Bolo Tie Eye Wear Retainer Origin Story Brolo

Brolo Origins

I was (key word was) the guy that lost his glasses.  I left them at classroom desks, restaurant tables, day parties, and weddings.  To solve this problem, I started wearing eyewear retainers (AKA Chums or Croakies), even though my girlfriend (now wife) Sara would call me dorky.

While this prevented me from losing my glasses, it caused another problem.  Dangling sunglasses and the classic Burt bearhugs were ingredients in a recipe that resulted in FUBAR’ed glasses.

To solve that problem, I started rocking my glasses reverse, protected behind my neck (#ProtectYourSpecs).  Shortly thereafter, a 2010 college day-partier slurred to me, “Sweet tie bro.” He was drunk, but onto something.  I look back now to that moment as the inception of the Brolo even though it wasn’t apparent at the time. 

      Uncle Carl and Baby Colin Shirley with her husband Carl rocking his Bolo TieAnother one of Carl and toddler Colin

In 2016, our uncle Carl passed away.  He was a unique, loving guy that often rocked a bolo tie, especially ones that represented the Shriners. Carl’s family brought our mom under their roof when she was 18.  Carl’s wife Shirley gave Keenan and I a Bolo Tie of our choosing from Carl’s vast collection after his passing. The Bolo Tie became much more than an accessory after that. It embodies the life and love of our uncle Carl and his family.  

It wasn’t until later at Hayleigh and Derek’s beautiful wedding that the revelation hit us like a ton of bricks. The seed planted in college had flourished into a promising idea.  Combine the functionality of Eye Wear Retainers with the style of a Bolo Tie! 

Eye Retainers + Bolo Tie + Burt Brothers = The Brolo

The Brolo is our way of honoring our family, paying tribute to previous generations, and spreading good vibes.  All in the form of a unique, fashionable, and functional twist on a classic accessory. 


-Colin Burt

P.S. Buy a Brolo and join the party of good people and good vibes we call Brolonation.  

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My dad moved from NY to the Southwest where he lived out the remainder of his life and he always wore his turquoise bolo,so I’ll be sporting these in homage!!! Thanks guys!


Are the braided lanyards made from leather?

Joe Walker

ordering one for hubby soon.
BTW…the Bolo tie is the State tie of Arizona..our home !

Ann Forschler

Thanks for writing such a wonderful article about how the Carrier family started the bolo business. Love the pictures. Love the Carrier family ❤❤❤


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