November 26, 2021
Shifting the idea of “fur rugs” into the realm of fruits and vegetables (sorry legumes) with a fun spin on it to leverage a growing market. The diverse and attractive shapes/patterns provide vast design possibilities. Manufacturing can be done on a small scale (DIY), use print on demand providers, or scaled to mass production if desired.
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Overview of the concept:
I briefly mentioned the irony of the product name in the audio track, but wanted to emphasize here that it's the key to the marketing in my opinion. The "fur" concept does not equate to "vegan"...polar opposites in fact; hence the ability for the product to attract attention. ;)
The original idea that formed in my head was using leaves as the subject matter. Though reasonable to do, I think fruits and veggies are much more interesting to look at. I don’t really see kale rugs taking off. Maybe if you make "salad" rugs and mix in the kale rug with the rest.
When I first came up with this product I had no idea how one would make their own rug using yarn. After a little recon I am convinced tufting looks like fun with all sorts of creative expression for very little startup cost. (It's like painting with yarn, except different.) If you want to explore, Check out these references:
Interestingly enough, my recon did not turn up any tufting faux fur rugs on YouTube. So if you wanted to start a tufting channel...your niche is ready for building. :)
The yarn is critical for the product concept. There are lots of options and colors. A sampling:
If you are doing one-off's then Etsy may be a way to get started. However, the cheap, stock "custom rug" market is crowded, so your expensive hand-built "Banana Rug" may have a tough time getting hits if people don't take the time to realize it is much different than the rest. If that's a concern, then starting a custom store with something like Shopify may be your best bet so you can distinguish yourself and make it more elite.
As I mentioned in the audio track, "Print on Demand" (POD) tends to use stock, plush yarn which they print onto. This wouldn't fit the "fur" effect we are going for. But if you're curious here is one of the dominate POD companies: Printify. Fee free to explore others if curious.
If you're going all in and mass producing you'll need to find a custom area rug manufacturer. China probably would be your best bet. Searches turned up several that dealt with faux fur. A couple to browse:
You'll need to make sure they can mix yarn types on a single rug, do custom shapes, and use non-animal products to build them with. Then you're good to go!
If you wanted to go with the fast to market, print on demand angle, you’d have to lose the “fur” concept and change the name to something like "Fruit Rugs" or "Veggie Rugs". Using vibrant colors with attention to detail might work nicely. Or maybe you just go for another niche market like, “Bug Rugs”…large bugs of various sorts printed on cutout shag rugs. Hmmm…