A 12-year-old animal lover with an entrepreneurial spirit has come up with an amazing brainwave. He is designing bow ties so that cats and dogs in rescue shelters can look their best and have a greater chance of finding a home. This is potentially the perfect solution for the desperate need for the rehousing of rescue pets, combined with the current trend for pet fashion. According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million animals enter rescue centers across the United States each year. It is estimated that 3.5 million of these animals are dogs, and 3.2 million are cats. Alarmingly, 1.5 million of these animals are euthanized each year. This is often because the rescue shelters have been unable to find the pet a forever home, and the rescue shelters cannot afford to care for all the animals that come through their doors indefinitely.
12-year-old Darius Brown from Newark, New Jersey, is an animal lover who wanted to increase the number of animals that are rehoused and reduce the numbers of euthanized animals that were unable to find a new home. His idea was to design snazzy bow ties for them to wear to look their best whenever potential new owners were viewing the animals, says The Week. The idea came to Darius while he was enjoying one of his passions, sewing. He was diagnosed as a toddler with developmental delays, and this affected his fine motor skills. When he was eight, his sister, Dazhai Brown-Shearz, began making hair ribbons with their mother. They suggested to Darius that he should get involved to help him develop his fine motor skills. They got him to cut up the ribbons and to sew fabric together.
This led to Darius making bow ties for himself. He would wear them out, and this attracted the attention of strangers who would often ask him where he had bought them. This inspired the young entrepreneur to set up his own company, which is called Beaux and Paws. For every product he sells, he donates money to the ASPCA. He also delivers his bow ties in person to the animal shelters so that the animals can wear them during viewings. Darius has already visited several animal shelters, and he has big plans to extend his visits to shelters in other states during the summer when he is off school.
Darius’ mother, Joy Brown, has expressed her pride in her son. She has said that Darius has had a difficult personal journey and has had to overcome many challenges and that he still has many challenges yet to face. Despite his difficulties, it has not stopped him from doing something that he believes in and helping animals in need. It is possible that giving the rescue animals a little fashion sense could potentially increase their chances of a family falling in love with an animal and offering them a forever home, which is the best outcome possible for the animal. Darius has clearly caught on to the trend for pet clothing and accessories, which many people find appealing. Dog and cat owners often think their pets look twice as adorable when wearing items of pet fashion. In fact, the pet fashion industry is one that is growing at a rapid rate, so Darius might have chosen a good industry in which to launch a business.
Forbes says that the pet fashion industry is getting hotter by the day. Millennials are the biggest pet-owning generation of all time, and one of the biggest spending trends of 2018 was pet clothing. Statistics show that there are now more households with pets than there are with children and that pet owners see their pets as members of the family more now than ever before. Many treat their pets like babies and spend large amounts of money on accessories and clothing, just like they would if they were spending on their child.
The value of the pet industry in 2018 was estimated at $72.1 billion, and pet food is the biggest expenditure category accounting for 42 percent of sales. However, figures for spending on pet clothing and other accessories is continuing to climb. Darius’ idea to make accessories for the pets at animal shelters is a rather unique concept. However, he is not the only person who is selling items of clothing and accessories to raise money for animals in need.
Buzz Feed reports that there are lots of awesome stores out there that sell clothes and then donate a portion of the profits to animal charities. These clothes often feature animal-themed designs that will appeal to animal lovers who are keen to support causes that help animals. One example is Ivory Ella, who make clothes, jewelry, and accessories that feature elephant designs. A portion of the profits is donated to Save the Elephants, which is a charity that aims to raise awareness of the ivory trade and to research and prevent this trade from continuing.
Another example of a clothing company raising money for animal causes is I Heart Dogs. They sell a range of T-shirts for men, women, and children, and a percentage of the purchase price goes straight to animal shelters. The money is used to feed dogs and to give them the care they need. Whenever a consumer makes a purchase from I Heart Dogs, they tell the customer exactly how many animals the product you have purchased will feed. In one month alone, the clothes they sell can feed more than 200,000 animals.
While the contribution that Darius is making with his business is small scale in comparison to the money raised by the larger companies, his efforts are still valuable to the animals living in the shelters he supports. This kind-hearted young man is making a huge difference in the lives of many animals in need.