By Rene Ray De La Cruz Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Kaylee Peterson's "Patterned Paw Prints" bandanas feature everything from sports teams to favorite foods even funny phrases.
Dogs across the world are sporting designer bandanas as fashion statements that also raise money for cancer awareness thanks to local resident Kaylee Peterson.
An entrepreneur and the owner of Patterned Paw Prints, Peterson spends much of her time creating the unique bandanas that have been shipped to Canada, Europe, Asia and throughout the U.S.
The homemade designs include everything from sports logos and geometric figures, to holiday patterns and food, said Peterson, 24, who lives in Victorville with her husband, Matthew.
"My dog, Lizzie, was the inspiration behind starting my business," Peterson said. "She was a Cocker Maltese who was my childhood friend for 15 years until she passed away in September 2018."
After Lizzie died, a heartbroken Peterson was comforted by photos and memories of her dog -- and her furry friend's purple cheetah print bandana. "Lizzie was there when I grew up -- through school, sports, breakups and all my transitions in life," said Peterson, who graduated with a degree in psychology from Vanguard University in Costa Mesa. "That's why that purple bandana was so important to me."
Deciding that distinctive bandanas could bring joy and comfort to others, Peterson started her business to personalize the accessories for pet owners. Peterson's husband bought her a sewing machine, but she didn't know how to sew, so she watched YouTube videos to learn and browsed for materials at stores like JO-ANN Fabrics and Crafts.
"My first bandana was a horrendous piece of work that I wasn't happy about," said Peterson, who is working toward a master's degree at California Baptist University. "But after a lot of practice, I started getting the hang of it."
The couple's dog, Ruger, has also been a big help to Peterson, who uses the golden retriever and German shepherd mix as a model for her creativity.
Before Christmas, Peterson approached fellow dog owner Mackenzie Makatche about a special project to help those battling cancer. Makatche is the owner of nine Newfoundland dogs and the Facebook group "Newf Crew."
"Mackenzie's mom recently died of colon cancer, and I wanted to honor her by creating nine colored bandanas that represent each cancer," Peterson said. "We chose the cancers that had personal connections to us, and then we matched them with deserving causes who will receive a portion of the proceeds."
Each bandana includes a heart logo and cancer ribbon, and is color-coded to represent the different types of the disease, such as pink for breast cancer and teal for ovarian cancer.
The bandanas may also represent an individual who has fought or is fighting cancer, Peterson said.
Since January 2019, Peterson has made more than 1,500 bandanas, as well as many hair scrunchies that can be fashioned to match the bandana of a person's choosing.
"The response to Patterned Paw Prints on social media and from the dog community has been very positive," Peterson said. "I'm so encouraged and excited about the future."
For more information, visit www.FaceBook.com/PatternedPawPrints or search "PatternedPawPrints" on Etsy, Instagram and Pinterest.
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