In 1978, Barbara McBride was having trouble finding the perfect hair accessory to match her daughter's outfit, so she set out to make her own. Barbara made her first bow, and she became enamored with crafting these hair accessories. With a surplus of bows in hand, Barbara visited local boutiques to see if they would be interested in buying her bows. After being turned away from the first few stores, Barbara walked into Marian Michael. The buyers at Marian Michael loved the bows and made an order on the spot.

With that first sale, Bows Arts was born. This was the beginning of an over 40 year journey accessorizing girls with the most beautiful and high quality hair bows. Marian Michael is still a Bows Arts retailer to this day!

bows arts original team 1990

The Original Bows Arts Team 1990
Kim Nen Bui (and her children, Elizabeth and James), Kim Anh Bui, Barbara McBride, and Mercedes


We're more than just pretty bows...

Seeing the hardships of the displaced Vietnamese refugees after the war, Barbara and Charlie McBride decided to sponsor a family from Vietnam to come to America. This extended Vietnamese family joined the McBrides in their suburban-Chicago home in 1984. Barbara and Charlie helped nurture and care for this refugee family just like their own. As Bows Arts started to grow, Barbara offered jobs at her bow company to the women and moms of these families.

Even though there was a language barrier in the beginning, Barbara and her bow makers could communicate through their love for colors and creativity. A common goal and vision was set, and Barbara and her bow makers set to grow and sell Bows Arts bows to girls and stores across the country.

Family has been the recurring theme throughout the history of Bows Arts. Looking to continue her mother's legacy, Deborah McBride DaSilva became the owner of Bows Arts in 2009. Deborah continued to grow Bows Arts while maintaining her mom's core values of family and quality. Deborah grew Bows Arts to a brand that is now sold across the world. 

As of 2020, Elizabeth Pham (seen in the photo above) is the Owner and President of Bows Arts. Elizabeth is one of the daughters of that Vietnamese family that the McBrides sponsored in the 1980's. Her mom, Kim Nen Bui, was one of Barbara's first bow makers and continued to make Bows Arts bows for over 30 years. Elizabeth spent her early years wearing bows while playing with ribbon and running around the Bows Arts workshop. She is excited to share her love for Bows Arts with generations to come

The Bows Arts family also includes our amazing customers, sales representatives, and retailers. We aim to treat every person we work with as a member of our own family. We believe in forming real relationships and connections with all of our customers. Barbara's legacy of being personable and forthcoming to her customers and colleagues continues to be a pillar of our success today.

This brand is built on the caring and selflessness of our founders, and we’re a company that continues to care about diversity and employing and empowering women and moms.

Bows Arts is defined by our legacy as a family-owned and women-run business. We strive to create the highest quality bows that are handmade in America.