A college student in Blacksburg is trying his hand at small business.

Benjamin Barnes has been making bow ties by hand, for about a year and a half now. The business is called "Phi Ties." Barnes said he spends about 30 minutes making each bow tie in his clay Street home.

I'm a college student so I needed money so this was a good way to do it and an easy way to do it. So I started looking for different stores, people to sell them to and it took off from there."

Barnes, an undecided major at Virginia Tech, has taken the last two semesters off from school. The 21 year old said this time away from school has helped him focus on his bow tie business.

Phi Ties are being sold in three Blacksburg stores and in Radford and Richmond.

Barnes says he can make just about any bow tie a customer wants and he's looking to expand.

The Arkansas-born Barnes said he's also working on a line of hair bows for girls.

If you want more information about PHI TIES, click here, visit their Facebook page, or email