Business Plans /  Future Employment Opportunities


Going Official

 I recently graduated from engineering college and have reached what I thought was a fork in the road. I figured I would need to decide between making more money as an engineer, or  to continue as a suit maker. I'd like to manage both if possible but to do so I need extra hands putting the hours in...

Before committing to any of this, ive decided I will save up at least 10k in capital as a buffer, to make sure staff can always get pay and supplies. This would take forever with my current income making suits, so there's gonna be a 6 month-1 year gap in commissions from when I start as an engineer, to when i've raised the capital needed. I want to be self sufficient from my engineering income first so that staff can take a majority cut from commissions. 

Atomic Fursuits will get registered as a business and I will have to contend with sales tax and income tax. Expect suit prices to raise 10-20% as a result, but also to get atleast a 10-20% boost in quality and speed as staff hones in on their skillsets. This will be a sole proprietorship. I will be taking very little out as personal income, but since I own the business, any growth is still a benefit to me. 

My optimistic goal is to have at least 10k saved and be registered as a business capable of hiring by the start of 2025. I may start training and acclimating makers before then, but none of this will be "official". 

Planned Employment Positions

I want a small group of workers that I can give the resources and training to make suits in a way that people really like. I need you to be in, or close to the northeast Ohio area. I live in Ravenna, the closer you are to here the better. We will be constantly shipping parts back and forth and if I can personally shuttle parts to save time and money I absolutely will. 

There are a plethora of details in the suitmaking process that ive learned over several years. Its too much to teach one person entirely, so I want to partition the roles between a few different titles: 

Foam crafter: 

The foam crafter will be the first up to bat when a new commission comes in. They will receive the necessary body dimensions and starting bases from me. They will be responsible for carving hip and knee padding for digi suits, carving/fabricating digitigrade/plantigrade feet, carving head bases, and adding foam to handpaws. 

Hip and knee pads for digi-suits need to be made and sent to me *prior* to me doing a clients duct tape dummy. when doing a head you will always receive a 1/2 inch foam bucket head base (molded to the clients head) to build the head onto. When doing handpaws you will always receive a set of fleece glove liners made by me to fit the clients hands. you can stuff the hands with polyfil and glue foam onto the fingertips as necessary for desired puffiness. 

You'll also need to carve out sets of raw foam pawpads and send them with everything else to be finalized by the seamster. In addition to just carving the foam, you also need to glue on the linen base layers onto the feet and heads, and the fleece base layers onto the handpaws. This is an extra step ive been doing since I started making fursuits. The inside of the feet and other parts will get lined in a similar way with fleece or minky, as well as the mouth gums. It adds weight but also seals the foam permanently into a shape and ensures the head will never be destroyed if you had to pull the fur off. You wont have to add the eyes to the heads, but you will be given sets of blanks to make sure the eyeholes fit appropriately. You'll also have to carve tongues and attach  their steel cores. Once you finish finalizing your foam creations with linen and fleece, your last task will be to cover over every inch of the parts in duct tape, like you are giving the parts themselves a DTD, before mailing. 

This is probably the most artisanal position out of the 3 and will require diligent shadowing to get the carving right, specifically on the heads. Most people find head carving to be the most challenging, but its the easiest for me. If you get overwhelmed in this position I can step in as needed or add final touches to a base if you need. 

You could do most of this work in your bedroom if you have a corner large enough to lay down the dropcloth paper, but the adhesive spray may drift and give a whole corner of your room a unnerving sticky-ness. A dedicated work room is recommended but not required. This sole proprietary will not have any benefits or provided health care. If you hurt yourself with a razor blade I cant pay the doc for stitches. I've never needed stitches and i've made a lot of fursuits... if you don't have the hand dexterity to safely carve foam this might not be for you. Remember, a dull blade is dangerous. razor sharp exactos will glide right through foam without you needing to apply force.

Your tools will include: Shipments of 1/2 inch, 1 inch, and 2 inch polyurethane foam, 5/8 inch EVA foam, lots of exacto blades, lots of adhesive spray, lots of hot glue, various tape for holding pieces together, shipments of linen, shipments of fleece and minky for lining insides of feet, set of basic sewing equipment, work table, eye templates, vinyl gloves (spray is messy) dropcloth paper (spray is messy), steel strap for reinforcements, lots of scissors, polyfil, acetone, Bust head, shop vac, boxes, vacuum bags, plastic wrap...and more


Most of the finished parts from the Foam Crafter will be sent to you, I will also directly send you precursors like the duct tape dummy. When you get the parts from the foam crafter the first step is to draw on your templates and confirm their validity with me. Most of the seamster/seamstresses duties will be repetitive, but mostly straightforward unless someone messed something up. You will take all the duct tape templates and transfer them to a roll of paper dropcloth then cutout, paying careful attention to which sides are facing out, then transferring these templates to fur with appropriate margins, and cutting and shaving the fur in the most optimal way possible. A lot of this job is the game of optimization. Eventually you will develop a quickest way for yourself. 

Large pieces of a bodysuit can be sewn together via machine in a z stitch. Smaller pieces on the bodysuit must be double stitch hand sewn. Handpaw fingers can be sewn together with a machine, and the palm and back can also be sewn together with a machine, but sewing the fingers to the paws themselves will need to be done by hand, again double stitched. The feet can always be machine sewn and the pawpads machine sewn if fleece (usually fleece). Tails can be machine sewn, and are usually attached to kidney belts. Face fur always needs to be hand sewn. The back of the head and ears can be machine sewn. Your job is to sew the entire bodysuits together, sew all the foot fur together, sew all the hand fur together, sew the tails together, and sew the faces together. Check for loose fit on the feet and face to make sure its close enough. I will handle attachment of the fur to the face, feet and hands myself. You'll also be responsible for hand stitching teeth and claws if plush (usually are), and gluing them into the gums. You will also make 2 sets of EVA foam eyelids and sew on velcro and minky for each head, and attach the nose fabric overtop of the linen bases.

You'll need a dedicated workshop room to do this, somewhere that isn't your bedroom. shaving fur gets everywhere and you need to wear a mask when you are shaving. 

Your tools will include: Large shipments of fur and fleece, some urethane foam and EVA foam, Sets of electric fur trimmers regularly, plenty of scissors, new sewing machine, bobbins, thread, dropcloth paper, lots of tape, exacto blades, hot glue, hand sewing kit, kneepads, work table, masks, shop vac, slicker brushes, zippers , velcro, sharpies, boxes, vacuum bags, plastic wrap, and more...


This is a more tentative position depending on how steady commissions for Protogen armor becomes. Your task would be to use my master latex molds to make fiberglass copies of protogen armor, and to attach the halves and do final sandings. You would then send me the sanded copies for me to paint and finalize. This would be a very messy job, as I know all too well. You would be provided with plenty of personal protective gear and use very expensive supplies. You would also be provided with a new large stand in tent to do all the work, but you need a backyard with enough space, that doesn't flood, and where you wont irritate neighbors when using power tools. 

You will get the highest payouts out of the 3 types of workers, but a lot of that is hazard pay. I'm not gonna have employee health benefits of any kind, so its your responsibility to use all of the provided safety gear. i've been using fiberglass for years and its fine as long as you wear protection. If you need something extra to be able to work safe, just buy it with the company card. 

Your tools will include: Large stand-in tent, full face respirators, organic vapor cartridges, shop vac, tyvek suits, goggles, acetone, rags, work table, vinyl gloves, PVC work gloves, angle grinder, flap discs, palm sander, replacement sanding pads, work boots, fiberglass resin, fiberglass mat and cloth, pipettes, chip brushes, measuring cups, stir sticks, work lights, cabosil, talc, boxes, vacuum bags, plastic wrap, and more...

What will I be doing? : 

I will be handling the first 10% of work, and the last 10% of work on every fursuit commission, as well as managing all the business stuff. For Protogens, Ill be handling around the last 60% of work between adding the padding, straps, paint, electronics....

I will still be the one to probe clients for exactly what they want, what colors, what type of claws, pawpads, ect. All of this information I will condense and send out the details and the ref sheet to all  my makers, and I will be the one to order the fur, fabrics, and other large purchases, shipping them directly to the makers that need it. I'll also be either receiving, or making the DTD's for the clients. There are a few modifications I make to a raw DTD template that improve mobility, so after that's done and all the markings are drawn on I'll send it do the seamster. 

I will also be handling any 3D printed parts, Eyes, teeth claws, ect, and attaching them in the last 10%, along with the eyelid velcro, adding glue reinforcement fleece to handstitched bodysuit parts, and gluing down the sewn together sections for the head and feet. I'll also be doing the final trims for faces and hand-sewing hair and neck scruff onto heads, as well as fitting handpaws into their cores and sewing them completely. 

I reserve these steps for myself because I think they are among the most critical in the suitmaking process. This is tentative, and if makers end up taking on extra roles and doing some of my tasks they will get a bonus for the commission, but always ask before doing anything extra. I am incredibly detail oriented with my fursuits and I will likely rub some people the wrong way for being too up tight. I'm not close minded though, if you show me a better way to do something I will adopt it. Every maker is different and our styles are all different too. Please don't take it personally if I ask you to redo something. Me asking means I know you can do it. What you dont want to see is me taking the parts and fixing them myself. If you are ever confused about something (its hard to explain geometries and technique through text), we can meet on discord so I can use sketches to better explain things. 

Understand that these boundaries are not set in stone, and its merely a good way I see to split up the work by tool and type. If you want to get experienced with some other part of the process to fill in thats great, infact I encourage it. Obviously if you're starting out as a maker, eventually you are going to learn every part of the process and at that point you are going to start making your own suits. I want skilled makers that have outgrown their place here to keep growing, and I only ask that I get a heads up at least a month out so I can find a replacement. Similarly, I dont have any problem with you working on entire commissions on your own on the side, thats none of my business and you aren't obliged to only make suits for me... Just let me know if you've gotten too busy with a side commission and its going to effect work flow. If I start with 2 makers, there will be no parallel path to direct commissions to. I'm going to try  take on clients up to as fast as you makers are comfortable with...the faster you work the more you will make, but if  someone falls behind we will all loose out unless I can jump in, so just keep me informed and things should go smoothly. Remember its ok to say that you are in over your head and need to back out... making suits is >>HARD<<. 

Planned Payment Systems

Each team member can work from home, and from the 10k capital saved, I can get each worker started with a new set of tools and supplies . It will be mandatory that you shadow me and assist with one or two suits in person before you'll be given a full set of tools and started on commissions. The shadowing and assistance will be compensated at 1/2 the normal commission pay

Since all of our clients will be paying us through commissions I think its only fair we are all paid on commission. There is some variance, but you can expect the split to be about 30 /30 /40  for most regular fursuit parts. Approximately 30% to the foam crafter, 30% to the seamster, 40% to the business. I imagine 20-30% of that business cut is going to get eaten up in just supplies, shipping, and taxes. I might pull 5-10% off the top for myself from time to time but to reiterate, this will not be my primary source of income because I want my makers to get paid good.

The Fiberglasser cut is going to be a little larger. I plan on selling my pre-drilled Protogen shells for 2800. The FIberglasser can expect 1400 from each set of shells they finish, so a cut of 50%... just **do not** rush the process and damage the molds or else i'm going to have to make a whole new set from the masters. Around another 500 goes towards supplies and disposable tools for each set of shells made. The remaining 900 is for the business and my profit since I have to finish the painting and drilling. 

Foam Crafter Commissions:

(Approx $590 per plantigrade suit or $860 per digitigrade suit. Less work than seamster but less pay)

Seamster/Seamstress Commissions:

(Approx $1155 per plantigrade suit or $1405 for digitigrade suit. More work than Foam carver but more pay per suit)

Fiberglasser Commissions:

(These Compensation amounts are tentative, and may be **higher** if the suit is more complicated and the client is paying more, thus, these prices are the minimum amount you should ever receive for finishing a part)

Two separate bank accounts will exist for the business; one for payroll, and one for expenses. As soon as you complete suit parts and mail them to the next destination, take a picture of the shipping receipt with tracking information and send it to me, and you will be paid for the work that day. 

Only I will have access to the payroll account, and this is the account clients will be making payments to. As the business grows, this is the account that will accrue capital. It is however good practice to recycle these profits back into the growing the business, so at any given time there will only be a large enough cushion in the payroll account to cover every employees pay for several months, with some additional funds to compensate for any unforeseen hurdles. 

The expenses account will be a secondary checking account that every Maker will have a debit card for, and access to. I will regularly top off this account from the primary payroll account. This is the account you will use to purchase extra tools and supplies as needed. This is also the account  that you should pay for all shipping fees with. Send me a picture / screenshot of your receipts whenever you purchase supplies or ship parts. If you are headed to the store and want to get groceries at the same time as supplies just separate the two transactions so all the business expenses are on one receipt. The expenses account is also what we can pull from when we plan any meetings, eg: restaurants or party supplies. 

We will be doing a lot of business at and around conventions. You can opt to direct a commission payment towards a hotel/registration fee for a convention at a rate 20% above pay. For example if you finished a commission for $100 you could take the $100 pay or get $120 towards a conventions expenses. I'll book the hotels using the payroll account. I'm willing to do this because extra presence at cons will maximize client awareness and is definitely worth the bonus while we have fun! I'll try to get us rooms together or close by. As for other expenses at cons, mainly food and drink, use your business card as needed. Don't make any purchases in the dealer den with the business card, and try to keep bar tabs to a minimum. 

Other Reimbursements:

In addition to your primary commission pay, you will also get a small monthly bonus to cover erroneous duties and gas used. These will get paid on the first of the month. 

Tool Investment

Once you've completed shadowing me for a couple suits you'll get your own package of new tools specialty selected for your position. I'll buy/order everything the first time and give you a detailed list of retailers to source from, and where to get the best deals. Ask me before you deviate from this, because prices can vary wildly by vendor. 

After you've made a few suits with your new tools you have a few options, you can continue to use them until you are ready to leave Atomic fursuits, at which point you can either;

Obviously any extra tools you buy on your own dime are none of my business. Only tools bought with the original receipt and business account will be a part of this pseudo-rental agreement. 

Income tax>>

My plan is to meet my makers half-way with income tax. By this I mean, if you finished a 100 dollar commission but your income taxes are taking roughly 20% of that, The pay you will actually receive from me is ~$110, such that after 20% income tax your net pay will be around $90.

Ideal commission flow

After establishing the business, my first objective will be to hire one seamster and one foam crafter. I can typically finish a suit from start to finish in 2 weeks working 70-80 hours a week. I tend to gauge suit speed in hours rather than months, since its in bursts. A typical plantigrade fursuit will take anywhere from 100-150 hours to complete. About 30% of that time will be put in by the foam crafter, and another 50% by the seamster, with the remaining 20% coming from me. This works out anywhere from 10-20 dollars per hour depending on your speed. 

With one foam crafter and seamster the ideal flow will be 2-4 fullsuits per month. When optimized this means you'll be working 20-30 hours a week for 2 suits per month, or 40-60 hours a week for 4 suits per month. There may however, be dry spells in commissions. If this happens I will try to keep enough money in the payroll account to provide forwards in payment until more clients come. 

I anticipate the fiberglasser will have the most unstable pay of the group. It will take you about 1 week to fully build a set of shells for me and get your 1400 payout. There will be many periods of downtime so its recommended you have another source of continuous income to supplement. 

Working as a well oiled machine, we will be re-using boxes that the last set of parts were shipped in, as well as using vacuum bags to minimize the size of the parts before shipping. Every maker will have a shop vac for this purpose and others. Parts that cannot be vacuum packed should be wrapped in industrial plastic wrap or suran wrap before shipping. When possible we will exchange parts at meetings or cons to save on shipping. Depending on our distance, I might just try to personally transport parts between makers to dodge the fees. This will also give me a chance to inspect and critique your work. 

There are obvious benefits to this style of employment. You can work entirely from home and set your own schedule, however you need to be diligent about not slacking off or you will fall behind and the other makers will lose out as well. If you are going through a period of stress, even if you've just been feeling lazy, I understand. You dont have to have a family member die to justify a lack of productivity... but let me know if you need a break so you can mail me the parts while I cover for you. Communication is key here! Again, I can even offer forwards in payment while you're taking time off if that's a concern for you!