Written by Claire Jackson
Meet The Maker
Claire is the face behind Perfectly Knotted. She has been knitting and crocheting for about 6 years. She learned to knit from her mom and taught herself how to crochet. She created her business in 2016, selling knit and crochet accessories. She started selling faux fur pom poms in 2017, and most recently has delved into the world of pattern designing for the past year and half. Claire’s business has evolved into more of a maker focused business rather than selling handmade knitwear. She is currently working to shift her business into a full-time gig, and hopefully will be able to get to that stage in the next couple of years! You may also find her testing out new crafty hobbies such as yarn dyeing, making stitch markers, macrame, and more!
Handmade Faux Fur Pom Poms
Have you ever bought faux fur pom poms from another maker and thought, “Hey, I would love to try making these myself, but have no idea where to start!” Or have you ever tried making faux fur pom poms before and really struggled because you didn’t have the right resources, or it was too frustrating or messy?
These are some reasons I hear from customers about why they continue to purchase poms from me, rather than make them themselves. Making faux fur poms is a very messy job, and can be super tough if you don’t have the right tools and supplies. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I first started making poms, but I just dove in headfirst and hoped I wouldn’t fail! I’m going to tell you about my journey to becoming a faux fur pom pom supplier and how it totally changed my (business) life!
Let me take you back to the summer of 2017. I had been interested in trying to make faux fur poms for a while now, and finally decided to order some fur (without ordering samples first, which just makes me cringe now!). If you don’t know this about me, when it comes to new crafts, I tend to go all in rather than dipping my toes in the water! I purchased 8 different colours of faux fur (a yard each), assuming I could maybe get 30 poms per yard if I was lucky, and I would be stocked for poms for the next year or two. While waiting for the fur to arrive, I found some small pieces of faux fur at Michaels to experiment with. It was not very nice quality fur, but I wanted to practice making them with cheaper materials that I didn’t care about messing up.
There are multiple different ways to make faux fur poms and they all turn out beautiful, but each maker has their own preference. My main question when I was practicing was square vs circle for the shape of the pieces of fur. I tried out both, and found I preferred the circle method. I discovered I had a giant 2L water bottle that was the perfect size to be a template for tracing out the circles for poms. I tried out a few different types of yarn for the ties and found that Bernat Home Dec yarn worked as a really nice sturdy cord for the pom ties. Another good option for cord is a cotton yarn like Knitpicks Dishie. For my practice poms I actually used scrap yarn ends to stuff them with, which totally works and is a great way to use up some waste yarn, but I went out and purchased a big bag of Polyfill for when the good fur arrived. I was ready!
The giant box of fur arrived and I got working, making a small batch of poms from each colour to test out and photograph. I was instantly in love with all the colours of fur I had chosen. They were such realistic, neutral faux furs, with beautiful shine and fluff! Then I decided to trace out my circles for the whole yard, and was SHOCKED to be able to get over double the number I was expecting from one yard of fur. If I kept it all to myself I would have poms for probably 10 years!
I decided to try selling a few since I was able to make so many more than I had originally expected. I listed a few on Etsy, went and had a shower, and came back to 3 orders! Now at this stage in my business, my Etsy traffic was SLOW, and most of my orders were from friends and family. Getting 3 pom orders, from total strangers, within the first hour or so from listing them was just insane for me! Pom orders kept rolling in and I decided to switch gears a bit and focus more on selling faux fur poms rather than knitwear. Poms became my main product line and what my business was known for.
Becoming a faux fur pom pom supplier truly changed my life. It helped me actually start making decent money from my business, and grew my customer base and social media following by a lot. Now I do think I lucked out a little. I don’t want to make it seem like poms are a magical, guaranteed business venture that is going to be successful for everyone. When I started, it was right when faux fur poms were becoming a fad, and there weren’t many sellers out there, especially in Canada. Nowadays, the market is full of more pom sellers and there is a lot of competition. Even my business has decreased, with many customers starting to make and sell their own poms, or customers finding other sellers that they prefer for one reason or another (local, cheaper, etc.). I don’t know if I will be a pom supplier forever, but I do think I will keep doing it until there isn’t a demand for them anymore. This part of my business is so special to me since it is the reason Perfectly Knotted really took off!
A few other points to consider about being a pom maker:
- They are MESSY! You have no idea how much fluff escapes and circulates around my house, even when I try to keep it contained!
- You need lots of space. Most fur suppliers sell by the yard (if you’re lucky they offer half yards), and if you want a decent number of colour options, that means you need quite a bit of space to store all the fur. For example, I offer 40 different colours, so I have an entire double wide closet filled with fur!
- It can be hard to tell if a fur is going to be nice just from the online photos. I HIGHLY recommend ordering samples of any fur you are interested in before purchasing a full yard. I have been burned a few times, trusting that it is going to be good and then being disappointed with the quality or colouring or pile length. Even sometimes if you order a sample and it seems good, once you get the full yard, it may not work up into nice poms, or the lot has changed and the fabric backing is super stiff or something which makes it difficult to work with.
Now if you have read all this, and think this is an adventure you would like to go on, I have some tips for you! There are many fabric suppliers out there and most have at least some selection of faux fur. My favourite online suppliers are Fabric.com, BigZ Fabrics, Fur Addiction, and Bartfeld. Check out their faux fur options, look for ones with relatively long pile, and order some samples to make sure they are what you are looking for! If your local craft/fabric stores offer faux fur, take a look and see if they have some nice soft, shiny, long pile faux fur! I’ve also created a YouTube video showing you how I make my faux fur poms!
If you don’t want to make your own, please check out my shop to see all the beautiful colours of faux fur pom poms that I offer!
More about Claire…
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my faux fur pom pom journey! If you’d like to follow along with my business journey, please check out my social and shop links below:
Did you see our last guest post? Click here to read about common knitting pains and how to avoid them!