Reviving an old fashion, two Philly-area teens win National Young Entrepreneurs Award

Pocket squares may seem like a throwback, but Ryan Klauder and Chris Muth see an opportunity.

Pat Loeb
May 19, 2018 - 9:30 pm
Chris Muth and Ryan Klauder

Pat Loeb | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Two local teenagers have won a national competition for a business they started in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), an after-school program for middle and high school students.

The teens manufacture and sell a very specific article of clothing: pocket squares.

Although they may seem like a throwback item, Ryan Klauder, a senior at Devon Prep, sees an opportunity in the small fabrics. 

"Men's Wearhouse said sales of their pocket squares are up 50 percent and GQ also said that pocket squares are really coming back into style," Klauder said, "so we're going to try to hop on the train right now."

Klauder is co-founder, with Chris Muth, of "Rex Riccardi," the Latin name for King Richard, said to have invented the pocket square. And theirs have something extra. They are copies of abstract paintings made by Garo Ypremiam, a former NFL champion place kicker.

"He was a big champion in the fight against cancer. He raised a lot of money," Muth explained. "Unfortunately he passed away from cancer so 10 percent of each one we sell goes to Alex's Lemonade stand.

Muth is able to use the artwork because Ypremiam was a family friend, with a special closeness.

I'm actually a cancer survivor," he said, "so we kind of had that bond."

Muth and Klauder took the National Young Entrepreneurs Award, this month, winning $50,000 in scholarships.