COLUMN: Kat creating canine couture
Published 2:30 pm Monday, August 15, 2022
By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith | Community Columnist
Sewing is something that comes naturally to Clanton resident Kat Reece. She has a knack for fine hook crocheting and sewing details.
“I’ve began sewing when I was nine,” Reece said. “I received a toy antique Singer sewing machine that I used when I was a little girl to make doll clothes. From there, I learned how to sew watching my mother, both of my grandmothers and my father. He learned how to sew when he was in the Navy.”
Additionally, Reece has a love for animal rescues and helping the Chilton County Humane Society. She has volunteered over the years and currently maintains the organization’s website. It is a cause close to her heart that she feels passionate about.
“Many people think of dogs as family members, but to a dog you are everything — their family, their food, their comfort, their shelter,” Reece said. “The hardest thing to see at the humane society is an owner-surrender, because when the dog’s human leaves, their reaction is horrible to watch. They panic and are desperate. Their world is crumbling.”
During the pandemic and quarantine, Reece got the idea to begin sewing for dogs. She created Kat Loves Dogs, which is an online clothing boutique for dogs. She sews and embellishes each order to the customer’s preference creating a wide range of fashion designs, including wedding dresses, formal wear, special occasions and mid-century styled dresses. Each outfit is priced on average at $30, but can vary depending on fabric and embellishments. With each sale, Reece uses the profit generated to design more canine clothing, which is auctioned off at humane society fundraisers and animal charities.
“I make these outfits because I love dogs,” said Reece. “Every person can give back and help in some way. Even if it is just sharing a dog’s photo on your social media page. The more people that share that dog’s photo — the more chances he has finding a good home. Sewing is my way of giving back.”
Reece, who suffers from chronic pain, said sewing dog couture has helped alleviate some of her pain.
“Keeping my hands and brain engaged while sewing keeps me from thinking about my pain level so much,” said Reece. “I take less pain medicine because I am sewing; focused on helping others.”
To shop Kat Loves Dogs online boutique, visit www.katlovesdogs.com or Facebook Kat Loves Dogs.