Dog modeling a bowtie created by Beaux & Paws.
Sir Darius Brown, teenage founder of Beaux & Paws, started his business to help rescue dogs get noticed and adopted faster. — Beaux & Paws

Challenges are inevitable when you’re running a business. To teenager Sir Darius Brown, Founder of Beaux & Paws, being an entrepreneur means overcoming those obstacles and pushing forward.

“When it gets hard or when you make a mistake, just adjust, be resilient, and learn from it,” Brown said. “Don't give up.”

As a self-proclaimed “kidtrepreneur,” Brown has faced many challenges in his entrepreneurial journey, but he continues to forge ahead. His business, Beaux & Paws, produces bow ties for dogs and cats in shelters to help raise awareness of shelter pets in need and pet adoption — but the idea stemmed from a skill Brown learned while overcoming some personal challenges.

As a toddler, Brown was diagnosed with speech, comprehension, and fine motor skills delay. A childhood therapist recommended he use his hands more to practice his fine motor skills, and since his sister was an entrepreneur making bow ties at the time, he learned right alongside her.

Shortly after, Brown witnessed the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and wondered what was happening to all of the rescued animals. He found out many were being brought to shelters and wanted to help.

“I knew that when I wore bow ties, I received a lot of attention and compliments,” Brown said. “So, if a dog wore a bow tie [to look] cute and extra dapper, I knew they would definitely get noticed.”

[Read more: Summer Business Ideas for Teens]

Finding success through social media

Beaux & Paws took off with the help of social media. From his home in Newark, New Jersey, Brown made many of his original connections to shelters across the country through Facebook where he continues to connect with customers.

“I [also] opened a Facebook Shop where clients can buy bow ties directly from my page, which has amplified my reach, bringing more awareness to shelter pets and helping get more dogs adopted,” Brown said.

As of December 2022, Brown also has more than 138,000 followers on Instagram and uses Instagram Reels to keep his followers updated.

My favorite part of being an entrepreneur is having a business with a purpose where I can give back.

Sir Darius Brown, Founder, Beaux & Paws

Since the launch of Beaux & Paws, Brown has raised over $300,000 for shelters and been nominated for a multitude of awards, including the Global Child Prodigy Award, GoFundMe Kid Hero award, and Hero to Animals award.

But like any other entrepreneur, Brown balances his successful business with many other obligations. Not only does he produce his own products, market them, and visit shelters, but he also attends school. For entrepreneurs struggling to find a work-life balance, Brown recommends starting with a support system.

“[Owning a business] is a lot of work,” he said. “It takes a lot of time, sacrifice, and a great support system. It took some time to develop a flow, but now I organize my time and my days to complete certain projects and orders.”

[Read more: How to Choose the Best Social Platforms for Your Business]

Inspiring others to get started

Despite the long hours and busy days, Brown loves being an entrepreneur and is excited about what’s next for Beaux and Paws.

“My favorite part of being an entrepreneur is having a business with a purpose where I can give back,” he said. “I also like meeting new people and building a community, being able to interact with dogs and cats, and being able to inspire others.”

In the future, Beaux & Paws will be offering even more products, such as bandanas, leashes, collars, and more. Brown is also working on a book that will launch in 2023, a new venture he hopes will inspire middle-school students and adults alike.

“I started a business not knowing anything about business,” Brown said. “I'm still learning, so know that you will learn something new every day.”

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Interested in a small business membership?

Find out how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce can help your company grow and thrive in today's rapidly-evolving business environment. Connect with our team to learn how a small business membership can benefit your bottom line and help you achieve your goals.

Published January 05, 2023