- Give us the lowdown on who you are and what you do:
My name is Heather Abbott, but everyone in the fandom knows me as Puppy, or Werepuppy. I run a small business called Pups Custom Cosplay, aimed at fursuits and furry components for cosplay. I also offer digital artwork, and laminated art such as for badges and bookmarks.
- Pup’s Custom is the name of your business – Is that a name based on a Fursona?
Yes, I was originally thinking of calling it Puppy’s Custom Cosplay, but it felt a bit too long, so I settled with Pup’s Custom Cosplay instead.
- You sell a range of items; from custom partial / full fursuits to magnets and lanyards. Will you be expanding this in the future to cover other things too?
I am always looking at new directions to move into and to expand my business. I personally enjoy making the individual components more than making a full costume, but I sometimes do make an exception, as I have done for making Red XIII for yourself [A/N: This would be a commission made for Renegade Revolution’s Editor, Jojo] 😉
I am currently working on yarn tail making, and have been getting more experience with plush toy making too, which is much less stressful to make than fursuits since I am usually working with fleece, not fur.
- Do you have a personal favourite item that you are currently selling or working on?
I am loving how Red XIII is turning out so far, though I am still getting my head around what I need to do next with it as there is a lot I’ve not done before, and it can be quite daunting, but I’m sure it will look amazing when it is finished!
I also am really enjoying making yarn tails and the current one I’m working on is coming along really well.
- What are the upsides to having your own business?
I get to make things that I enjoy making, and get paid to do it! It also means I’m my own boss, I decide what hours I work, and because I’m working from home, I can watch TV or have music playing whilst I work, which really can help get me in the groove to work.
- And the downsides?
It can be a lot of hard work, especially if you are not paying for advertisement. There is a lot of competition and you have to be really organised to make sure you get work done on time. There can also be periods where you will get no work and therefore no money, which is why I also have a part time shop job as back up when I’m not getting commission work.
- At the moment, your items are limited to your Etsy and your Facebook page – will we ever be seeing you set up a stall at an event?
I don’t make enough pre-made items to warrant paying for a stall at an event, and in my business, pre-made stuff is really hard to sell. I have not made a single Etsy sale yet, and quite frankly I’m not surprised. The real money is in the commission business, that way the customer gets EXACTLY what they want. There is nothing worse than trying to shift something, only for a customer to come along and say ‘yeah I would like that, but in red’. If I could get a stall for free, then hell yeah, I would definitely set up shop. I did that at Ayacon, but I didn’t make many sales. Most conventions would ask for £50-80 for using a stall, and I would not feel confident I would even make that back.
I have also started offering digital art commissions via Furbuy.com to open myself up to american furries.
- What is the longest amount of time you have ever spent to make a commission?
Most commissions take a few months, so it’s hard to judge that, but I would say 6-8 months. My first fursuit however, did take over a year to make!
- Tell us about the most complicated item that you have ever made:
There are 2 that I would like to highlight actually; Bowser head which had the visibility below the ‘eyes’ due to how the head is shaped. There was no way I would have gotten the head to scale and have the visibility through the eyes.
And a foam-only head of Bunnymund from Legend of the Guardians, due to making the ears removable for easy transportation between conventions, and also to make it easier and cheaper to post to the customer! I am really proud of this design. The ears are also built onto doorstop springs so they really bounce around when worn.
- The Furry community can often be misinterpreted due to the press and lack of general knowledge. Can you explain to us a little more of what it’s like being a fursuiter and describe the community?
I have never actually been to a ‘furry’ convention, only anime conventions, but generally within the convention people are very accepting of fursuiters. Even in public, I’ve never had much negativity, though I have had my fair share of weird looks. The most common question you get is ‘why are you doing this’ and of course I always reply with ‘for fun!’
- You’re also a convention goer. What’s your favourite convention or event?
Ayacon will always hold a special place in my heart. Although it’s not a good convention for parties, the location was perfect, and food and drinks were reasonably priced.
- Any messages for your customers and followers?
Thank you for supporting Pups Custom Cosplay, and providing me with amazing projects to work on over the years!
- For people who haven’t come across Pup’s Custom yet, here’s your chance to sell yourself!
One thing I will say, is that when I make costumes, I try to make them both practical as well as aesthetically pleasing to look at. Even with my full fursuits, they are made in a way that is easy to put on yourself, and the only thing you will likely need help with is final tuck in of paws into sleeves. I try to make them with good visibility, comfortable, and easy to move around in.
- And finally; anything you’d like to ask any (or all) of the team here at Renegade Revolution?
Since my Etsy shop hasn’t hit off with sales yet, have you got any advice on how to improve it?
Ruth: Can the plushies be made in custom colours? A degree of customization is often appealing to buyers who want something unique to them. Umm and if they are looking to cater mostly to the furry fandom both tails and ear sets are most popular! Plus collars…
Jojo: I’ve often seen people advertising commissioning slots for either plushies, fursuits or partial fursuits. Maybe you could list an item on that is specifically made for people to get quotations?
Amy: I really like your quirky style of plushies etc… Though I think you need to take photos of them on consistant plain backgrounds so that they stand out more, as well as trying to pose the plushies that are laid flat out if you can. First visual impressions are the key to success!
Thank you so much to Heather of Pup’s Custom Cosplay for her time.
If you are at all interested in purchasing any of her products, or even getting a commissioned fursuit or personalised lanyard or plush, here’s some links for more info: