Bird Dog Bay

It all started in a little Chicago suburb called Sleepy Hollow, where our founder & principal designer, Steve Mayer, spent his youth. He was raised by a mother who was the town’s favorite over-the-top second grade teacher, and the perfectly contrasting Harley riding, fly rod toting, dangerfield-esque art teacher for a father. Both parents showed him the value of living life to its fullest, while on the same note, not taking it too seriously. The Mayer household was never short on two things: belly laughs and art supplies. Steve was a true designer from the beginning – sculpting giant serpents in the the sand, throwing works of art on the potters wheel, crafting whole nativity scenes out of hundreds of pipe cleaners – but never far from a # 2 pencil. His love of illustrating came early in life, and today he believes that creating these ties for you could possibly be the most rewarding design job fathomable. Anyone physically wearing his artwork is the best compliment someone with his talent can receive. Period.

Before Bird Dog Bay, Steve perfected his craft as the in-house graphic and tie designer for another high-end neckwear company. However, as the years passed, the thirst for a more creative endeavor grew stronger. Never one to shy away from a challenge, he found two sister, 120-year-old carpenter cottages just outside downtown Chicago. In dire need of total repair, they were just the project he’d been looking for. He re-designed them, gutted them to their brick shells and re-built them both within a year – foreseeing the future home for his own neckwear company. All he needed now was some companionship.

The humor of Steve’s unique family was forever peppered with pet stories. You name the animal, they most likely had it at one time or another. Not only did their ranch home back up to a horse and cow farm, they had everything from turtles and rabbits to singing birds and live alligators — honestly. But, never were there more stories than their larger than life, out of control, mis-behavin’ dogs. So, the day Steve finished that second house, he knew it was time to visit the rescue center and adopt his first four-legged friend. And that’s how he found Gus, a beautiful Fox Red Labrador Retriever that had been in a Southern Illinois kill center for over two months and was just about to be put down. Big, goofy, with no fear and zero manners… it was an instant match. Steve was told that if dogs like Gus made lousy hunting dogs or “bird dogs,” they were often let go, to live in packs like wild coyotes. Chances are Gus was one of those dogs seeing he was a stray… Hence, our scentless bird dog logo. One aspect of rescuing a young dog that has been in a cage for so long, is they may get a little complex about being left alone; i.e., anxiety issues. And that was exactly the case with Gus. Since Steve was still working for that other necktie company at the time, he would start all his days with a broken heart. As he’d drive away from his place in the morning, he’d look to the front of his house to see a guilt-inducing, disappointed crook eye peering at him from his “Bird Dog” through the front “Bay” window of their new home… The “Bird Dog Bay”.

Now the crook eyes are gone, as Gus happily oversees the activity at his business headquarters. So, please enjoy our work from all of us at Bird Dog Bay. It’s one’s life dream to have you browsing this website and hopefully wearing the product around your neck, just out of reach of your own misbehavin’ pet.