Ford has big bows, and Hyundai has big bows, but Lexus has the biggest bows of them all. Every holiday season brings a new round of car commercials in which shiny new automobiles are given as gifts, complete with Brobdingnagian bows on top. But where do those festive, oversize accessories come from, exactly? The answer, most likely, is King Size Bows, Inc., an honest-to-goodness, legitimate business concern in Costa Mesa, California, specializing in “big bows, car bows, custom bows, and visual merchandising displays.” The investigative team at a YouTube channel called Great Big Story decided to track down Jan Kingaard, the CEO of King Size Bows, so that she could explain this unusual but apparently necessary occupation. The resulting brief but lively mini-documentary about Kingaard and her bows almost plays like something out of a Christopher Guest film, yet it’s all wonderfully real.
“We’re in the joy business,” Kingaard says. “We make special occasions special.” Thus far, King Size Bows has no competitors in its festive field, as no one has yet dared copy the company’s signature model, a red-and-silver behemoth called the Monarch Bow. After eight profitable years working with Lexus on its holiday commercials, Kingaard and her bow-making employees have truly made a lasting impact on the minds of consumers. “Now we’ve found that customers really expect to keep the bow when they drive the car,” Kingaard explains. The video includes some neat, behind-the-scenes footage showing how the bows are actually made. Part of the process seems to involve taking chicken wire and flattening it with a rolling pin. And, as with any specialized field, there is lingo to learn. “There’s a whole bow language,” Kingaard says, “that most people don’t speak.” Who knew?