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A Nine-Year-Old and Her Dog Team Up for Successful Business



Kayla Ogunsemore and her dog Tangle are taking over the fashion world.

PHOTO: JOSHUA HUSTON

At the helm of Brown Sugar Kids sits a girl and her dog. 9-year-old Kayla Ogunsemore of Edmonds is a devoted animal lover who started her own T-shirt business to benefit animal rescue, after being told she was too young to volunteer at an animal shelter.

With her devoted best friend Tangle, a 4-year-old Golden Retriever, as inspiration, Kayla sketches out her design ideas, then works to re-create them in real life. Tangle models while Kayla photographs, styles and selects all outfits for the photo sessions herself, using skills she was taught by her parents. “My dad even showed me how to use the big camera and big photo-shoot lights,” she says. Tangle is great at posing for photos and according to Kayla, “even smiles for pictures!”

The inspiration behind Brown Sugar Kids came after Tangle came to live with Kayla. “Tangle and I would dress up together in old costumes and fun clothes. One day, I just started to take pictures of him dressed up, and he would sit still and wag his tail,” says Kayla. My parents have a clothing line — Trustee Apparel — and so I asked them how I could start my own collection of kids’ shirts that could help animals in need. Ten percent of profits is donated to animal rescue.”

Brown Sugar Kids started out with premium tees for kids, but has recently expanded to include adult sizes, too. The tees are made of super-soft, super-lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric — perfect for kids of all ages. Many of Kayla’s favorite designs remind her of things that she loves, and most important, bring her joy — a feeling that’s not hard to emulate when you see a dog dressed as a dinosaur or a ninja.

Starting at $30, brownsugarkids.com

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