Capital Region BOCES senior opens his own business

As a high school junior enrolled in the Capital Region BOCES Global Fashion program, Dane Zenner noted that the Cinderella Prom Dress Event was great for providing dresses but it had no options for those students who attended the prom in male clothing.

A young man wearing a white, backwards baseball cap and a pink hoodie sits at a sewing machine with a display of various bow ties arranged in front of him.
Global Fashion student Dane Zenner didn’t see an option for traditional male clothing during Capital Region BOCES’s annual Cinderella Prom Dress Event. So, he did something about it.

From that realization, the Shenendehowa High School senior decided to teach himself how to make bow ties so the 2024 Cinderella Prom Dress Event would have something for everyone.

“Every year we have the prom dress sale, and there is never anything for guys to pick out, so I went on YouTube and taught myself how to make bow ties, and it really took off,” said Zenner.

Now, the 17-year-old has launched a business—DZBows—where he is marketing his products.

Available online at and through Instagram, Zenner said he offers regular and custom designs and is looking to expand his business with an Etsy shop and other products.

“It’s fun,” he said. “I can make one in an hour or so and use my creativity.”

For his creations, he charges $25, a price he arrived at using the skills he learned at BOCES.

“I used the business knowledge we have learned in Global Fashion to come up with the pricing,” he said.

Zenner is also making bow ties for donation to the Cinderella Prom Dress Event, where they will be sold to students for $5.

An arrangement of bow ties on display.
It’s not necessarily a black tie affair, Zenner’s bow ties come in a variety of colors.

Zenner will be manufacturing the Prom Dress event ties in class for the remainder of the school year in addition to his normal class work, gaining work-based learning hours to apply to his education, said teacher Chloe Perazzelli.

“Dane’s enthusiasm with the project is evident daily and is infectious,” Perazzelli said. “The project demonstrated exactly what is hoped for through work-based learning—the potential to create job opportunities through skills learned at CTE.”

For more information on the fashion program, go to