Sixteen-year-old Sir Darius Brown of Newark, New Jersey, is a force to be reckoned with as Founder and CEO of Beaux & Paws – a pet accessory and lifestyle operation that was launched in 2017. Its mission is to raise awareness of the urgency for shelter cats and dogs to get noticed while wearing their sassy, sophisticated, and stylishly fashion-forward bow ties that Sir Darius designs with the ultimate purpose of getting them adopted to their fur-ever families. “When these pets have on their bow ties, they know they’re cool! They know they got it going on! They know how to walk the walk in their bow ties; especially the big bow ties on the little dogs. They’re just so cute!”
The genesis of Sir Darius’ interest in giving back to animal shelters originated from his awareness of the widespread devastation Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had caused. Rescue animals were being transported to nearby shelters but they were in need of stronger recognition which the bow ties helped promote. “I realized that I wanted to do something for pets when I learned about euthanasia. It was beyond important to adopt these pets because you can save a life from death and that pet can become your best friend.” This PAW-SOME Mission that he started breathes life into countless homeless and shelter pets’ that need saving.
If his testimony gives “pause” for thought, it’s because Sir Darius started from challenging beginnings. A speech comprehension and fine motor skills delay initially affected his hand-eye coordination until his older sister, Dazhai, now a student at Howard University in Washington, D.C., taught him how to cut fabrics and sew hair bows using a sewing machine. “I was a fast learner. It didn’t take me that long to learn what to do on a sewing machine. I’m just thankful and blessed to have an amazing relationship with my sister. She understood me. I don’t look at those tough times as setbacks. Like everyone, I just had a different way of learning and I was able to overcome.”
After getting the knack of it, Sir Darius became a trendsetter by wearing his own bow tie creations in public: church, school, special events – you name it. “At first I was bored but once I put on a bow tie, everything changed. I loved wearing suits and wearing fancy clothes. It made me stand out. I was the best dressed kid on the street even though my friends thought I was a little weird at times. But soon they caught on and started giving me compliments.”
Sir Darius’ unabashed confidence has garnered him access to unimaginable places and experiences. He’s been named one of 100 Global Child Prodigies of the World in addition to being an author, public speaker, and spokesperson. But perhaps the highest adulation has come in the form of a personal letter on Sir Darius’ awesome accomplishments from President Barack Obama. “When I received the letter, it was a HUGE surprise! I was bawling in tears from this amazing moment!”
Inasmuch as Sir Darius has a penchant for dogs, he doesn’t own one because of housing restrictions but his affinity for all breeds and sizes is genuine. “Pomeranians are my favorites and I like dachshunds too. They look just like hot dogs. One day, after I go to college, hopefully Morehouse, I’ll have one.”
In the meantime, education is of critical importance for this rising junior at Pennington High School (Pennington, NJ.). “I am a big history buff. I love, love, LOVE history! I feel that history is key. Because without it, you cannot know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” As for his favorite historian? W.E.B. DuBois. “ I just love him. His words. His writing. His actions. He was such an influential person for his time and I love how he encouraged so many great African American leaders and their teachings.” The maturity of young influencer Sir Darius Brown on protecting the rights of animals is tantamount to the positive impact he has already made on society: One bow tie at a time.
Sir Darius Brown has just published his first book, “Project PAWsome: Saving Shelter Pets One Bow Tie at a Time.” (Autographed copies are available exclusively on his website (sirdariusbrown.com) and can also be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million and wherever books are sold.
He also has an active GoFundMe Campaign for his mission to help shelter pets.