As we began gathering what we needed to set up our restaurant, our budget steered us towards used items whenever possible.

For example, our chairs were used restaurant chairs that all needed to be recovered. We were shocked when we realized the fabric alone would cost more than the chairs themselves. Back to the drawing board. Then, one morning while looking in our closet, I saw my husband’s plaid shirts. BINGO! Our seat covers!

I pulled out all his shirts, cut out the backs and used them to recover a few of the chairs. I thought they looked great and quickly was on a mission to find enough shirts to recover all the chairs. We asked friends and neighbors, went to thrift stores and even hit up the guys who were helping with the construction of the restaurant. After cutting out the backs, the remnants were tossed in a basket (I never throw anything away). Later, when it was time for curtains, I thought of the basket of sleeves: tab curtains! My dear friend and neighbor, Barbara, helped with the sewing and VOILA, we had curtains!

There were still some remaining pieces – the collars and front panels – which laid around for a long time in that same basket.

Then, one day as I passed by the basket, I grabbed one and threw it around my neck and thought, “Scarves!” And the Buddylou Boa was born!

Since the restaurant was named for our dogs Buddy and Lucy, we wanted to donate all proceeds from these Boas to the Washington County and Berkeley Springs Humane Societies.

Looking back, it’s amazing what one shirt can provide. First, a new shirt for someone to wear. Then, seat covers and curtains for Buddylou’s. Finally, these Boas will help the pets that are such an important part of our lives.