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Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Monday, 22 November 2010
Pet ferret inspires career change

Karen and two of the ferrets
Karen: "He's my baby, he's my life."

A furry friend given as a gift from a poorly granddaughter inspired a local woman to start her own business.

Karen Webb and her partner Barrie from Crook, were given their first ferret over two years ago from Barrie's poorly granddaughter, Eden.

The 11-year-old said she wanted to buy her Grandpa a ferret for Father's Day and call him Crusher.

Sadly Eden passed away from Cancer just before Father's Day, in April 2008.

Although she couldn't buy her Grandpa the pet, the couple went through with her wish and bought Crusher.

Crusher is now three years old and the couple have become obsessed with the small furry animals.

They now own 36 ferrets called Team Crusher. Karen said: "He's my baby, he's my life."

Crusher's Comforts

Jonathan Miles and Karen Webb
Jonathan Miles meets the furry friends

Karen's love of her pet ferrets inspired a career change from working in an office to running Crusher's Comforts in Durham.

She makes and sells designer accessories such as hammocks and snuggle beds for ferrets and other small animals.

She started the business after going to a ferret show in Hornby, North Yorkshire.

Karen saw tea towels and pillow cases inspired by ferrets and she got the idea to start making her own accessories for her furry friends.

She has now been selling the accessories for two years at markets and online and has never looked back.

Karen said: "They deserve the comforts we take for granted.

"They get really bad press, they're not stinky bitey animals, they're absolutely gorgeous. Most ferrets like to be cuddled."

Ferrets Crusher and Truffle
Ferrets Crusher and Truffle

Ferret family

The couple also run North Pennine Ferret Welfare & Boarding which helps rescue and adopt ferrets.

They take the animals into schools and nurseries to teach the children about ferrets and also do racing events and ferret shows.

Visit the website: North Pennine Ferret Welfare & Boarding Website

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