Harley looked dashing in his pink-and-white tuxedo. I’m not sure if he will be called upon to wear evening clothes.
Harley is a dog.
A Shih Tzu to be exact.
He isn’t on everyone’s formal social calendar. His “mom” just enjoys making doggie clothing — one-of-a-kind doggie clothing.
Her sales demographic isn’t widespread, what with only a yard sign in Marysville, “LLC Creations Affordable Homemade Dog Clothes.” And Lee-Ann Correa, 47, isn’t computer savvy, so she doesn’t advertise online.
What she does well is make darling clothes for dogs of all sizes. Neatly arranged on rods in her living room showroom are blouses for petite pups Paris Hilton could hold in her palm and jackets for German shepherds.
Her friend and customer Edith Larsen dresses her dogs, Bella and Sweet Pea, long-haired Chihuahuas, and Missy, a short-haired Chihuahua.
“There are a number of reasons I dress my dogs,” Larsen said. “They are small and get cold in the winter so they wear coats and sweatshirts to help with that.”
Anyway, she has two sons and a grandson, so she needs little girls to dress, Larsen said.
Her three dogs get lots of attention when they go places.
“It makes a big impression,” Larsen said. “Besides, I didn’t have enough dolls as a child.”
Dressing pets is popular, said Gayle Neadeau, manager at Alta’s Pet Gallery in Marysville. She is waiting for a shipment of dog clothes, including Christmas plaids, velvets and little hats.
“Clothing is very popular for animals,” Neadeau said. “When you take them for walks, they have to stay warm.”
Correa, who went to school in Edmonds, met her husband, Kevin, on Waikiki Beach on Hawaii.
They got divorced, then remarried.
She owned a ceramic shop and has gorgeous handmade dolls on display around her home in Marysville. She used to have German shepherds but couldn’t find anything for them to wear.
Correa searches for just the right fabric for her puppy clothes.
Larsen pointed to the detailed seamstress work, with bric-a-brac on top of a skirt and slip.
“Look at this work,” Larsen said. “You could turn them inside out and wear them.”
Doggie clothing that Correa has found at pet shops isn’t well made, she said.
“If I buy something at a store,” she said, “I take it home, tear it apart and remake it.”
There was a pink piggie bathrobe for my friend, Shilo Wright, a schnauzer who lives in Lynnwood. She will look fetching at Christmas, with the cleverly designed Velcro strap that will keep the garment snug around her cute belly, and a hood for her head right after baths.
Correa recommends buyers bring their dogs to try on clothing. She has been a seamstress since she was a little girl. Everything she wore to school was handmade.
Her dogs are Buddy, a Yorkie in a motorcycle jacket; Bell, a Shih Tzu in a blue dress; and Coco, another Shih Tzu in a red-and-green Christmas outfit.
By her back door, three motorcycle jackets for the pups were lined up, ready for quick trips outdoors. Prices range from $15 to $40 per garment. She does pajamas, sweatshirts and T-shirts, just about anything you can put on a dog.
Not to embarrass any pups, but Correa also makes diapers to contain indoor accidents, or precious panties to put on females at that time of the month.
She sews all day or all night, as inspiration strikes, she said.
Back in high school, students were given an art test. A teacher, seeing Correa’s work, said she must get involved in art classes.
She got involved — in a textile field that suits owners and doggies alike.
Columnist Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451 or firstname.lastname@example.org.