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Teen’s ambition launches in local store

Rochester, N.Y. - Phoenix Haberdashery will join the ranks of Vera Bradley and Bird Dog Bay at Parkleigh store on Park Avenue in Rochester.

The brainchild behind it- 15-year-old Riley Benner.

If you didn't know, Haberdashery means maker of men's fashions.

And Phoenix is a symbol for the goal of Benner's company, to help others.

"I go to McQuaid so I wear ties every day of the week. I developed, I guess you could say I have a passion for the men's fashion industry and I realized one day that half way up the tie, the design, the pattern changed but you wouldn't be able to see while wearing it," Benner said.

Benner thought it would be neat to show off that other side, so he took his idea of a reversible tie to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy - also known as YEA.

He did very well.

He's preparing for the national competition, and his idea will be on store shelves in time for Father's Day.

"That's kind of the moment when I thought we have something here," said Benner. "We can have our ties in a local business and one that is very renown, Parkleigh and that's when it hit me that Phoenix Haberdashery can go somewhere."

Just how far he'll go, the sky's the limit.

Benner has plans to sell his ties in boutiques in New York City and he's creating a website where men can create their own ties, proving he's here to stay.

"They're fashion forward, they're trendy, I think these reversible neck times are something that can change the game. I believe they'll change the men's fashion industry," said Benner.

Benner is working with Mary's Place in Rochester, which houses refugees.

Some residents there will help sew materials for his ties.

Riley heads to Washington D.C. for the national YEA competition, where he'll compete for thousands of dollars in college scholarships and a chance to appear on shark tank.

13WHAM's Jennifer Lee will tag along and will have reports on Wednesday and Thursday.

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Washington Times