Tell us a little about Fur Mama’s Factory and your products?
Let’s face it, Americans are in love with their pets, and they treat them like children — I know I treat mine like children. Pets are a very integral part of the family. They play with you, sleep in your bed, and gleefully greet you after a long day. Many pet owners are on the lookout for elements to spoil their four legged friends, or something to highlight their pet’s breed or personality so they feel a constant presence of their pet in their home with pictures in every room, or even when they are gone from home — such as a framed picture of their beloved pet for their office or a personalized mug for their coffee or tea.
My online store offers choices for pet-tailored people. A lot of my items are pet-related goodies, but I also offer other picks that I enjoy making and using, so I figured other Fur Mamas would love them too. All of these goods are handmade at my beautiful country house in Peoli.
How did you develop your concept or idea for the business?
I always knew I wanted to own my individual business. Even as a child you could find me operating my lemonade stand, selling corn, or other vegetables from the family farm.
As a country girl who loves to create for those like me that love their critters, Fur Mama Factory evolved into creation. I meshed together a combination of my favorite passions and made them all come together. I love animals, sewing, and being creative. Growing up as a tomboy, I did not receive my first sewing machine until my mother-in-law gifted me with one upon getting married, and that is what started my passion for sewing.
Animals have always been, and will continue to be a big part of my life. I have formal experience with animals, too, as I have been employed as a pet groomer and vet tech, and now operate my own Pet Photograph Studio.
My husband recently built me a SHE SHED, and I am loving getting my shop area arranged in that environment. It has been a really fun summer at Fur Mama Factory.
What type of Market do you serve?
I am happy to work with anyone that contacts me to buy or create an item. A lot of my new products have come to life through customer ideas and requests.
I list my selections on my website, Facebook, and I also set up at numerous craft shows with my wares throughout the year. In addition, I have recently been able to display some of my items at the Ridgewood General Store in West Lafayette, as well as Good Boy Bakery in Coshocton.
What challenges do you face owning a part-time business that operates from your home?
There are times of the year that are definitely a little busier than others, and I do work full-time, plus I am a coach for girls’ basketball at Indian Valley. However, I love Fur Mama Factory and all it entails, so that makes it easy to put in some long evenings during the holiday season or whenever needed to design, complete, and ship. Too, my hubby has been known to jump in and help me with signs, and I am lucky to have his assistance.
What would you like to highlight or share?
My items are homemade and created on our family farm located in the beautiful hills of Peoli. Our critters are my husband’s and my children. We currently have two dogs, two cats, three bunnies, three horses and three cows. If I am not working, I enjoy being outside, riding my horse, raising bunnies, playing with my puppies, enjoying my amazing family, coaching basketball and taking in this beautiful life that God has given me.
My biggest love with my current business portfolio, and the part I want to grow the most is Pet Photography. When it comes to portraits of your pet ... who doesn’t want to memorialize their beloved friend for generations to come. Parents cherish memories of their children in the form of photos, so why not furry children too? I can arrange for you or other family members to be a part of your pet’s photo session.
As a pet owner, I think we all want to be able to relive the various stages of our pet’s life. My past and current experience with animals helps to have the patience and skills needed to capture your pet’s special personality. Pet photography is a fast growing and super fun genre of photography, and it is awesome for me to see so many people wanting to celebrate animals, and the role they play in our lives.
COMPILED BY KRISTIE WILKIN
Name of business: Fur Mama Factory — Peoli, Ohio
Facebook: Fur Mama Factory
Owner: Jen Simmerman
Services Offered: I design unique home-crafted items for Fur Mamas and other animal lovers, as well as general craft items. Everything is fabricated with animal lovers and their pets in mind. Some offerings are signs, purses, mugs, dog bed covers, and so much more. Each piece can be created to meet your request. Pet photography is also one of my specialty services, and I am currently working to showcase that part of my business.