Justin Mikita Shares Details About Him and Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s New Collection
We fell in love with Justin Mikita and Jesse Tyler Ferguson‘s seamless blend of style and advocacy when they launched Tie the Knot, a collection of wedding bow ties that raised money for LGBTQ+ Americans, back in 2012. Now the dads are continuing that same concept, but with a fresh rebrand and relaunch of the next generation of Tie the Knot … their new company, Pronoun.
“Tie The Knot made sense at the time — it was a movement to support Marriage Equality. Now that we have marriage, it was evident that we needed to progress the movement to the more pressing issues affecting our community. That is equality for LGBTQ folks, especially those in marginalized communities within. Pronoun speaks it gender equality, to bodily autonomy, to freedom of express in schools and homes, to safety from gun violence — all of the things plaguing our society now are issues that intersect and affect queer folks as well. So, that’s why we needed to finally rebuild, rebrand and relaunch.”
Similarly to Tie the Knot, Pronoun is at its core a cause-marketing campaign. They partner with brands for collections, cleverly called Do-Goods, that go directly to causes or organizations in the trenches fighting for LGBTQ+ equality. Now with Baby #2 on the way, it only made sense that their inaugural collection would be with parent brand.
“One of the things I always loathed was the idea that gender was so specific in clothing — especially in kids and baby clothes,” says Justin. “The idea that my newborn is wearing a certain color has so much connotation for external folks — but I want my kids to be able to express themselves in every color of the rainbow without judgement or shame. After all, don’t we want our kids to just explore and be? That’s why I love this collection — it speaks exactly to that.”
And the perfect brand partner to pull this off is MiliMili, a brightly colored baby goods brand that was already creating great pieces in prints that steered away from the traditionally gendered. “It’s pretty great because I know both of the girls who are the founders and I love working with and around my friends. In fact, Rose and I were college dorm room neighbors!” explains Justin. “Additionally, when we had our first night nurse she was loyal to MiliMili for sleep sacks and we do absolutely anything that she says … so it was a no brainer.”
Justin and Jesse worked with artist Katie Kaapcke to dream up this collection of Do-Goods, featuring sleep sacks, sheets, loveys, swaddle sets, art prints and more, in a vibrant print that subtly represents the people and flags in the LGBTQIA+ community.
As a parent myself, I can attest to the challenge of finding baby products that aren't covered in stereotypically gendered colors and prints, and bonus that 100 percent of profits will go toward fighting for equality. Color me obsessed. And for Justin and Jesse's favorite piece? “They’re all amazing but of course the crib sheets are amazing because it isn’t easy to find crib sheets with personality — especially ones as soft as these!”
We're excited to see what's in store for Pronoun and admittedly quite impressed with all the things these busy dads have going on, as they get ready to add another kiddo into the mix. “Honestly, the worst part of the prep is the fear of the unknown. Now that we’ve done this before, we feel completely equipped to handle an addition. Plus, being the parent of an almost two-year-old keeps you busy enough that you don’t even have time to stress about another — not to mention everything else that keeps us busy in addition to Beckett,” laughs Justin. And as far as Pronoun, this is just the beginning, “Definitely look out for more in the kids' space but also some adult items for that special someone in your life. We will have select Tie The Knot items return to the site, as well!”
Justin Mikita is an American businessman and activist who is married to actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He is the co-founder of Tie The Knot, a charitable organization that sells bow ties and donates the proceeds to organizations fighting for marriage equality.
Mikita and Ferguson were engaged in 2012 after being together for nearly two years. They married in New York City in 2013, the same year that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and ruled that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages.
As a married gay couple, Mikita and Ferguson have been outspoken advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality. They used their high-profile wedding to draw attention to the cause, encouraging donations to marriage equality organizations in lieu of gifts.
Mikita's activism extends beyond LGBTQ+ issues. He also co-founded Pronoun, an organization that promotes respect for people's gender pronouns. Mikita and Ferguson have used their platforms to promote inclusion, equality and human rights for all people.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson is an American actor best known for playing Mitchell Pritchett on the hit ABC sitcom Modern Family. He earned five Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Mitchell, one of the first openly gay fathers on network television.
Ferguson is also an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality. He married his longtime partner Justin Mikita in 2013. The couple started the non-profit organization Tie The Knot, which sells custom-designed bow ties with proceeds going to organizations fighting for civil rights for the LGBTQ+ community.
What is Pronoun?
Pronoun is a nonprofit organization founded in 2017 by Justin Mikita and his husband Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Their mission is to provide no-cost pronoun support and consultation for organizations, educational institutions, conferences, and events.
Pronoun helps create more inclusive environments by educating on the importance of sharing and respecting personal pronouns. They offer training resources and workshops to assist companies, schools, and groups on how to integrate pronoun use into forms, name tags, introductions, email signatures, and more.