There has been a post going around about DHC and I found this little gem
”Don’t buy from them anymore. They will need to find real work after that, because what I see here is the fursuiting business is doing them good $2,400-$3,000+ a pop.”
Coming from someone who claims to be a fursuit maker themselves I would think they’d have a bit more respect for other makers. However I have seen how they’ve treated fellow makers in the past so I guess it’s not too surprising that they don’t.
Oh, and If you honestly don’t think that making fursuits is real work then you are not doing it right. Making fursuits is not a walk in the park, dealing with people on a daily basis who think you’re only in this for the money while you’re working your ass off for little to no pay-out because of shit like this? It’s beyond stressful.
Now to help illustrate why fursuits are so expensive here is a journal from Beetlecat
Here is a hypothetical scenario:
If you can make one fursuit a week and sell it for $2000 (seems reasonable..), then your gross monthly income is $8000. That’s almost 6 figures! For doing what you want when you want to. Sweet ^^
You still have to account for your material expenses in making those fursuits. $1500/month ought to do it on average if you are a little bit smart. And then there are your incidental expenses such as car and gas to buy supplies and studio rent space and electricity. That is another $1500/month. For this scenario we are totally ignoring start up expenses but you can expect those to be around $10K if you jump right into making fursuits full time (otherwise the 10K is added gradually over years if you go into it more slowly)
Now, you can’t actually work every single day. Even if you do work weekends there’s Christmas and sick times (which you do not get paid for) and doctors appointments and so forth. I think taking 8 weeks off for the whole year is reasonable for that.
That makes $50K for the year except that taxes/insurance/etc takes around 20% of that. Okay so $40K
Congratulations! You are very successfully self employed! *
* Remember that in this scenario, that gives you a week to create the whole suit AS WELL as pack it and mail it and talk to the customer about it and design the pattern and go out and research and buy the furs and EVERYTHING involved with the creation of a fursuit - not just the physical sewing time. (This is something commonly overlooked)
So of course most people can’t actually make one fursuit a week unless they have employees or family working for them (which adds the cost of extra wages), but I’m sure it’s possible somewhere if the fursuits are suitably simplistic and they have the process down to a streamlined science.
Still, this makes $40K a possible but likely high figure for a single person. $15-$35 000 (the low end if you are still in the first few years of starting out ** and do not have the experience and connections yet and the higher end if you are a good business person and a hard/smart worker/have no other life) are much more realistic expectations.
** Rule of thumb with any small business is to not expect to turn any profit for 3 years.
What this means it that your professional fursuit artist (aka does this for a living/does this as a very serious hobby) makes around $10-$20/hour.
But with no sick time/paid leave/social security/medical insurance. All of those things have to be paid out of pocket. And forget about cashing in a little extra on overtime or a Christmas bonus.
You also have to pay out of pocket for web design/advertising/office expenses such as paper and ink and pencils/etc. and all of those other things that an employee of a company does not have to worry about.
As an aside, something else to consider is that being freelance means you get in income very randomly and in spurts (not in a biweekly cheque but thousands one month and then nothing at all for the next 3). So you have to be good at managing and budgeting it to make sure you will have money to pay your expenses/buy supplies even when you have no income coming in.
BTW this journal is 2 years old. Prices of EVERYTHING have only gone up since then.
Oh and those of you who are going “OMG $20 an hour is awesome!”
As a sole proprietorship that can easily be cut in half when you have to pay for everything out of pocket.
So PLEASE THINK before you spread the idea that fursuit makers make so much money on their suits :/