An extra ordinary day

Dartmouth-based home business, East of Ordinary, uses busy patterns and bright colours to spruce up the necks and pockets of groomsmen looking to make a statement.

Meghan Tansey Whitton

When Ashley Forshner was struggling to find the look that she wanted for her hubby-to-be and his groomsmen, she didn’t just shrug her shoulders and give into a backup plan—she got creative.

“I wanted mismatched bow ties. It was a picnic lunch—less formal, more fun. So I learned how to make them myself,” she says. Forshner didn’t intend to go into business—it was the many inquiring minds into her handiwork and a nudge from her friend and photographer Candace Berry that pushed her to make her first 30 ties. Now she’s the co-conspirator (along with Joanna Hinton) behind East of Ordinary, a local line of ties and pocket squares that’s giving brides and grooms lots of colourful and originaly options.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a superfashionable person, I like fashion but I tend to be more more vintage,” says Forshner, who gets most of her fabrics from north-end Halifax’s Patch, or from vintage pieces that she repurposes to make one- (or few-) of-a-kind ties. “I get inspired by the material a lot of times, I love stiff bow ties with a really strong shape.”

Betrothed folks seeking accessories that are anything but ordinary can find these handmade pieces at Kept in Dartmouth, Fancy Lucky Vintage in Lawrencetown or via East of Ordinary’s Etsy page, but Forshner says custom orders are the way to go for most wedding parties. “I still am in love with mix and match.”


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