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Craft to career: Tea resident starts Sew Doggy Boutique

A trip to the pet groomer with her new puppy led Karli Raymond to start her own pet accessory business.

In 2017, Raymond brought her mini golden doodle for the first time. When she brought him home, she thought he looked super cute in his bandana they had tied around his neck. However, she thought it was tied too tight and not safe.

“Safety-wise I didn’t like how it was tied around his neck because it was tied so tight. What can I do to make a bandana that he can wear safely? I found this pattern online that the bandana slides on his collar,” she said.

Raymond started making reversible bandanas that summer — after digging her sewing machine Christmas gift out of the closet. Her mother had always sewed while she was growing up.

“One year she got me a sewing machine for Christmas. I was like, ‘I’ll just stick that in the closet.’ She was like, ‘I really want you to learn how to sew,’” Raymond said. “I dug it out of the closet. I just taught myself how to do it. It may have taken me an hour and a half to learn how to load the bobbin and thread the machine.”

After getting the hang of her sewing machine, she decided to start Sew Doggy Boutique in April 2018 and broaden the products she offered. Now she makes bandanas, collars, leashes, bow ties, flowers, bows and poop waste bag holders.

Raymond started selling her wares through an Etsy shop. When she sold out of everything on her Etsy shop, she decided it was time to start going to craft fairs as well. The first year she went to 18 shows. Prior to the pandemic she was doing about 20-25 shows during the year. This year she has only done six shows so far.

In addition to her Etsy shop and craft fairs, she also sells her products at Knotty Gnome in Hartford, BluMoon Designs in Sioux Falls and LC Design in Pipestone, Minn.

While Raymond runs the business out of her home in Tea where she and her husband have lived for eight years, she continues working her full-time job at a Sioux Falls law firm.

Raymond grew up in Irene and her husband grew up in Reliance. They knew they wanted to work in Sioux Falls after college but did not want to live there.

“We knew we wanted to be in that small community and be able to work in the city, but get away from that hustle bustle and be in a small town where people know each other and you can go out for a walk and feel safe,” Raymond said.

Find Sew Doggy Boutique on Facebook or Etsy.

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