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P.E.I. man starts T-shirt business to help animals in need

Kieran Atkinson displays one of his Threads for Paws T-shirts. The shirts, which he is selling as a fundraiser, focus on dogs, with taglines like, “Love is a four-legged word” and “Life is better with a dog”. - Kai Vere/The Guardian
Kieran Atkinson displays one of his Threads for Paws T-shirts. The shirts, which he is selling as a fundraiser, focus on dogs, with taglines like, “Love is a four-legged word” and “Life is better with a dog”. - Kai Vere/The Guardian - Contributed

By Kai Vere
The Guardian
 

One P.E.I. man is on a mission to spread the love to animals across the Maritimes.

When Kieran Atkinson took a trip to Newfoundland over the summer, he saw an opportunity to give back.

The local SPCA was selling pet T-shirts to raise money for the organization.

The shirts were flying out the door, Atkinson said.

“People were going nuts for them, everybody wanted one, and I thought it was really cool that it was giving back through something that people really wanted to buy,” he said.

“I thought it was a great idea.”

Atkinson, the manager at Global Pet Foods, recently launched Threads for Paws, a business that sells T-shirts with dog-related taglines and gives 10 per cent of profits to a worthy animal organization.

He hasn’t decided which organization he will choose yet but says he’s open to suggestions. So far, he’s considering donating to the Cat Action Team or C-DART.

“I’d like to go with one that needs a little more help,” he said.

Atkinson recently started selling his shirts at the Hive in Summerside, and said he sold 32 shirts last month alone.

He wasn’t expecting his business to do so well right off the bat, he said.

“I was shocked, to be completely honest.”

“It’s amazing to be able to bring something to life like that and to actually have it be somewhat of a success is really exciting.”

Atkinson, recently engaged, said fiancé Grant Hardy has been very supportive in getting Threads for Paws up and running.

“He loves it, he’s been a real big help as well. He’s anxious to help me tag shirts or pull orders and take them to the Hive for me, anything really.”

So far, his T-shirts all focus on dogs, with taglines like, “Love is a four-legged word” and “Life is better with a dog”.

He says the most common question he’s been getting is whether he’ll start making cat shirts.

“So, I’ll have to release one that’s specifically for cats.”

As for the future of his business, Atkinson says he hopes to expand.

“If I can, I will,” he said.

At a glance

Threads for Paws Tshirts can be found at Threadsforpaws.ca or at the Hive at Spinnakers’ Landing in Summerside.

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