Student-run company spreads Southern flair

By Madi Allen

What happens when you combine southern tradition, moderately priced clothing and a flair for business? You get The Southern Gentleman, a clothing company owned and operated by Dallas junior Jackson Vaughn and Nashville, Tenn., sophomore Scott Dalton.

The company started out as a simple way to gain entrepreneurial experience and has since grown to become a full-time business.

Vaughn said the idea of The Southern Gentleman came to him in a dream. He dreamed of a world where people no longer had to use their entire bank accounts just to buy a T-shirt or sell their souls for a bow tie.

According to the Southern Gentlemen website, the company wants to provide a great product at an affordable cost. “The Southern Gentleman prides itself on our southern ideals and dedication to fine clothing,” the website states.

Vaughn started The Southern Gentleman two and a half years ago, just as he was starting his freshman year at Baylor.

When it first began, the company sold T-shirts with the signature logo on them – an elephant wearing a bow-tie.

Today, the company specializes in handmade bow ties, T-shirts, button-down shirts, vests and hats.

“Around August 2012 is when we first got our product line built,” Vaughn said. “From then on we kind of kept growing and we had 300 percent improvement after our first year.”

After the first year, Vaughn teamed up with Dalton, the chief operations officer.

“My favorite part of the business is seeing a product come to fruition,” Dalton said. “In the clothing business you work on a product for six months and finally having it your hands is an amazing feeling.”

The two students run the business, as well as manage full-time course load. The brand has campus representatives at 20 universities such as The University of Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State University and the University of Southern California. Southern Gentleman apparel can also be bought in stores across the south in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas.

“We want The Southern Gentleman to be a brand,” Vaughn said. “We create clothing around the image of a traditional southern gentleman.”

Vaughn said he considers The Southern Gentleman to be a business with a conscience.

A portion from all purchases made through The Southern Gentleman go toward Living Water International, a Christian mission organization that provides clean drinking water to people all over the world.

Donations to Living Water can be made through the Southern Gentleman’s website, with or without the purchase of merchandise

Vaughn and Dalton plan to continue growing their business.