Sunday Morning Questions...Part 16!

Submitted by Rick Krane on 6/11/06 at 2:29 AM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 70.109.173.48

Well we made it thorough another week! A week of what only you know that! I though we would stick to the general questions for another week to see how it goes. The general questions have had a good response. I will go back to fish question in a week for the fish guys. Last week was another really "Big) week with many new contributors and lots of great regulars who add to the mix of sharing knowledge to benefit all of us! Last week we had 12-forum contributors 4 who phoned in the answers and 19 emailed me personally. For a total of 35 participants 5 of which were totally new to the Sunday morning questions. That is so cool!

I wanted to wish all who participated and visited one of the many taxidermy conventions this weekend congratulations and thanks for your support to your local associations.
The NTA Convention is from July 19-22, 2006.hope to see you there!


So with out further ado! Lets Get the morning stared to a new week with some fish/ taxidermy talk! WOW week # 16 and it still is going strong! The good people at WASCO give us the free opportunity here to share information so we can be better-informed taxidermist! So in the spirit of WASCO generosity we share freely with each other!

Well here this weeks food for thought is so have at it!

1.) Give a few reasons why you should not give volume discounts to customers... Or should you?

2.) What was the very best Taxidermy convention you ever attended and why? Tell us what was it that made the convention so special for you.

3.) In today's world of Taxidermy what is more important to you (not your customer) delivery time, price or quality?

4.) Finish this thought...
If I could have more work to do I could make more money.
If I could deliver on my work with the year I could make more money.
If I could charge more money for my work I could make more money.
Which one of the above best describes your business? 1, 2 or all of them?

5.) Which one of the thoughts in the above question 4 do you think is the hardest and the easiest to change in your favor? How did you come to this choice?

6.) What would you think you would need to become a taxidermist today? What are the most important aspects of getting into taxidermy as a business or a hobby that one needs to know before getting started?

7.) What is the one most import lessons you learned in taxidermy that you are reminded of daily or truly sticks out in your mind? Did it make you a better taxidermist?

8.) If you could give some one advice who is thinking of going in going in the taxidermy industry as a business what would you say to encourage or discourage someone wanting to get in to the taxidermy world?

9.) What doest it cost to join a taxidermy association and attend a show? Is the value worth the expense? Tell how you benefit and why you would or would not do it again.

Bonus Question
10.) What kind of music or entertainment to you listen to when you work? What does it do for you?

Give it a shot!
Any one who emails me personally with the answers will get a few free reference photos from my personal collection. I still want you to answer here so other can benefit form your input on this topic line.

It is all because of you and your awesome replies this has become so successful! From beginners to the seasoned pro's every one contributes and all benefit from your great experiences! Let see if I we can get more responses on the forum as well as in my email. I will give you some free fish reference photos for the asking just for contributing! As always I just think your answers are so good more and more contribute on here for all see!

My Best and have fun with this!

Rick Krane
Anglers Artistry
312 Chesterfield Rd
Hinsdale, NH 03451
603.336.7296


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Am I first?

This response submitted by Terry on 6/11/06 at 5:32 AM. ( go_tigers90@yahoo.com ) 64.74.177.182

1) Haven't done enough volume to really consider this one I guess. I will leave it for others who have been at it longer to provide reasonable answers backed up by experience.

2) My experience is limited to a few state conventions but probably made the biggest impression. I had never been around anything like that at all. It was such an eye opener to be able to see such a diverse assortment of wildlife art and then to be able to soak in so much information in such a short time during the daily seminars. Totally way cool.

3) Quality... always quality. The client will know it and see it. But for me personally, I want to always deliver the very best I can for my own peace of mind.

4) "If I could have more work to do I could make more money". This one is definitely true for me. I am just hanging out the shingle again and am at that point where I just need to get people to know I am here. Honestly it is a nice bonus to make a good wage for a quality product, but money isn't a driving force. Taxidermy for me is much more a creative outlet. That said I am still very much at that point where needing more work is the statement that best applies to me.

5) Not sure about this question (perhaps it's the hour of night?)... I have a lot of ideas for getting my name out there and realize it's just a matter of implementation and time. I am fortunate to have the day job I do which affords me a lot of time off in the summer. I think perhaps the hard one might be the charging more, especially for those with a stable client base. I encountered this a bit in KS when I raised prices on my deer shoulder mounts. It's easy to point out why one might raise prices (increased shipping costs, increased supply costs, etc;) but a lot of the times all the customer sees is that it's going to cost him/her more.

6) I guess it kinda depends on what you hope to accomplish. To me the most important thing for anyone would be confidence in one's self and a plan for what you want to do. Some form of vision for where you want to go with it, whether tinkering with one's own things in a basement or going all out with a big time shop.

7) NEVER get too frustrated or give up on something... there is always a way to make it work. Patience, patience, patience. And when to walk away from a fish for a bit (still working on that one).

8) As a school teacher and dad I would never think of discouraging anyone... I truly believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. So with encouraging someone I guess I would tell them to always have an open mind, always strive to improve, never to doubt themselves, learn to have a thick skin and always try to maintain a positive attitude. One of the ugliest words in the human language (IMHO) is the word "can't". Learn to replace it with "haven't yet" and press on.

9) My only affiliation was with the Kansas Taxidermists Association and I thought it was money well spent. I do not remember what the cost was. Good people and an enjoyable convention. The seminars alone- for me as a beginner especially- were well worth it.

10) LOL... Love the question. Depends on my mood. 80's, 90's and current Country, 80's, 90's and current rock/pop/alternative and Christian Rock. Examples: Alabama, Sawyer Brown, Rascal Flatts (I am from THAT Ellsworth by the way), Chicago, Matchbox 20, Blues Traveler, The Barenaked Ladies, Audio Adrenaline, The Newsboys... really too many to mention. But music anytime is a good thing. Music while doing fish is a great thing.


Am I first?

This response submitted by Terry on 6/11/06 at 5:32 AM. ( go_tigers90@yahoo.com ) 64.74.177.182

1) Haven't done enough volume to really consider this one I guess. I will leave it for others who have been at it longer to provide reasonable answers backed up by experience.

2) My experience is limited to a few state conventions but probably made the biggest impression. I had never been around anything like that at all. It was such an eye opener to be able to see such a diverse assortment of wildlife art and then to be able to soak in so much information in such a short time during the daily seminars. Totally way cool.

3) Quality... always quality. The client will know it and see it. But for me personally, I want to always deliver the very best I can for my own peace of mind.

4) "If I could have more work to do I could make more money". This one is definitely true for me. I am just hanging out the shingle again and am at that point where I just need to get people to know I am here. Honestly it is a nice bonus to make a good wage for a quality product, but money isn't a driving force. Taxidermy for me is much more a creative outlet. That said I am still very much at that point where needing more work is the statement that best applies to me.

5) Not sure about this question (perhaps it's the hour of night?)... I have a lot of ideas for getting my name out there and realize it's just a matter of implementation and time. I am fortunate to have the day job I do which affords me a lot of time off in the summer. I think perhaps the hard one might be the charging more, especially for those with a stable client base. I encountered this a bit in KS when I raised prices on my deer shoulder mounts. It's easy to point out why one might raise prices (increased shipping costs, increased supply costs, etc;) but a lot of the times all the customer sees is that it's going to cost him/her more.

6) I guess it kinda depends on what you hope to accomplish. To me the most important thing for anyone would be confidence in one's self and a plan for what you want to do. Some form of vision for where you want to go with it, whether tinkering with one's own things in a basement or going all out with a big time shop.

7) NEVER get too frustrated or give up on something... there is always a way to make it work. Patience, patience, patience. And when to walk away from a fish for a bit (still working on that one).

8) As a school teacher and dad I would never think of discouraging anyone... I truly believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. So with encouraging someone I guess I would tell them to always have an open mind, always strive to improve, never to doubt themselves, learn to have a thick skin and always try to maintain a positive attitude. One of the ugliest words in the human language (IMHO) is the word "can't". Learn to replace it with "haven't yet" and press on.

9) My only affiliation was with the Kansas Taxidermists Association and I thought it was money well spent. I do not remember what the cost was. Good people and an enjoyable convention. The seminars alone- for me as a beginner especially- were well worth it.

10) LOL... Love the question. Depends on my mood. 80's, 90's and current Country, 80's, 90's and current rock/pop/alternative and Christian Rock. Examples: Alabama, Sawyer Brown, Rascal Flatts (I am from THAT Ellsworth by the way), Chicago, Matchbox 20, Blues Traveler, The Barenaked Ladies, Audio Adrenaline, The Newsboys... really too many to mention. But music anytime is a good thing. Music while doing fish is a great thing.


Oops

This response submitted by Terry on 6/11/06 at 5:33 AM. ( go_tigers90@yahoo.com ) 64.74.177.174

I am on dial up. It disconnected and I did not think it went through so I sent it again. I guess I'm first and second. lol


Late call

This response submitted by Frank E Kotula on 6/11/06 at 6:56 AM. ( basswtrout@msn.com ) 72.79.142.8

1.) Give a few reasons why you should not give volume discounts to customers... Or should you?
Easy, It takes the same amount of time and money to do one less do twenty for a person. If they feel they should get one I just ask what would you like me to omit, the tail, a few eyes maybe a body or the head LOL. Sorry no discounts on Volume.

2.) What was the very best Taxidermy convention you ever attended and why? Tell us what was it that made the convention so special for you.
LOL Rick my best was meeting you and what happened that day LOL. I won't go into it but it's in the archives if any body wants to go back and research it. It takes to long to write this one.

3.) In today's world of Taxidermy what is more important to you (not your customer) delivery time, price or quality?
Always Quality!

4.) Finish this thought...
If I could have more work to do I could make more money.
Then it's time to raise my price with more work.

If I could deliver on my work with the year I could make more money.
My work is done with in 8 months

If I could charge more money for my work I could make more money.
Which one of the above best describes your business? 1, 2 or all of them?
Neither, it's not if I can it's do charge more for your work. It's time we get what we deserve.

5.) Which one of the thoughts in the above question 4 do you think is the hardest and the easiest to change in your favor? How did you come to this choice?
I've made that choice years ago to be fair but you have to charge for your work.

6.) What would you think you would need to become a taxidermist today? What are the most important aspects of getting into taxidermy as a business or a hobby that one needs to know before getting started?
First off the ambition to do this work and relize it's not all fun and games, it's a job. You also have to know you work ungodly hours and your time gets lost with this type of work.
The most important aspect is reference and learning on to interpret it. Next is one on one class if you can afford it. You'll learn so much more from this. Plus take a business class PLEASE!


7.) What is the one most import lessons you learned in taxidermy that you are reminded of daily or truly sticks out in your mind? Did it make you a better taxidermist?
Keep your shop clean. Yes it's hard during our busy time but always wash the floor. Clients have that thought of us being dirty and grungy. If you dress properly and have a clean floor they'll be amazed and you'll get so much more respect and they do pass on different clients to you for just having a clean shop.


8.) If you could give some one advice who is thinking of going in going in the taxidermy industry as a business what would you say to encourage or discourage someone wanting to get in to the taxidermy world?
I always try and give them the truth about this work. I'll explain the good and bad but always say go for it. I want good competition, this helps us all. To explain the pros and cons well that's going to be a book than trying to write it down here but there's more pros than cons.

9.) What doest it cost to join a taxidermy association and attend a show? Is the value worth the expense? Tell how you benefit and why you would or would not do it again.
Forty to join, room can be around $300 on up for three days, meals aound $40.00 a day, so we're talking around $600 for a three day show. It's so worth the price for the semminairs are worth it right there besides meeting other folks and learning different aspects on the industry. You can't get this info in three days doing one on one seminairs.
Bonus Question
10.) What kind of music or entertainment to you listen to when you work? What does it do for you?
In the morning I like our local talk shows. I get what's going on in the area and the world after that turn up the volume and have some rock to get my butt in gear and work.


You're getting better Richard

This response submitted by George on 6/11/06 at 9:06 AM. ( georoof@aol.com ) 152.163.100.132

1. Volume discounts are a figament of small business's imagination and a craving to have the freezer full instead of empty. Full freezers don't make money, empty ones do. It fits in the same category as "low balling" prices. One won't go away until the other one does. You can only do "x" amount of work in "x" amount of time. Volume discounts mean that simply because of volume, you're willing to take less pay. Ain't happening in my shop.

2.For me, the best taxidermy conventions were those held in the '70's. The old Piedmont strikes a cord. We, as an industry, were starved for information and it just wasn't available. We were a "closed shop" industry. Those early shows made us understand that our singular problems actually were an industry problem. We all improved dramatically by seeing other and better ideas. I found that I didn't NEED to compete to get better, but I absolutely NEEDED COMPETITIONS to challenge those who enjoyed it so that I could look at their work and improve my own standards.

3. I'd like to say "quality" because the other two really don't fit me either. Still, I understand that my interpretation of "quality" is actually a sense that my customers bring to me. I try to improve each piece but I know I fall short of what I could do. Yet my customers are always excited when they get their work, so I'm satisfied.

4. None of the above. I suppose I'm fortunate in that I don't absolutely have to have the taxidermy income to subsist and if I did, they might well offer a choice. Someone else will have to do that bidding. Sorry.

5. Same as #4

6. I think the "needs" of being a taxidermist today are the same that they've always been. It's an acceptance that your work is a labor of love and you'll never gain monetarily what you'll gain aesthetically from what you do. That's why we're often cajoled into believing we're "artists" as we actually do have that mind set. Most artists tend to live hand to mouth just like we do.

7. Taxidermy is simply taking a perfect specimen and trying to recreate it. You can never make what was perfect, perfect again, but you owe it to both your specimen and yourself to make it as close as you're capable. I try to remind myself of that with every piece.

8. The only advice I ever offer is to people who tell me that they love hunting and fishing and that's why they want to become a taxidermist. I discourage those people quickly because you will have to temper one of those loves eventually. I WAS that way and I've suffered "burn out" more times than I'd like to think because of it. This late in life, I find that hunting and fishing are so much more appealing to me that going into the shop and spending 16 hours a day there can bring me. For my taxidermy work, that's sad, but for my own mental well being, I'm satisfied with "sitting on this computer" more than many people would like.

9. I never once consided the "cost" of joining an association or attending a competition that I was either able or wanted to go. Just like being a life member of SCI and the NRA, I considered it just the cost of doing business. I'm a life member of a couple dozen organizations simply because I believe in what they represent.

10. I have a large TV setting in the corner of my shop. It's always on when I'm in there. Thankfully I have cable so I don't have to listen to the mind numbing sitcoms and I can listen and watch things like ESPN, The Military Channel, TBS, or even the Encore channels to have something entertaining going on. In all honesty, however, I think it's the "noise" that keeps my mind busy while I'm fleshing or sewing.


here we go

This response submitted by Michael Shipman on 6/11/06 at 9:09 AM. ( shipmanstaxidermy@alltel.net ) 67.141.171.164

1.) Give a few reasons why you should not give volume discounts to customers... Or should you?
It costs you the same weather your mounting ten specimens for one person or ten.
2.) What was the very best Taxidermy convention you ever attended and why? Tell us what was it that made the convention so special for you.
The first one I went to I guess Peidmont. I was so amazed I soaked every thing up like a sponge and still do seven years later.
3.) In today's world of Taxidermy what is more important to you (not your customer) delivery time, price or quality?
While I want to say quality but only the money puts food on the table but quality runs a close second.
4.) Finish this thought...
If I could have more work to do I could make more money.
If I could deliver on my work with the year I could make more money.
If I could charge more money for my work I could make more money.
Which one of the above best describes your business? 1, 2 or all of them?
Probably all the above in the long run but I have not been caught up in five years so I guess raise the price.
5.) Which one of the thoughts in the above question 4 do you think is the hardest and the easiest to change in your favor? How did you come to this choice?
The hardest is the delivery time when your doing all you can do. The easiest is the price just mark it out and write it down but it doesn't mean you will get it.
6.) What would you think you would need to become a taxidermist today? What are the most important aspects of getting into taxidermy as a business or a hobby that one needs to know before getting started?
Don't try to under price every one. When you get good enough to take other peoples work charge for it. Take every class read every book/mag./video you can get your hands on.
7.) What is the one most import lessons you learned in taxidermy that you are reminded of daily or truly sticks out in your mind? Did it make you a better taxidermist?
Not to under price. It did not make me better it made me broker.
8.) If you could give some one advice who is thinking of going in going in the taxidermy industry as a business what would you say to encourage or discourage someone wanting to get in to the taxidermy world?
Same as 6 and 7
9.) What doest it cost to join a taxidermy association and attend a show? Is the value worth the expense? Tell how you benefit and why you would or would not do it again.
THe cost is A fraction of what you can learn and is very worth it.
The wealt of info you can learn is priceless.
Bonus Question
10.) What kind of music or entertainment to you listen to when you work? What does it do for you? Either oldies country or gospel.
Gives my ears somethin to do.


My answers

This response submitted by MarkV. on 6/11/06 at 11:16 AM. ( mtmmvruno@lakeland.ws ) 69.4.120.155

1.We give a few volume discounts on fish mostly and a few birds. This would be personal preference if a person wants to give one but I think its a good idea .
2.It has been so long since I attended but it was a NTA convention. I was just in awe over the total show, the atmosphere the mounts in general.
3.I think all 3 are important to survive in Taxidermy Today. If a person does good quality work in a timely manner he will do well.If you do high quality work but can only turn out 1 or 2 mounts a week you may not be able to make it. In my opinion the money would be 1st on my list to feed my family.
4.I could make more money doing fish than gameheads which take less time to do and far less cost for materials. I can deliver far more fish in a year than big game. All of the above describe my desire for doing fish which has gone down the tubes. The only real moneymaker I believe is in fish taxidermy.
5.Trying to boost our fish buisness is very hard with the catch and release aspect we are paying half of the price charged for the replica blanks and in order to do high quality work you need to buy the best blanks. Getting our name out there is the easy part getting people to pay double the price of a skin mount is very hard especially in todays economy. Before it was easy get a few lodges and you had enough buisness for the year, now you have to fight for every mount with the next guy.
6.You need to be a buisness man first and foremost in todays taxidermy world. Run it like a buisness and do not make exceptions to anyone. Like I said above feeding my family is most important. I don't put up with excuses from anyone when it comes time to pay for their mounts. I don't want to sit on a shop full of reciept tickets. If its done their to come and pick it up. You can be the best of the best but if you do not run it like a buisness you will fail. A hobby is a hobby and if I were in it for a hobby I wouldn't care about the money part.
7.The thing that sticks out the most is working with my father on a daily basis. He is the reason I do taxidermy as he taught me a good majority of what I know. When he retires I hope I can be as good a buisness man as he is. I don't think I have the forward direct approach to collecting money as he does but I'm trying to get it in me. I don't think his desire is what it once was some 40+ years ago but still gets high praise for his work.
8.I give anyone encouragement that truly wants to do taxidermy but if someone was to be say making excellent money elsewhere at a well established job I would totally discourage them from making the switch to taxidermy.
9.Honest truth is we are not a part of any association not because of the cost. We were members of the MN. taxidermy guild years ago and I will join again someday. You can learn a wealth of information from going to the seminars.
10.We listen to talk radio in the morning. And loud heavy metal rock music the rest of the day. It creates the feeling of fast movement LOL and makes me work faster. My dad even enjoys it. I have never been a slow music person it makes me sleep. I do taxidermy not run and elevator LOL. Maybe flat artists listen to easy listening artsy fartsy stuff but thats not our gig. Good luck guys and have a great Sunday!


And we're off...

This response submitted by Greg Waite on 6/11/06 at 11:39 AM. ( bgwaite@lexominc.net ) 204.116.181.249

1.) Give a few reasons why you should not give volume discounts to customers... Or should you?
As George stated above. I am fairly new and have already learned that discounts do not apply. Why would anyone want to work for less?

2.) What was the very best Taxidermy convention you ever attended and why? Tell us what was it that made the convention so special for you.
I just attended the Surry show and I had a blast. The time meeting all these great people that were willing to share their time was worth ever penny. The seminars were great and I learned a ton. It was an experience that I won't forget anytime soon.

3.) In today's world of Taxidermy what is more important to you (not your customer) delivery time, price or quality?
Quality. With quality the others are going to be accepted, whether you have a 2 years turnaround and charge $1000. Quality is where your reputation is.

4.) Finish this thought...
If I could have more work to do I could make more money.
If I could deliver on my work with the year I could make more money.
If I could charge more money for my work I could make more money.
Which one of the above best describes your business? 1, 2 or all of them?
"IF I could have more work" would best discribe my situation. I am more expensive than most in my area so charging more isn't a problem. Delivery isn't a problem either. It's hard when you are higher on prices, especially fairly new and your clientelle isn't built up yet, but I would rather start higher and not have to go up than the other way around.

5.) Which one of the thoughts in the above question 4 do you think is the hardest and the easiest to change in your favor? How did you come to this choice?
When I started getting serious about taxidermy, a good friend told me to make sure I charged enough, cause if you start out too low and get slammed with work and aren't making money, you'll burn out. So pricing higher is easier, IMHO. The next would be delivery time, take in what you know you can do in a given time, period! If you can't get things done in YOUR deadline, all you'll have is unhappy customers. So for me the hardest is the amount of work.

6.) What would you think you would need to become a taxidermist today? What are the most important aspects of getting into taxidermy as a business or a hobby that one needs to know before getting started?
A love for taxidermy. Without it your just spinning your wheels. And the confidence to charge what your work is worth.

7.) What is the one most import lessons you learned in taxidermy that you are reminded of daily or truly sticks out in your mind? Did it make you a better taxidermist?
I've met some truly great friends through taxidermy and lost some that I thought were. Money is great but being "rich" to me means nothing about money. I don't know whether that was the answer you were looking for but the friends that I have made are helping me become a better taxidermist.

8.) If you could give some one advice who is thinking of going in going in the taxidermy industry as a business what would you say to encourage or discourage someone wanting to get in to the taxidermy world?
Don't undercut prices just to get business. Once you establish yourself as "the cheap guy" you have a hard time raising prices. Don't take in more work than you can do.

9.) What doest it cost to join a taxidermy association and attend a show? Is the value worth the expense? Tell how you benefit and why you would or would not do it again.
It doesn't cost anything. If you look at the friends and education that is there, you are getting paid. Every taxidermist should be a member of their state association and do everything in their power to help get others to join. We all have something to bring to the table for our association, the only real question here is "how much are you losing by not joining?"

Bonus Question
10.) What kind of music or entertainment to you listen to when you work? What does it do for you?
The radio is always on in my shop, but it's just something to make it not so quiet. It would really creap clients out to see you skinning animals by yourself in a dead silence.


OK Rick I'll answer one for now...

This response submitted by Rich B. on 6/11/06 at 12:34 PM. ( ) 74.65.18.69

10. I listen to Christian Radio mostly(Calvary Chapel to be specific) because I like to learn the truths of my Creator while I am being guided by His hands.
I know some people may think that it sounds arrogant or something like...(sarcastically) "oh you think you are God's gift to fish taxidermy?" but I can truly tell you that He plays a key role in what I do. Even before I was born again, I could see His signature in the beautiful fish that He allowed me to catch and I could actually sense something(God?) directing me in my attempt to interpret and re-capture what I saw.
Knowing the Truth gives me peace while I work.
John 14:6


From the Old Fart

This response submitted by Rick Krane on 6/11/06 at 1:03 PM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 70.109.173.48

1. The only reason that I could give a discount for volume would be for not having to spend the time with the customer on either end of ther transaction. I allow two hours of my time for each mount to be used for non productive time, usually when they bring the mount in and when they pick it up. My actual work time on the mounts isn't reduced just because they bring in more than one fish.

2. The first few IGT conventions at Beloit Wisconsin were the best. I think I made and kept more good friends from those shows than all the others I've been to.

3. "The bitterness of poor quality is left long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten!" That may be intended for the customer's ears, but it applies to every taxidermist this way. "The satisfaction of high quality fades quickly with the prospect of low pay." When I put the effort into a mount that it deserves, I feel a lot better about the finished project when I'm well paid for it!

4. If I could charge more I'd make more. The others contradict themselves.

5. The hardest thing is to raise prices, because you always fear that you'll price yourself out of work. That doesn't happen if your work is good. The other options just lead to longer hours in the shop, divorce and burnout.

6. If you don't have some real artistic ability, that is hand-eye coordination, you're just going to be wasting your time. Enjoy life by dong something that you're good at not something that you "want" to be good at. Then learn what the word "business" means if you can pass the artistic ability requirements.

7. When I learned that the details make or break a good mount I actually became a "taxidermist". Before that, I just did taxidermy, but I wasn't really a "taxidermist"! When I mounted my first squirrel I thought, "Wow, I'm a taxidermist!", but I wasn't even close. Unfortunately the basics of taxidermy are very simple, anyone with three thumbs on each hand can DO taxidermy, but that doesn't make them a "taxidermist".

8. If you don't know or even want to know what the word "business" means, you will never make it. With all the details of the taxidermy world to grasp this one seems to be the toughest one to figure out for most "aspiring" taxidermists.

9. It costs NOTHING if you go th the shows and take in the seminars. You will always come home with ideas, techniques and products that you didn't have before you went. If you plan well you can even save enough on buying supplies to more than pay for your out of pocket expenses.

10. Usually talk radio or the "oldies' stations. Just music gets boring. Just talk gets me pumped up, so I go back and forth.


My $.02

This response submitted by jrosbor on 6/11/06 at 3:08 PM. ( huntersdream3x@hotmail.com ) 64.73.36.192

1.) Give a few reasons why you should not give volume discounts to customers... Or should you?
Though I have in the past, I no longer give them. It takes me the same amount of time per mount if I do one mount for that customer or if I do three mounts for that same customer. Less money out of one persons pocket doesn't make more money in my pocket.

2.) What was the very best Taxidermy convention you ever attended and why? Tell us what was it that made the convention so special for you.
The first one! I learned more from the first convention I went to because I was trying to learn. I am still trying to learn more but my feet are wet and my head isn't sponge like any more. BTW, It was the WI taxidermist assn. in Green bay a few years back.

3.) In today's world of Taxidermy what is more important to you (not your customer) delivery time, price or quality?
QUALITY! If I am not happy with the mount, my customers will not be happy with it.

4.) Finish this thought...
If I could have more work to do I could make more money.
If I could deliver on my work with the year I could make more money.
If I could charge more money for my work I could make more money.
Which one of the above best describes your business? 1, 2 or all of them?
I guess the closest would be 3. However, If all of my work was competition quality I would charge more and make more money.

5.) Which one of the thoughts in the above question 4 do you think is the hardest and the easiest to change in your favor? How did you come to this choice?
Again, 3 IMO is the hardest and easiest to change. If I DID produce higher quality mounts, I would charge much more and make more money. However, I choose not to. I am still to the point where I want to get them done and out the door as soon as I can.

6.) What would you think you would need to become a taxidermist today? What are the most important aspects of getting into taxidermy as a business or a hobby that one needs to know before getting started?
I keep telling myself I am not doing this for the money! The market is flooded with poor quality taxidermist. You MUST be able to produce high quality mounts before you ever think of starting a business!

7.) What is the one most import lessons you learned in taxidermy that you are reminded of daily or truly sticks out in your mind? Did it make you a better taxidermist?
How to use reference pictures. Turning a 2d ref picture into a 3d work of art is tough to do but it DOE'S make you a better taxidermist.

8.) If you could give some one advice who is thinking of going in going in the taxidermy industry as a business what would you say to encourage or discourage someone wanting to get in to the taxidermy world?
Go to as many SUCCESSFUL taxidermy shops at they can just to see what it actually takes to be successful. At that point they will make there own decision.

9.) What doest it cost to join a taxidermy association and attend a show? Is the value worth the expense? Tell how you benefit and why you would or would not do it again.
I think my membership to the WTA is around $50.00/year and I could attend a convention for another $50.00 or so. So that's around $100.00/year to get more info than any taxidermy school could give you. It is definitely worth it!

Bonus Question
10.) What kind of music or entertainment to you listen to when you work? What does it do for you?
I listen to Rock-N-Roll! (Limp Biscuit, Ted Nugent, Steve Miller band, and Lynard Skinard to name a few) Keeps me sane! Don't want people to think I am that guy from Silence of the Lambs! LOL!

Thanks! That was fun! Joe


Our freind Dave... The fish master general of the west!

This response submitted by Rick Krane on 6/11/06 at 3:38 PM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 70.109.173.48

1) I don't give volume discounts, but I have cut some slack to multiple-time repeat clients. I explain to potential clients that I do a custom process and there is no time savings and therefore no money savings by doing two or more at the same time (batch processing) for me. Likewise, if I have client who wishes to put two fish together on the same base/habitat, I explain that it will actually take me longer than twice the individual fish time because I have to spend a little more time working out a proper spatial relationship, interaction, etc. between the two or more fish.

2) World Show in 1988. I had already been doing fish taxidermy for a while, but it was the first big show that I went to as a spectator.. Needless to say, it was awesome! Plus, I met a pretty hot chick there in GA that I was able to hang out with and keep in contact for a short time afterwards. Sweeeeeeeeeet.

3) Quality drives everything, to include price and backlog.

4) Theoretically I would make more money per hour if I could charge more. However, that idea is also a trap beause if I end up charging more then I end up putting more time into my work to raise the quality bar. It has always been that way with me. I find it hard to personally accept a certain plateau of detail/quality for very long and then I am on the move with prices and then quality.

5) I have always charged near the top or at the top on prices as long as I have been full time, but whether by self esteem or some other confidence testing theory, I do have some anxiety everytime I go to raise prices. My clients get their money's worth and then some, but there is still that nagging insecurity. Oh well, personal problem.

6) I think you need to have more of an interest in the actual critter(s) than the actual process of taxidermy. Taxidermy is a means to an end. It is the result of the fascination with the critter(s).

7) Always doubt what you think you actually know. You'll learn a little more all the time and most likely look like less of a fool than you actually are.

8) If you want to just dabble with it as a creative outlet, jump right on in, the water's fine. If you want it to be more than just something fun and challenging to do as an outlet, make sure that you do your research and honestly ask yourself why you want to do it and what you want it to bring you. And your answers to those questions had also better be honest, or you are setting yourself up for heartache.

9) I learn well on my own and stay very busy with work, so I personally don't see conventions and associations as something that I need, business-wise anyway. So, the money I spend to attend a convention I look at as coming out of the money I would spend on a hobby or toys, but with the beauty of also being a business tax write-off.

10) Right now the CDs in rotation in the stereo in the shop are Waylon Jennings, Blondie, Mason Ruffner, Robin Trower, and the Allman Brothers. Last week it was Ted Nugent, Buck Owens, Tom T. Hall, the Ramones, and Glenn Miller. I can't remember what it was before that, and I'm not sure what it will be after this week. I don't listen to a certain genre specifically because I like songs for the song rather than the type of music. I used to listen to talk radio quite a bit but no longer. I must be mellowing quite a bit because I no longer want to yell at the radio or TV newscasters as much. Other than that I talk on the phone with a headset or I listen to the thoughts in my head.


Our friend from WY

This response submitted by Rick Krane on 6/12/06 at 1:41 AM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 70.20.44.145

Good evening Mr. Krane. I would like to also say that your questions are getting better as Mr. Roof has stated. I to watch the Military channel. You may share my email with him. Back to your do gooder questions. Why are you writing the Sunday morning questions? Trying to convert the unconvertible. Your pissing up a tree you know isn't there.
I hesitate to write this to you, as I don't want to disillusion your quest. There has always been a two tear system in taxidermy the ham and eggers and the ones who eventually fry their spirit in the deep fryer of the business. To bad some have talent and some are just ham an eggers but they all come and go with the exceptions of the few. Tough business to make money in and I think your trying to change the mentality of the suffering. Oh well do what you have to but your pissing up a tree Rick. I hope you take what I say with great respect and understanding for the fact of the matter I'm on of the few to stupid to get out. My Daughter calls it the addictions and in away she is correct you know. It has been all consuming and destructive at times. Yet here I'm after nearly 45 years. I have seen others like you who try and do well by others because I think you're a purist. You would have been old school back in old school but today you're a perfectionist in a modernized SOG time. That's good but the times have changed too much to make a change today. Well I hope you have your sense of humor in tact and know when I'm ribbing you. Ok your questions Mr. Krane.

1.) Give a few reasons why you should not give volume discounts to customers... Or should you? We make a service in to a skilled art. Even good restaurants don't give discounts because you come in with five clients do they? Not in my town! Forget about the discount thing your not charging enough to give one any way.

2.) What was the very best Taxidermy convention you ever attended and why? Tell us what was it that made the convention so special for you. If you win I suppose it makes it better? It would be worth it every time if the suppliers gave a 20% discount on products or orders taken at the conventions.

3.) In today's world of Taxidermy what is more important to you (not your customer) delivery time, price or quality? Delivery times now that is a stupid question Rick it is all about money and nothing else. If you don't deliver see how much money you make on quality we no there is no money in price.

4.) Finish this thought...
If I could have more work to do I could make more money.
No if I could deliver faster I would.

If I could deliver on my work with the year I could make more money.
True

If I could charge more money for my work I could make more money.
Nope deliver is the key one to making more money.

Which one of the above best describes your business? 1, 2 or all of them?
Dumb question.

5.) Which one of the thoughts in the above question 4 do you think is the hardest and the easiest to change in your favor? How did you come to this choice? Delivery time. Getting ones a** motivated and not making up excuses why you can't finish a mount to be delivered.

6.) What would you think you would need to become a taxidermist today? What are the most important aspects of getting into taxidermy as a business or a hobby that one needs to know before getting started? A degree in business and accounting. A back up job in the evenings doesn't hurt when you're getting off the ground.

7.) What is the one most import lessons you learned in taxidermy that you are reminded of daily or truly sticks out in your mind? Did it make you a better taxidermist? Customers Lie. Yes it did.

8.) If you could give some one advice who is thinking of going in going in the taxidermy industry as a business what would you say to encourage or discourage someone wanting to get in to the taxidermy world? With out a back ground in Business 101 your all done.

9.) What doest it cost to join a taxidermy association and attend a show? Is the value worth the expense? Tell how you benefit and why you would or would not do it again. Pass.

Bonus Question
10.) What kind of music or entertainment to you listen to when you work? What does it do for you? Hank Williams (no the boy) and Lester Flats and earl Shrugs, some talk radio when I'm in a bad mood.

Ok Mr. K there is my contribution to the betterment of your quest. I hope you read this and learn something too.


I'm with

This response submitted by Richard C on 6/12/06 at 10:39 PM. ( ) 4.156.135.47

No need to type all those answers, I'm with Dave and the Wyoming guy.
Wyoming guy, where in Wyoming ? I've been all over the state, since I was 20 yrs old. I think I'm as old as you as we think alot alike.


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