A 14-year-old boy is helping to find dogs their forever home by making them bow ties and helping them to stand out.
Darius Brown started to make fancy dog accessories after Hurricane Irma happened back in 2017.
He found that a number of cats and dogs from Puerto Rico and Floria had been sent to shelters near where he lives in New Jersey.
“Because I was making bow ties at the time, I just thought that if people look good in bow ties, why not dogs and cats?”He told the PA news agency
Darius wanted to help the animals to get adopted when he heard that they may potentially be euthanised if they weren’t found a home.
“It hurt my feelings a lot so I made my mission to help as many dogs and cats in the world as I possibly can”
It was his sister, Dazhai, who taught him to sew at the age of eight, and he had been making bow ties already for two years before.
“Around that time I was diagnosed with a speech delay, a cognitive delay and a fine motor skills delay.”
“Any time I would use a sewing machine, my sister would be kind of scared because I had those delays. But my mom came up with the great idea that if I decided to learn how to cut the fabric then I could also develop my fine motor skills.”
Having begun wearing bowties from a young age, ‘Sir Darius’ became his nickname.
“I feel like sir, it sounds like you’re a guardian or a protector or like you’re a knight,” he said.
It was only natural for him to start making his own.
“I feel like me and bow ties just have a strong connection,”
His creations caught the eye of his friends, who he started making bowties for as well.
It was from that point that he made the move to making them for furry friends, mainly sending them to shelters to help with adoptions, but he also puts some up for sale to the public via his online shop.
He has even made them for famous pets, including President Joe Biden’s rescue dog Major!
“I was actually able to give him one of my own hand-crafted bow ties, which was the inauguration bow tie,”
“I made it the best way I possibly can and I just loved the way it came out.”
Continuing the presidential theme, Barack Obama wrote a letter to Darius commending his hard work, after he read about the way he was helping shelter animals to find a home.
“That was a major, huge accomplishment. When I received the letter I was in tears,” he said. “I am actually honoured and blessed to receive that letter from him.”
Darius estimates that by now he has made around 1,000 bowties, each taking around 15 minutes to make.
His mother, Joy Brown, described his efforts as “very heart-warming”.