Hi. First off, I'm 35 years old and learned taxidermy (from a Pro) some 18 years ago.
I have a good job, good pay, wife, kids, mortgage, white picket fence yadda, yadda.
I am getting back into fish taxidermy only, part time for now. I feel my work is as good, if not better than the full timers in this area.
My question is, do you full timers take it as a slap in the face when someone comes in and goes parttime? I don't plan to undercut. And once a client base or at least my name gets out, I will open a full time studio.
Am I slapping faces here? I don't want to be THAT kind of taxidermist. Let me know your thoughts. Greg
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to run a business. What you are doing is how many taxidermists got their start. It takes a few years to get a good client base anyway, so there's no need to go full bore right off the bat. I would not have a problem with having someone come in and start a legitimate business in the area I "work". Unless you are soliciting a shop's customers at the shop doorstep or doing other underhanded stuff I don't see any problem at all. It is after all, a free country.
Its a free country. As long as you are not violating any laws i.e zoning etc and have the appropriate licenses, there ain't nothing they can do anyway. What I have a problem with is a lot of part-timers don't charge what they ought to and also are violating all kind of laws in the process. After they have screwed up the market in the area, they decide not to do it any longer or leave the area and those left get the bum rap fall out. Be legal, don't badmouth and you probably won't have any problems.
If you do good work and charge a fair price,...I personally have no problem at all, If you earn $150,000 a year at your regular job and charge $3.00 an inch for fish because you like to do them, it is unfair to the old pros who do it full time and give free advise on this forum! Just my opinion.
.......charge more! This way you will cultivate a clientel that will not desert you when(if) you go full time.
Greg, you have the right to do what you intend, and should do so without regard for the established pros in your area. Competition in business is the core of the free enterprise system. During my lifetime, I have heard the full and part time argument from everything from hookers to politicians, and it has never made any sense. If the full timer does what he or she says will be done, in a qualitative sense, they shouldn't be concerned with your presence. I wouldn't give a hoot about pricing either. In deference to Dan's statement, I would think the best thing that could happen would be for someone to move into my neighbor hood and charge nothing...... That is do the mounts gratis and give them away. I figure in a few months the individual would be so backlogged, buried and bankrupt, that the episode would be short lived and not worth much concern........LOL
The established pros you mention have probably seen a number of part-timers come and go during their careers and will probably not lose a lot of sleep over your intrusion. Chances are the work you will attract wouldn't be theirs in any event. If your work is actually better than theirs, your intervention into their routine may jar their realities and spur them to new heights of achievement.
I would try to meet them and tell them what you plan to do. Be assertive, professional and direct if and when you do speak with the local folks. Tell them what you intend to do and if they don't like it, so what, it is one less coffee you will have to buy at the local Live Bait and Doughnut Bistro. Just make sure that your entry to market does not include any derrogatory statements or claims your butt can't back up where finished work is concerned. The local taxidermists probably have established clientele, anyway, and won't lose a good customer to your efforts.
I have no idea how many full time, much less part-timers work in the Houston Metroplex, and I don't give a hoot either. The only work that concerns me is my own. I figure most successful folks have the same feelings about this matter. No matter the profession, no matter the location, we all had to start out somewhere. There isn't room in any profession for the back-fence, fish-wife mentality that worries about what another does or charges for services rendered. Don't sweat the Politically Correct horsecrap, you have as much right as the next person to enter this profession. Personally, I like competition, it brings out the best in me and gives my efforts new purpose.......Good Luck.....Welcome aboard the taxi train.....choo choo!
Naaaa, It wouldn't bother me really, But I DO know that many might be threatened by your presence. Though the comments generated here so far, seem to the contrary, I personally know that many taxidermists will draw the line at offering free help, if they find that you're located a little "close to home". For instance, this past week I had a young gentleman stop by by studio looking for some advice. I had previously met him once last year, when he told me he was just getting into taxidermy, so naturally I was curious as to his accomplishments since I'd seen him last. He told me he had moved downstate a ways since I'd seen him last, and had since mounted a couple of fish, along with a couple of deer. He claimed that his fish were coming out fine, but he'd been experiencing some problems with slippage on his deer. Here's the story,as told to me. He'd called several taxidermists that were listed in his new local phone book, and told me that not one would offer any advice. He said that the first question they wanted to know, was where he was located. When he told them, one after another told him, they couldn't help. He further went on to tell me, that one taxidermist he called even laughed at him, then went on to make a rude remark about his problem to a co-worker that was apparently nearby, WHILE on the phone with this guy!
Here's the KICKER. I questioned him a little bit, and he dropped some names. Though I didn't recognize most of them, I did recognize the guy who had made fun of him. The shocker was that this guy is a member of my state's taxidermy association, and is an elected delegate to boot! No, I'm not going to give his name, or even which state, because I've only heard one side of the story. It did however blow me away. Here was a fine opportunity for this experienced taxidermist to promote the state organization, and possibly recrute a new member, but instead he chose to ignore the requests for help, and belittle the caller. Unbelivable! Guess it just goes to show you, that it take's all kinds. While some may encourage and welcome the new kid on the block, others may well indeed be threatened by you. I do agree with all of the posters here though, It's America, and you're entirly within your rights to set up a new business any where you'd like, or at least in a location that "Big Brother" approves of. Just go into it with eyes opened, and know that not everyone is going to welcome you with open arms.
Thanks for all your input and adice. I think the going rate here in the southwest is $12.00-$13.00/inch. My price would be right around there within a dollar or two.
Although I believe taxidermists deserve a fair price, I also don't believe our prices should be out of the average sportsmans budget. It would be a shame if the average Joe caught a trophy fish but couldn't afford to display it.
Again, thanks for the responses, they are taken to heart. Keep up the good work. Greg
I'm not an old pro but to me it just sounds like good old fashioned competion to me !
I have some clientle who brag about a hunting trip that cost them over $5000.00 but yet complain about paying $450. for a head mount on a trophy with a score of 175 plus. I don't worry about budgets. Theres always mastercard if they want it.