Thursday, August 22, 2013
When Soddy-Daisy resident Shirley Nale’s daughter Terrie was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, she decided to quit working to stay at home to take care of her. To supplement her income, she started sewing handmade dog clothes, which she now sells under the name Gran Paws Doggie Wear.
She made her first outfit last April when Terrie Nale asked her for a dog dress. Shirley Nale found a dress she liked online, but felt she could make something better herself, she said.
“I started hunting patterns,” said Shirley Nale, who for 15 years had operated a business in which she sewed bows for newborn babies.
Up until now she has been selling her doggie outfits to people who see her out with her dog when her dog is dressed up. She said she has gotten many customers from her visits to the auction on Highway 30 in Dayton every Friday night.
“Word of mouth has been getting around,” Shirley Nale said, adding that she is currently working on getting her website set up.
The most popular dress she makes is a French maid outfit, and flannel pajamas will be a hot ticket item as the weather begins to cool, she said.
She has made outfits for dogs as small as a teacup Chihuahua up to a 15- to 20-pound dog. Terrie Nale helps her mother with the designs.
“Our most favorite part of the day is getting to sew and make dog clothes,” said Terrie Nale.
Her mother said she plans to expand her collection soon to include dresses in the colors of regional state universities such as Alabama and Tennessee, as well as delving into doggie neckties and separate shirts and skirts.
Items range in price from $7.99 to $19.99, depending on how elaborate the design is.
“Terrie likes about 10 yards of lace,” Shirley Nale said of dresses she has made with her daughter. “Everyone sees them and then they want one.”