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By Laurie Pearson, Staff writer
Nine-year-old Lucy Higgins of Fayetteville loves animals, especially her American bulldog/lab mix, “Mable”, who has inspired a collection of designer dog collars, branded “Lucy’s Loops”.
“They are inseparable,” Lucy’s father, Clay Higgins, said of Lucy and Mable. “Everything is geared toward Mable … The bond is amazing, and it’s taught her a lot of responsibility.”
“We got Mable from the Lincoln County Animal shelter four years ago,” says Lucy. “My mom says she is spoiled rotten, but I think she is just really loved!”
The family also has two other dogs, four cats and five horses.
Last fall, when Lucy took sewing lessons, the love she has for her animals gave her the idea, at first, to make harnesses for the horses. But, Lucy’s mom, Amy Higgins, suggested that maybe she should start with dog collars first.
Try as they might, Amy and their sewing instructor, Laura Wyatt of It’s-Sew-U Fabrics, couldn’t persuade Lucy to sew a skirt or anything for herself.
“All Lucy wanted to make was dog collars,” said Amy.
As the number of collars she made far out-numbered the dogs the Higgins family has, Amy made a suggestion.
“I said that maybe we should try to sell some,” Amy added.
Lucy enlisted her 11-year-old brother, Hunter, to help measure and cut the fabric, and Amy helps too. Small, medium and large sizes have been produced with various patterns, including flowers, paw prints, bones, hearts and animal prints, along with polka dots and camouflage.
Amy and Clay talked to Lucy about the importance of giving back to the community and possibly giving some of the money to a charitable organization. Since most of their animals have come from the shelter, two dogs and their barn cats, Lucy decided that she wanted to donate funds from the collar sales to the local animal shelter.
Of the first 50 collars she produced, Lucy sold 38, many to family members and friends. The heavy duty collars range from $12 – $15. So far, Lucy has donated $400 to help homeless animals.
Since her first sales, Lucy has sewn another 21 collars and is introducing her “Spring Collection”, a series of collars in bright colors and bold patterns.
Last week, the collars went on display at Salon 201 in the Artisan’s Treasures display section. The salon is located at the corner of Main Avenue and Market Street.
Now that the collars are more accessible to the public, Lucy may be able to raise even more money for the shelter.
Lucy said her next project is making dog jackets for Mable.