Hankie Holder Is New Oklahoma-Based Product

Saturday, November 17th 2007, 2:30 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Bryon Dickens and Greg Groves love to look sharp with expertly folded pocket silks in the breast pockets of their suit coats. Constant readjustment of the silk adornments, however, led the pair to create a pocket handkerchief holder called the Secure Pocket Square, and bring the product to market from their Oklahoma City base.

Dickens is the owner of Bryon & Co., a personal shopping service for women's clothing and Greg Groves is a real estate investor.

The solution came in the form of a compact flat leather accessory with a strap to hold the handkerchief and a bar on the bottom of the holder to extend its height depending on the size of the coat pocket. But the pair did not originally set out to come up with a new accessory.

"It was just from personal frustration of wearing silk handkerchiefs and having to re-straighten and reposition them constantly and not being able to find anything on the market that served that purpose," Byron Dickens said.

Greg Groves said he came on board when Bryron Dickens told him his idea for the holder and asked for creative input.

"After about a year's worth of trial-and-error we finally got a product that would work," Greg Groves said.

The process of getting the product into stores and ultimately customers' pockets is still in the early stages, although the pair got a good reaction at a recent trade show.

In August, the pair presented their product at the MAGIC show in Las Vegas. The show is a twice-yearly event for buyers and sellers of men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories to meet
and do business.

The event is attended by small high-end boutique owners around the country as well as large department store retailers.

"The response was overwhelming," Dickens said. Dickens and Groves are currently selling the product on their Web site as well as at Dickens' office on Wilshire Boulevard in Oklahoma City.

Two versions of the Secure Pocket Square are available, both made of leather. A standard model sells for $19.99 while a crocodile-embossed version sells for $29.99. And as the pair begin to peddle their product in the United States they are also hoping to tap into a market for well-dressed men in Europe and eventually worldwide.

The move to create and produce the item can also be credited to a trend of men dressing better in both work and casual settings, Dickens said.

And while many may associate a silk pocket square with a stodgy banker or businessman, Dickens said pocket squares are also turning up in fashion magazines and in hip hop culture.

"There's definitely been a resurgence in pocket silks," Dickens said.

In addition to men livening up their appearance with pocket silks, Byron Dickens said some women are using pocket silks to dress up blazers. He has sold several to his female personal shopping clients.

With droves of empty jacket pockets making an appearance each and every day, Groves said he sees a strong demand for the Secure Pocket Square for the well-dressed crowd internationally.

"There are millions of jackets produced every year and each one of them has a breast pocket," Greg Groves said. "That's millions of opportunities for us to slip our device in that pocket."