A New Jersey teenager who has been celebrated for making bow ties to help animals get adopted is now putting his sewing talents towards making protective masks for frontline workers.
Darius Brown, 13, who created Beaux and Paws, in which he puts homemade bow ties on shelter animals to make them a bit more attractive to people looking for pets, has pivoted toward producing the masks for health care workers, according to PEOPLE.
The enterprising teen posted a message on Instagram on March 28 announcing his intention to help after news spread about hospitals nationwide running short on personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Today I am working on creating surgical masks to donate since the hospitals have a shortage on masks,” Brown shared. “This first one came out great.
“Let’s all work together, help out where we can, and especially practice social distancing so we can all get through this pandemic,” he added. “In the midst of this storm remember to smile and STAY PAW-SOME!!!!”
Brown was diagnosed with comprehension delay, speech delay and fine motor skills delay when he was just two years old, according to PEOPLE. But his family encouraged creativity and he developed a love for fashion and animals. At age eight, that culminated into cutting fabrics and sewing hair ribbons for his sister, who was in cosmetology school.
Not long after, he began to make his own bow ties and wore them daily and people would ask him about the ties. That eventually turned into his own business.
The teen has sewn 75 masks and intents to give them to hospital workers in New York and New Jersey, reports Better Homes & Gardens.
"Although this pandemic has affected all of our lives, he said on Instagram, “let's continue to smile, stay positive and help each other through this crisis."