Meet The 11-Year-Old Seamstress Saving Shelter Animals, One Bandana At A Time

May 3, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Westport, Massachusetts.

Discovering a passion can lead to remarkable outcomes, as Malia Martinez, an 11-year-old with a heart of gold, has proven.

Just over a year ago, she stumbled upon the world of sewing, thanks to a thoughtful Christmas gift. Little did she know, this newfound skill would become a source of joy and purpose, not just for her, but for countless furry friends as well.

little girl makes bandanas for shelter dogs
Malia Martinez / Sew Creative By Malia (Facebook)

"I got a gift certificate at Christmas to start sewing lessons," Martinez told WJAR. "I really liked it."

After mastering the basics, inspiration struck during a visit to a local craft fair. Surrounded by pet owners and their beloved companions, Malia had an idea that would change lives. Why not create adorable bandanas for dogs and cats and use them to support animal shelters?

Martinez is a huge dog-lover.

"Dogs just help people feel good and stuff," she said.

With boundless enthusiasm and the support of her grandmother, Malia turned a corner of their home into a bustling craft room. Together, they crafted an impressive array of bandanas, each one infused with love and care.

But Malia's mission extended far beyond creating fashionable accessories. She began donating her creations to shelters like Forever Paws in Fall River, hoping to catch the eye of potential adopters.

Martinez also began selling them through word-of-mouth and at pop-up events.

"At first she started just donating the bandannas because it took her a while. She was able to buy fabric with some extra income that she was making from it," her mom, Crystal, said. "Malia is a really kind giving person and she doesn't want for much of anything. It makes her feel good to donate."

Ranging from $3 to $7, money from her sales is now donated to shelters too.

A few weeks ago, she donated more than $200 to the Kingston Animal Shelter.

"They were happy and really appreciative which made me feel really good inside," said Martinez. "It makes me happy to see how it's impacted the people and dogs."

Watch the video below.

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