Beantown Homemade’s sweaters, hats and scarfs are a comfortable and sensible way to bundle up your furry pal

By Katie Kauss
January 26, 2010 12:45 PM

Keeping your pet warm in a cold snap is easy, it’s just a matter of picking up a wooly doggie sweater or coat. But keeping them toasty and stylish? That’s a greater challenge. We spent forever looking for the perfect pet sweater with just the right amount of furry flair and found ourselves enamored with Anne Burton’s adorable crocheted sweaters, hats and even scarves (yes –scarves!) at Beantown Handmade on Etsy.com.

Burton began crocheting clothing for her Boston terrier, appropriately named Bean, when she couldn’t find comfortable cold weather clothes for the then-4-month-old to wear. “A lot of clothes I saw for dogs were not practical, or they were really people clothing for pets so they really inhibited their movement, especially [items] that had legs,” Burton says.

So after a few frustrating trips to the “big chain stores,” she took matters into her own hands with a crochet needle and some chunky Lions Brand yarn. With lots of trial and error and Bean as her model, Burton began selling her one-of-a-kind creations on Etsy in 2008. “I just kinda let customers dictate what I made,” she says. “People would request custom items and I would put pictures of those up and it just snowballed.”

Since then, she’s been trying to design for people who “want something practical, but they’re not embarrassed to walk their dog in.” Her favorite item is Cupids Cloak ($45), a sweet, buttoned wrap-around sweater that can be customized for color and size.

Burton, who doesn’t use patterns, credits an undergraduate sculpture class she took for inspiring her craft. Now she spends at least four hours a day crocheting and is already planning ahead to next winter. “I’m learning and trying to plan out how to use my time so in the summer I can make a lot of things in advance,” she admits.

While Beantown Handmade is still a part-time job, with 590 sales under her belt she hopes that will change in the near future. “I’ve been in business about a year and I think over the next two years I’d like to try and develop this into a full time sorta a thing,” she says.

An avid supporter of multiple pet charities, Burton has teamed up with the Mid America Boston Terrier Rescue and is auctioning off two of her creations in their monthly raffle. Click here for a chance to enter.

Check out Burton’s Etsy shop to get your paws on her adorable winter gear for your own pets.

See something on Etsy that you’d like us to profile in this weekly column? Send us an email to editors@peoplepets.com or leave a comment below. Read last week’s Etsy Fave, here.