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beginners opening a shop

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by newbie07, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. newbie07

    newbie07 New Member

    is it a good idea to open a full time shop right after attending a 8 week school? any advice would be appreciated -thanks
  2. muleyhunter

    muleyhunter Soulmates, Gods way of saying together forever

    What are you going to use for your show room to show customers your work ??? ??? ???

  3. newbie07

    newbie07 New Member

    i will be completing close to 10 mounts while in school and will do a few right after school.....not enough?
  4. It really would not be fair to be using mounts from school as reference to your abilities when you will no doubt have instruction while mounting them...it's a different deal when you have nobody around to ask but yourself. But again it really depends on the school I guess. Good luck though with whatever you decide.
  5. newbie07

    newbie07 New Member

    good point....i'm hoping all fares well at school so my work will only get better....thanks

    GUTPYLZ "Bottoms Up"

    I would do what you feel comfortable doing. I had about 3 animals done professionally and at the time thought they were good except for one. The thing is, I just did my first one and it is better than all 3 of the commercial ones. Start out just doing gameheads or something, like I'm going to do. Your only going to get better.
  7. newbie07

    newbie07 New Member

    totally would agree with you i've seen some not so great work come out of shops that have year and a half turn around time and producing some good profits ....thanks
  8. nibjones

    nibjones Join your States Taxidermy Assoc.

    newbie07, I am still in the at home stage of my business because, I just haven't done enough of my own mounts to have an actual showroom. I think you should build up your own personal work collection on your own and than open your shop.
  9. Dean

    Dean New Member

    Doing a dozen mounts proves nothing except you started to learn the basics. What about being able to trouble shoot a problem? You can't rely on the forum to be here to answer all you questions and get you out of a jam all the time. When opening a shop a lot depends on your ability and natural talent. 8 weeks seems like a pretty short course to learn everything. The Tech college near me used to have a great 2 year course untill there was an instructor change then it went down hill and eventually closed. I've said this before that you need to prove yourself and what you can do. You need to be able to win a least a third place professional ribbon in a catagory in order to say you have enough ability to do customer work. That is just a starting point and you need to improve from there. I feel there is nothing worse than someone taking on customers to soon ,they end up practicing on a customers trophy. When you have about a good 100 mounts of one species done well then I'd say maybe you may be ready to open up a shop. A lot of taxidermists fail because they open up a shop before they are ready. They burn up their client base and end not get repeat customers. You have one chance to do it right. One bad mount out the door will hurt your reputation more than 100 good mounts will help it. Be patient and learn more first 8 weeks you barley just have the basics down. Even then I question it. There are a lot of hacks out there that take on work and take the money and run and don't think about the future. They won't be in business long enough to to worry about it. It sounds like you have proof of hack taxidermy hanging on your wall from other taxidermists If a customer trusts you with their pride and joy, once in a lifetime trophy you'd better be ready to do it right the first time. Thaere is no do overs. Good luck and keep learning
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Good advice Dean. 8 weeks of schooling only gives you an 8 week head start on a self taught novice. You get one or two mounts head start is all. By all means you are not ready for business. I to believe that your quality of a mount you made without help from a teacher should be able to take a third place ribbon in the pro division at a show, (none of this judging from 5 foot away crap) to be capable of giving the customer a fair shake. 8 weeks gives you the basics, not the skills.
  11. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    Contact and join your state association. You have the opportunity to see seminars by some of the best in the business, get personal help, make freinds with people who care and really want to help and it gives you a data base to go to for help in person. Competing is also a great part of it. Critiques and once again, all of the people associated with the organization, seminars and tips.
    As far as opening shop, start with freinds and family and you are actually officially open. The next year you will pick up one or two new customers because they seen your work on the wall at a freinds.

    And Thanks to the Michigan Taxidermist Association for everything that you are!
  12. mdupertuis

    mdupertuis Active Member

    Newbie, there is no blanket answer. I have seen some phenomenal new taxidermists, and I have seen some veterans who do crappy work. Maybe you did some things before going to the school, maybe not. But by all means, do go to a competition and get judged. Nothing like a master taxidermist, a flashlight, and a pad of paper to show you all the things you are doing wrong or right. I am about to start taking customer mounts, and I don't think I have done 100 mounts. I will be taking a lot longer per mount than a more experienced taxidermist, but it isn't rocket science. If you prepare ahead of time, and take your time with each and every detail, you can put out a professional product. The only way I learn is hands on. I am continuosly mounting specimins for my show room. Since I don't have enough room to store them, I have them out at Gander Mountain and Dick's Sporting goods. But if you take your time, study reference, and learn all you can BEFORE you start, you don't have to give customers bad work back, I just think you will have to put 3x more time into it than you will when you gain years of experience. So in my opinion, go for it and do the best you can. But I wouldn't give up your day job until things get moving.

    GUTPYLZ "Bottoms Up"

    Newbie, get some advice from people on the kind of work that you are doing. I wouldn't take on more than you can handle. Just do what you think is right. So many of us in life are influenced by other people's opinions and that stops a lot of people from succeeding. If, you love what you are doing and passionate, articulate I'm sure that your going to be fine. Heck how many hours do you have to learn Landscaping, Drywall ect. I know people who started there business in less than a year and business is good for them. I speak from experience on starting a business. I have done 2 so far in the last 18 years and they are still doing great. It takes a lot of common sense to run a business, but to wait until you think everything is perfect is bull. Listen to mdupertuis, that is good solid advice.
  14. Helicity

    Helicity Squirrels – Natures Road Bumps

    I hate it when you ask a school what its about and they tell you that the course is geared to opening up a shop right after you finish it. I was told this at a 3 week course. Blah
  15. newbie07

    newbie07 New Member

    this is some good advice....nothing better than asking people that have already been in this position and know whats going on.....thanks guys keep the advice coming, it's appreciated .. believe me
  16. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    Talent, skills, good work ethics, those will make you a good wildlife artist, but good business sense is going to make it a business.
  17. hidvalltax

    hidvalltax Dont travel faster than your guardian angel can go

    Well I took at at home course many years ago only to improve my skills with friends and family mounts and 8 years later I opened for parttime biz which I had every species for sale and many to see my abilities, so stop look and listen be prepared for a hard road to start
  18. after the shot

    after the shot N.E.A.T. Board Member

    I personally do not feel that opening a full time shop after an 8 week course is wise. I have been dabbling in taxidermy now for about 12 years, taking in customer work for four years, and competing for two years. I still only do it part time. Doing the taxidermy work is one thing. The business aspect is another. Taxes, laws, overhead, contracts, advertising, can your area support anther full time taxidermist,...... could go on and on.
    It could take along time to build up a clientelle to support a full time business but I wish you well no matter what you decide.
  19. Steve-o

    Steve-o Member

    I think joining your state association and having some mounts judged is good advice. As far as "is it a good idea to open a full time shop right after attending a 8 week school?" it depends on how good your work is and how much you've learned about running a business. When I first started doing mounts, my friends and I thought they were awesome, then I took a few to our state show to be judged and learned how they were viewed by other pro taxidermists. I've been part-time about four years and have won a few ribbons, but still would have a looooong way to go to open a full-time shop.
  20. Kevin M.

    Kevin M. Active Member

    there is no way you will bring in enough work your first several years to support yourself. You will probably need to start out part time untill you build up a customer base with repeat busines and referals.