Shelter pets all over New Jersey have a pop of style, thanks to one little accessory: a bow tie.
Beaux & Paws is the brainchild of 12-year-old Darius Brown, who is the company’s CEO. The New Jersey native’s goal is to help shelter pets stand out with a snazzy bow, so they can get adopted quicker.
Seeing the pets that were displaced in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma inspired Darius to start the company.
Not only did he wind up helping shelter pets, Darius wound up helping himself.
"When I was younger, I was diagnosed with a speech delay, a comprehension delay, and applying motor skills delay.” Darius told InsideEdition.com.
Darius’ sister, Dazhai, says she has noticed an improvement in her little brother since he started making the little ties by hand.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes in his maturity from when Darius was younger until now,” Dazhai told InsideEdition.com. “He’s a lot more empathetic in bringing awareness to adoption. Before, I think it just upset him more. His comprehension, his fine motor skills, they have more development to make. But we’re making progress. And it’s slow and steady, but we’re getting there.”
More than two years later, Darius has amassed a ton of supporters who have fallen in love with his mission. He has even snagged the attention of former President Barack Obama, who sent him a letter of recognition commemorating his community service.
"Lately, Darius' supporters and people who are passionate and want to help Darius have been donating a lot of fabric. At first, it was a lot coming out of pocket, and then we were sponsored by Wyndam Fabric, which is located here in Jersey. And then once the word got out, a lot of people started reaching out and saying, 'I just wanna help any way I can, can I donate to you,’" Dazhai said.
Now, Darius is ready for his next pawsome mission: bringing his bow ties to shelter pets across the country.
His GoFundMe page has already raised enough money for him to embark on that journey.
For anyone who may feel too little for their big dreams, here’s some advice from the CEO himself: “If you have a passion for anything that you do and love, don't wait until you're like 30 or 40, just start it now and just pursue it, and never give up, and just continue."