Sure, dogs need to be walked all year round. But come spring, like humans, they have a little extra spring in their step. Why not make sure they look sharp, too?

A snazzy bow tie from Auburn-based SunFlowerFreckles will make your little boo-boo the leader of the pack and the snappiest dresser in the dog park. The bow ties have elastic on the back, so the tie just slides right onto the collar – that means no wriggling around as you try to make him look his best. Some of the designs are definitely dog-friendly – bones, paw prints, ice cream. (Hey, dogs love ice cream.) Others would look great on either dog or human, and sometimes that’s exactly what happens – person and pet wear matching ties, says Laura Decato, owner of SunFlowerFreckles.

Decato started making children’s clothing when her own children were young, and “somehow the bow tie section really took off.” From there, a couple of people asked if she could make bow ties for pets.

“I’d say 80 percent of my sales are for pets now,” she said.

Pets? Yes, she makes bow ties for cats, too. There are even – squeal! – bow ties for kittens.

Decato says sales do tend to go up in spring, but other than that she hasn’t noticed any particular buying patterns. When someone buys a bow tie with hot dogs on it, though, she does wonder if it’s going to be a weiner dog wearing it. She has a hard time keeping nautical patterns in stock. Fishermen, anchors, even lobsters – they’re popular everywhere in the country.

Decato recently branched off into pet neckties – the kind your father wore, and the kind that will transform your laid back little Westie into an alpha dog. “Those are hilarious,” she said. ” I don’t sell as many of those online as I do in retail stores.”

Decato’s pet bow ties cost $7-$10, depending on the size. They’re sold in a half dozen stores from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor: Junebug’s Beachhouse in Ogunquit and Kennebunkport; LocalCentric in Gray; Corn Shop Trading Co. in Bridgton; Country Blessings in Belfast; Sunshine and Dixie in Ellsworth; and My Darling Maine in Bar Harbor.

Decato’s customers like posting photos of their pets wearing SunFlowerFreckles bow ties on social media, and it is a hoot. Check out the photos on her Etsy.com shop, on Amazon, and on Decato’s website.

Whooozagoodboooy?

— MEREDITH GOAD

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.