Move over, silicon causelets; there's a new sheriff in town

Is that post title cryptic enough for you? Tell you what...jump over to this page for a minute, take a quick look around, then come back and let's talk about it. I'll wait here for you.

*idle whistling*

*annoying fingertapping*

*impatient watch glancing*

Photo of braceletSo, is that cool or what? By the way, if I've coined a new term - causelet, a combination of "cause" and "bracelet" - feel free to use it without paying me royalties unless they begin to run into the six or seven figure range. Generosity would be my middle name if it wasn't something else.

And speaking of generosity, that's what Brandon Hawkins, the brains behind Chi-Rho Knots, is all about. Brandon graciously agreed to a quick mini-interview via email in which he shared some of the background behind Chi-Rho and the awesome handmade paracord bracelets. I think you'll be hearing more about Brandon, but here's quick intro, lightly edited, from his own keyboard.

Gazette: How did you come up with the idea of the shock-cord "causelets"?

Brandon: The paracord bracelet is not a new idea. In fact, I first heard about them over a year ago when I received an issue of BackPacker Magazine that ran a story about making your own "survival bracelet." Long story short, I bought the paracord to make a couple, did just that, then tucked everything away in a closet for a little more than a year. Then, about mid-September of this year for reasons unknown, I dragged it all back out and made a couple more. This time, my wife suggested that I attempt to add a breast cancer ribbon to one. Since Jess [ed.-Jess is Brandon's lovely wife] and I participate in raising funds for a few favorite causes each year (Breast Cancer Awareness, First Candle, March of Dimes, and the American Heart Association), she was thinking that I could sell a few as a type of "bake-sale,"and donate the funds. I reluctantly said yes (while thinking in the back of my mind...these won't sell), and proceeded to tinker. I finally found a way to make it happen in a practical manner, and off I went. Eventually, people started requesting them for other causes than breast cancer research. The rest has been a blur of a constant orders!

G - The bracelets look somewhat time-consuming to create. How many can you create in a day/week/month? Is this a full-time job for you.

B - Right now, I can make about 50 bracelets a day if I need to. It has taken more than full-time attention to make all this happen, but it's not all that I do. I'm currently tutoring nurses that are returning to school to obtain Bachelors and Masters degrees. It has definitely been a challenge to balance the two. As business grows, I can see this becoming my full time job.

G - Your website mentions that Chi-Rho Knots is a family business. What family members are involved?

B - My grandparents have agreed to sign on to my "little" project. My grandfather is a retired veterinarian, and my grandmother is a retired office manager. With their help, I've been able to keep up with the influx of orders.

G - What are your goals for Chi-Rho Knots? How do you feel about the response to it?

B - I've always had a giving heart, and I think that must fit into God's plan for me. I am humbled by the response! My goals for the company as of now are to continue to grow and expand responsibly, while raising as much money for research and assistance as possible, for the variety of medical conditions we are all dealing with in some form or another. This isn't my doing. It must be God's idea. That's really the only explanation for the insane success Chi-Rho Knots has experienced thus far. So, even though I like more than my fair share of the spotlight, the Glory goes to Him on this one, and I'm forever grateful. This endeavor has been a blessing in so many ways, to so many people. I'm honored to be a part of it.

Chi-Rho Knots is the kind of homegrown, passion-driven success story that people love to hear about. I've had the privilege to work briefly with Brandon on a web design project, and he strikes me as a guy with boundless energy and enviable creativity, and yet he's obviously strongly grounded in faith. I predict great things for Chi-Rho...especially if he can figure out how to incorporate a Fire Ant logo into a bracelet.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on November 6, 2011 3:50 PM.

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