St. Louis Character: Real estate agent Tari Brown adds flair to … – The Business Journals

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A college football game spurred Tari Brown to launch her own startup.
When attending a matchup in September 2021 between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas Longhorns, Brown didn’t know what to wear to the game.
“It was in September, so it was hot. I wanted to wear a skirt. I looked online, but couldn’t find any skirts except for the kids’ cheerleaders style skirts that the young girls wear,” she said.
Brown ended up wearing shorts and a t-shirt to the game. But Brown’s inclusion of reversible skirts in her luggage the following month on a trip to New Orleans sparked an idea: creating reversible, college sports-themed skirts.That led Brown, a real estate agent with Re/Max Results, to start Flair Wear, which sells skirts that feature the logos of college sports teams. Brown said the reversible aspect of the skirts allows them to be worn at games as well at other functions.
Flair Wear has reached licensing agreements with 10 colleges and its product catalog includes skirts featuring the logos from college football blue bloods that include the University of Alabama and Clemson University.
Flair Wear is a family endeavor, with Tari’s husband Mike serving as its chief financial officer. Brown’s brother, Bob, and his wife run the company’s marketing and sales division. Brown declined to share sales figures for Flair Ware, but said the startup so far has produced 300 skirts.
Brown grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and has since made St. Louis home.
You didn’t grow up in St. Louis. What brought you here? The thing that brought me here is I have a brother who lives here and he needed a kidney. I moved here actually to donate a kidney. At the time that I moved, his kidney function wasn’t low enough that they would permit a living donor to donate yet. We had to wait until his kidney function got to that level before they permitted you to donate and during that time of waiting I met my husband and I got married.
How did you end up working in real estate? We bought our first house in Tower Grove South. We had a great agent, Marti Frumhoff. When I had my daughter Amelia, I was looking for a different job because I was traveling with another company and Marti said “you should be in real estate.” I said “I’m not a salesperson. I don’t think that’s a good fit for me.” And she said, “no, it’s not sales at all because you’re not helping them purchase or sell something they don’t want and it’s the biggest financial decision in their life. You would be a great fit. You’re a good listener, you’re detailed, you’re a math major, I think this would be a really good fit. Why don’t you come in and join my team.” I was like, OK, I’ll do real estate for like 10 years and see where that takes us. Maybe we’ll get some investment properties and go from there. Well, now I’m in 25 years.
What’s the full list of universities that are licensed for Flair Wear? Louisiana State University, University of Missouri, University of Mississippi, University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, Pennsylvania State University, Auburn University, Clemson University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas.
Where are the Flair Wear skirt’s made? They’re made here in St. Louis. We have a lady in Chesterfield. Her name’s Lydia Merritt. She used to work for Soft Surroundings and she does pattern development.
How do you plan to grow Flair Wear? Going forward from here, I’d love to get more schools and really start building our online presence. We’re reviewing what our options could be to get greater exposure. The sports fans that I know for all those schools and really any university, I can’t see why they wouldn’t want to wear the skirts. They’re really cute and they have great versatility and they’re comfortable. So I’m really hoping that once we get the marketing going, that it will find success. With that said, we’re also able to do customizing. So if we have a college sorority and they have a themed rush, let’s say it’s a jungle theme, and they want tiger stripes on one side and jungle leaves on the other side, as long as we can find the fabric, we can make those.
Who would you consider your heroes? I would say probably my two brothers and for different reasons. My brother Lance has had health issues throughout his life. He’s the brother I donated a kidney to. He always just keeps going and is positive and you know that takes a lot. Then my brother Bob, who lives in Kansas City, he is just such an optimist and a cheerleader for me. They’re fun and they’re loving and they’re both great fathers. There’s so many families out there that have kind of a ripped dynamic within them and we don’t have any of that. We’re supportive of each other and always want each other to do well. It’s really nice to have that.
What do you like to do in your free time? We live really close to Tower Grove Park and I will say that park over the last 25 years has kept our sanity through all the things that go up and down. We really take advantage of walking the park and events in the park. I sit on one of the boards for Tower Grove Park. And then we like to travel. We just went to Stockholm to see our son, and we went to Columbus, Ohio, to see our daughter a couple weeks ago. We try to work in some Flair Wear stops when we go. When we went on vacation, I stopped in Atlanta to take a look at a production company and went to a fabric show there.
More about Tari Brown
Title: Founder, Flair Wear
Age: 54
Family: Husband Mike; two children, Amelia and Adam
Education: Brown has a mathematics degree from West Virginia University
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