What's Your BeGreat Story? Curtis D. Young


Where are you from? What do you do?

I am the Executive Director of an arts organization called Artistic Noise. Our purpose is to bring the freedom of artistic practice to young people who are involved in the justice system. We work to holistically improving the lives of youth impacted by systems through arts programming and art therapy both in residential detention settings and in community spaces. I'm from Michigan, originally, but have lived in NYC for 15 years.

How did you hear about BeGreat Bow Ties?

I first heard about BeGreat Bowties on Instagram. I started to noticed a few of my friends with these very unique bow ties on their IG, which caused me to follow the @BeGreat page. Ironically, one day while having coffee in Harlem I ran into Thomas Knox from BeGreat, who was wearing the signature line bow tie. We started a conversation and the rest is history! It was just meant to be.

What is your favorite word to wear?

GREAT! The signature line really resonates with me and directly connects with what I strive for each day. #Greatness

What does the word GREAT mean to you?

Whenever I hear GREAT I think of my favorite MLK quote. “'Everyone has the power for greatness — not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service.' For me the word GREAT will forever be rooted in service. Finding a way to be in service gives our lives purpose. It’s the only way, in my humble option, that we can actually be great. We must serve. I love how BeGreat Bow Ties is serving a purpose and bringing awareness to suicide prevention efforts.


How long have you been wearing bow ties?

My first bow tie was worn to Easter Church service around the age of 6.

How would you define your style?

Overall, I would define my style as contemporary, yet classic. Each day has a way of influencing my style. As I've gotten older I do think of comfort much more. I incorporate color, as much as possible in pocket squares, ties and socks, especially in fall and winter looks. All that I wear revolves around four things: shoes, jacket, tie and socks. May sound weird but I really enjoy sock complements. It shows that people are looking at my shoes and paying attention to subtle detail. Metropolitan cities like NYC really influence my style. I also lived in Paris many years ago so that will be a forever influence. In facts, some of my favorite items were bought for less that 20 Euro at thrift shops there in Le Marais.

What does being GREAT mean to you?

Being GREAT to me means being in service to others and bringing a significance that is lasting to that service.


Find out more about Curtis and all the amazing work he’s doing Here

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