How do you help draw attention to those sweet shelter pets? Let them romp around in adorable neckwear, of course!

By Emily Schroeder
May 05, 2021
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Meet Darius Brown—an industrious teenager with a heart of gold. This 14-year-old from Newark, N.J., makes snazzy handmade bow ties for shelter dogs and cats—in hopes their fancy new accessories will help secure forever homes. 

Brown founded Beaux & Paws in 2017 after seeing the devastation of hurricanes Harvey and Irma in August and September of that year. That's when he learned some rescue dogs were being transferred from the devastation in Texas and Puerto Rico to the ASPCA shelter in New York City. He wanted to help them find new adoptive families. Putting his sewing passion to use, Brown came up with the ingenious idea to help the displaced dogs "look dapper and cute … to make them more noticeable in hopes of finding their forever homes faster."

When Brown was just 9 years old, he began watching his sister sew. She learned from their grandmother, and in a recent interview with Today, Brown says he "felt as though when my sister had to teach me how to sew, it was like that family passing down the line thing." 

Despite being diagnosed with a speech, comprehension, and fine motor skills delay at the age of 2, Brown worked hard and perfected his craft over the years. To date, he's donated countless bow ties to shelters and adoption centers across the country and United Kingdom. He tells Today that he can't keep count of how many bow ties he's created but estimates around 1,000. He frequently shares updates on pets who've found homes—like these adorable dogs and cats—on his Instagram account, @SirDariusBrown.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would turn into such an amazing mission that has inspired so many people," he told the Today show.

Brown regularly updates his social media accounts with pictures of his four-legged friends sporting the latest Beaux & Paws line. In this post he says, "Sweet girl, Banana went home yesterday with her forever family looking so precious wearing my 'Buzzin' Around' bow tie.

Continuing to advocate for animals by helping shelter pets find permanent homes, Brown's latest goal is to visit shelters in all 50 states. He calls it the "PAW-SOME MISSION."

In the most extraordinary example of praise, former President Barack Obama sent Brown a personal letter commending him for his "commitment to community service." Obama says, "As long as you stay engaged in the world around you, continue looking for ways to help others, and never give up on yourself, I am confident our future will be bright." 

It's no surprise that dapper dogs all around are bowing down to Darius Brown! This talented teenager is making a difference in the animal kingdom, one bow tie at a time.