One kind teen decided to help shelter dogs find forever homes in a very unique way. Darius Brown, a 14-year-old student from Newark, New Jersey, runs his own business making handmade bowties for shelter dogs. The animal lover and founder of Beaux & Paws discovered that the bow ties helped shelter dogs get adopted three times faster.
Darius’ business combines two of his greatest passions in life: bowties and animals. The teen started creating fashionable doggy accessories back in 2015 at just eight years old. As an animal advocate, he hoped this would help dogs get adopted more often – and it did!
“I just love it when they’re wearing one of my bow ties,” Brown told NBC’s Rehema Ellis on Weekend TODAY.
Meet A Kind Teen Who Helps Promote Adoption, One Dog At A Time
Darius donates the bowties to rescue organizations all over the country. He creates a wide variety of neckwear, from striped bowties to polka-dotted ones and more. Darius loves seeing posts on social media of the bowtie-wearing dogs getting adopted, and it inspires him to keep going.
The kind teen featured one of the adopted dogs on his Instagram. “The beautiful Harley here was adopted after sporting my Spring Blossom bow tie,” the caption said. The post also urged his audience to consider adopting or fostering a pet to help them find a permanent home.
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Darius says that he’s lost count of how many bowties he’s made, but estimates it’s over 1,000 so far. The eighth-grader got the business idea after seeing the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the summer of 2017.
“I would always see on television and wonder, ‘How come there were all these people getting help, but not any animals or dogs being helped?'” he says.
Following the news, the kind teen heard that some displaced dogs had been transferred to the ASPCA in New York City. While visiting the adoption center, Darius learned that hundreds of dogs get euthanized at some shelters because of overcrowding. As a huge dog lover, hearing this broke his heart.
This inspired his mission to help save animals’ lives by donating his handmade bowties to animal shelters. He hoped this would help the animals get adopted faster. After all, who can resist a dog wearing a bowtie?!
Making Bowties Doesn’t Just Benefit The Dogs – It Helps Darius As Well.
Darius never imagined that his desire to help shelter dogs would turn into such a big mission. His efforts have gotten the attention of rescue organizations across the country. He even received a signed letter from former President Barack Obama praising him for his work!
Making the bowties helps the kind teen as well. At two years old, Darius got diagnosed with delays in speech, comprehension, and fine motor skills. Due to the developmental delays, he had trouble using his hands for everyday tasks such as tying his shoes. His family wanted to encourage his development but struggled with ways to help him.
At age 8, however, Darius had a breakthrough while his sister Dazhai was attending cosmetology school. In her classes, she had to make hair ribbons for little girls. One day, she and her mom got the idea to have Darius help prep the ribbons, cut them, and sew fabric together. Their brilliant idea worked because Darius seemed to catch on very quickly!
While the sewing aspect was difficult for him initially, he stuck with it because he wanted to help his sister. The kind teen gives Dazhai all the credit for helping him learn how to sew, which kickstarted his own business.
“When she learned how to sew it was because of our grandmother,” he said. “And then our grandmother passed away. So I felt as though when my sister had to teach me how to sew, it was like that family passing down the line thing.”
After mastering sewing, Darius began creating his own bowties to wear. When he went out in public, people often asked where they could buy one. So, he decided to start the bowtie company Beaux & Paws to create the neckwear for people and their pets.
Darius Continues On His Mission To Help Dogs Find Happy Forever Homes
The kind teen’s desire to help shelter dogs have better lives ignited a fire within him. However, he never realized how far this passion would take him. Now, he’s partnered with large dog organizations like Wagmor Pets Dog Rescue and Soi Dog Foundation.
He recently fashioned a red polka-dotted bowtie for Nontongo, a three-legged dog rescued by Wagmor. The sweet dog had been transported to California all the way from Thailand after being hit by a car. We haven’t heard if he’s been adopted, but hopefully, the adorable bowtie did the trick!
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Darius has donated thousands of handmade bowties to shelters and rescue agencies across the US and the UK. In 2019, the kind teen even created the “Paw-some mission,” which aims to ship bowties and visit animal shelters in all 50 states. Upon visiting the shelters, Darius will personally deliver bowties and help with adoption events.
He also uses his social media platform to post about adoptable pets wearing his bowties. His mission is to save lives, one bowtie at a time. By the looks of it, he’s doing an amazing job, and his family couldn’t be prouder of him.
Final Thoughts About The Kind New Jersey Teen Who Makes Bowties to Help Dogs
Darius, a kind teen from Newark, New Jersey, made it his life mission to help shelter dogs find loving homes. After seeing how many dogs got displaced by hurricanes in the summer of 2017, Darius figured out a way to help. He started creating cute bowties to help shelter dogs become more adoptable. It seems to work, considering the dogs get adopted three times faster!
If you’d like to help with his mission, visit his website. You can either make a donation or buy bowties for you or your pets!