|Updated: 5/19/2011 9:24 am
||Published: 5/19/2011 9:22 am
"My name is Tony Bowls, and I'm the king of beauty queens"
He has designed too many dresses to count –
“I’ve probably sold over 6,000 of that gown right there last year.”
- from simple prom attire to high fashion couture. The Tony Bowls label is known worldwide.
“I created this whole world-wide craziness, this Tony Bowls brand, all from the internet and a small factory overseas in China,” Tony said.
Tony – who I found quite modest – grew up on a farm in England, Arkansas.
“I had a wheat field as a privacy fence most of my life,” Tony said. “Real proud of where I come from, hardworking family and dedicated individuals.”
A dedication that stuck with him. Then years ago, he ventured into a new world of designing evening gowns – with a little help from his friends.
“I had four friends that gave me $100,000 to start all this,” Tony said. “They really believed in me.”
A belief in a gift Tony has for marketing and creativity. He drew his sketch while mid-flight, and here’s the finished product.
Tony says his inspiration for creating gowns comes from many places – a painting, a bucket on a jacket…and from somewhere came this inspiration, made with Swarovski crystal, which retails for about $7,000.
American Idol’s Lauren Aliana is only one of many who’ve worn a Tony Bowls gown on a national stage. He’s known from Miss America pageants to Hollywood’s red carpets.
Tony says he’ll do roughly $20,000,000 in sales this year – and projects $30,000,000 for next year. He has warehouses all over the country, with 40 sales reps in North America alone, and sells his dresses in 75 countries.
But no matter where he goes, Little Rock is home.
“I do have the best of both worlds,” Tony said. “I could be in California tomorrow, two days later wake up in New York or be in Indianapolis, Indiana or where ever. But still I love coming home to Little Rock, Arkansas.”