Scarves for Paws: A Small Business Helps Local Animal Shelters

Jasmine and I
Chelsea and her first dog, Jasmine

There are rare instances when a school project can turn into something more. This happened to Chelsea Nelson, owner and founder of Scarves for Paws — an online shop of homemade scarves. The idea came to her when she was asked to combine two of her passions into one project. Her hobby of knitting and her love of dogs came to mind, and Scarves for Paws was born. Her other inspiration was of course a dog — her first dog, Jasmine, to be exact, who passed away last November.

“She was my best friend and taught me so much about compassion for animals,” Chelsea said. Her first round of donations went to Sterling Shelter, a no-kill shelter located in Sterling, MA, where she adopted Jasmine. Her donations helped purchase cleaning supplies, paper towels, food, and toys for the animals.

Scarves for Paws started off via word of mouth. Chelsea sold them around her college campus and through friends and family. With those sales she was able to attend two dog festivals to sell her merchandise, and she has been invited to more events. Since then she has created a website to help out-of-town sales and has networked as much as possible. Her latest goal is to donate to Dog Orphans — a shelter located in Douglas, MA — for the holidays.Fall Festival 2015

Chelsea is a big believer in adopting from a shelter. When asked about her thoughts on getting your new best friend from an animal shelter, she had this to say:

“What’s stopping you? These dogs deserve to live in a home with a loving family, not in a cement cage. I can’t wait to adopt more dogs from shelters in the future.”

One of her long-term goals for the future is to open up her own shelter; although, if there was no longer a need for shelters, she would be okay with that too. Chelsea recently acquired a puppy named Aussie from Stowe’s Farm in Millbury.

scarves for paws
Image via Scarves for Paws

Scarves for Paws was featured at the third Annual Hounds and Sounds event held by Dog Orphans in Oxford, MA, and at The Friends of The Attleboro Animal Shelter event in September. Chelsea’s most recent stop was on December 5th at Gibson Resort and Kennel in Worchester.

The scarves come in nearly every color imaginable — from Dark Orchid to Peach — and each one has a little black paw print stitched in the front to remind you of the cause behind the fashion statement.

Take a look for yourself on Chelsea’s online store!

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