Minn. Woman Designs, Sells Guinea Pig Gear

WINONA, Minn. - Looking for the perfect outfit for your guinea pig? Well, a Winona woman may have what you're after. Carly Austin-Kukowski designs and sells guinea pig gear ranging from leopard-print dresses to elf costumes with reindeer hats.

It started as a joke two years ago, when Austin-Kukowski, 25, made a sweater for her own guinea pig to wear outside. After that, she tried other designs.

A friend sarcastically suggested that she try to sell the costumes on eBay.

Austin-Kukowski took her friend seriously, and four months later, she said she has sold about 100 costumes to people as far away as Australia and England. About a third of her orders come from New York City, she said.

Austin-Kukowski, who works as a nurse's aide, has filled custom orders. She made a Minnesota Vikings helmet — braids included. She also made a white lace dress for a guinea pig "wedding."

The original sweater-wearing guinea pig has passed away, but she now has four others.

This week Austin-Kukowski took out a classified ad in a local paper: "Christmas costumes for guinea pigs. $7. Santa, elf, many more. Must see to believe."

The Ebay store for Guinea Pig clothing

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