not being able to communicate it. But the most important thing is to realize that sometimes, if you think to yourself ( yes even your non-expert, non-professional, never-done-this-before self), if you think…but wait, couldn’t we just… Sometimes, you really can.

 Look out for our the next blog post entitled "You got a friend in us. The importance of the team." and it appears that I will be naming all these posts after cheesy songs.  Sorry about that. It wasn't intentional. It literally just happened right now.

Til then.


Posted in

How to build a retail shop on a DIY budget #2 (Part 1) "Signs Signs Everywhere Signs"

Posted on May 28, 2015 by Zach Barnhorst

If the retail store is the party, the sign on the front of the building is the invitation.



Continue Reading →

Posted in

1 2 3 4 Next »