In 2017, an influx of animals were left homeless after Hurricane Irma struck Florida and Puerto Rico. When teen, Darius Brown, saw this, he wanted to take action. He knew that he had to do something, but at first, he didn’t know how he could help; little did he know that he’d use the sewing skills he’d nabbed from his older sister a few years prior.
The animals that had been rescued were in crowded spaces and didn’t look the best, making it harder for them to be adopted. Brown’s solution: doggy bow ties! He figured that if he made the rescue dogs bow ties that it would make them stand out among the crowd, so people would be more apt to adopt them. He first delivered 25 bow ties to the ASPCA in New York City, and to Brown’s surprise, they were a huge success. The bow ties allowed the dogs to not only stand out but they also allowed the dogs to show off their unique personalities. The executive director of an animal shelter in New Jersey said this about Brown’s tiny bow ties: “Animals who wear them get adopted right away because people find them instantly charming.”
Nonetheless, Brown’s bow tie journey wasn’t always this simple. Brown’s mother was initially concerned with her son using a sewing machine, as he was diagnosed with a speech disorder and a fine motor skills disorder as a young child. However, Brown didn’t let that stop him; it’s been four years since he began, and he’s made close to 600 bow ties for rescue cats and dogs all over the country. “Polka dot ties, striped ties, ties with dog paws and rhinestones — every tie is different, and I like to sew them all.”
Brown is making a difference in the lives of cats and dogs everywhere, but he is also impacting humanity. By making these animals more adoptable, people are bringing home more pets, saving them from crowded shelters and/or euthanasia, and making them a part of their families. Brown’s selfless mission and devotion goes to show that even the smallest of actions truly can make a difference.