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Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by PA, Mar 9, 2018.
Won’t use the tools but wear the dress.
Just playing the Devil's Advocate here Carolin for conversations sake, and yes we are old coots - lol! But, how would you know how many potential customers didn't contact you? (I don't know either btw! Just tossing it out there because you wouldn't know!) Like I said I don't think it's much of a problem in today's world. But, I'll betcha if all other things being equal (location, talent, prices, turnaround time) that you might still be at a disadvantage starting out. Maybe not, I can't tell how young you are in your Avatar - lol! J/K!!! Seriously though, I think dentistry being a white collar job is an unfair comparison. Taxidermy is an industry that traditionally is male dominated and probably still is. Maybe I'm wrong, but maybe not???
PA, I think it has to do with the fact that on social media, people have more power over who can see or comment on what they post. For the most part, if you aren't part of their accepted circle you don't even see it. If you criticize them, they can block you. Here they have to take it, the praise and the criticism just the same. I'm certain most people that follow someone, are fans and pretty much only praise them, when commenting. That is an instant ego stroke. This post may get some backlash, that's OK. I'm sure I can handle it and I won't block anyone.
Fish Art you are correct...I do not have any idea who won't come because I am a woman. I can't change that....or ha ha I won't change that. I would say that about 1/4 of my customers are women. Do they come here because I am a woman? I don't know but I see a lot of customers where their wives and girl friends also hunt. Maybe that is because they see TV shows that also feature women hunters or hunting for women has become more accepted and also woman taxidermists have also become more accepted. In general women have become accepted in many more professions. That is why I think the younger generations do not even consider women taxidermists any different than a male taxidermist.
3 bears ...you are also correct ..."likes" are a fan club....What it really boils down to is will all those people who like your work actually show up at your door when they want some taxidermy done. Personally I have found facebook helpful for business because a lot of the younger folk find me this way and communicate with me this way.
Carolin, I've heard that from others that have a facebook page for their business, as well. I don't, I'm just not a fan of having to post updates and pictures, but do see that it benefits others.
From what I understand, women are the fastest growing demographic in the outdoors industry, that also includes taxidermy.
3 Bears you should give it a try...it is very easy to post pics to show your recent work and those who follow your page will keep having your new pics popping up in "their news feed". It then keeps your work top of mind when they want taxidermy work done.
I see more young girls at our state show competing as novices than boys. I do know they have some great mentors. Chuck Testa and Allis Markham being two of them. My hats off to both of them for taking time to share there skills with young people and not being paranoid about possibly training future competition.
I can’t think of a greater calling in life than to train young people a trade of some kind. It just might be what saves someone’s life. Having a skill taught to you when you are young opens your mind to all kinds of life possibilities. Realizing you can accomplish mounting an animal that others compliment them on gives a young person self worth and confidence.
I learn something every time I access taxidermy.net To me, it still rules as a knowledge exchange among taxidermists. I don't have time to spend perusing it like I once did...too many irons in the fire.
Marketing, in this case via Facebook, Instagram, etc. seems to be how you get ahead. I am not a commercial taxidermist and don’t have any desire to learn how to maintain a web page or Facebook page and post pictures. I have very little time for taxidermy these days but find it is fascinating to follow the development of the trade and the practitioners who have entered it anew, supporting this age old art form. Three Bears lives in an area where word-of-mouth, or advertising in the sporting goods stores may be sufficient. For new taxidermists, to get themselves established, the social programs available may be the right ticket. Certainly, when larger cities are involved as in LA for Allis, San Francisco for Alicia, Chicago for Mickey, New York for Divya and Katie, and many others - in order to connect with potential customers, or to build a group of clients to teach taxidermy and offer classes, social media is a godsend.
Marketing was as important 115 years ago when the Northwestern School of taxidermy was started. Initially J. W. Elwood was not in charge, but in short order he became the leader of the taxidermy organization which included initially a correspondence course, a supply company, a fur tanning company, and did taxidermy work for clients. He published a magazine for a few years, competed in expositions, published stand-alone publications etc. What Elwood did was market himself. He actually wasn’t the only one offering classes. Much more skilled taxidermists also offered classes – even John Rowley in California around the same time – I found a flyer many years back. Many companies attempted the same format, but none succeeded as well at what Elwood developed in the early years.
From the beginning, he solicited photographs a people who took his course to send them in, in order that the “school” could judge how well the “student” progressed and then send along the diploma. I would guess the image that Cecil posted could certainly be a studio piece that a copy was sent to Omaha. Elwood published hundreds of these images in the various flyers in the early years, not quite as many after the school became streamlined. In my purchase-on-eBay years I bought dozens of brochures, catalogs, magazines, stand-alone publications, various incarnations of the lesson books, even a diploma. For a PowerPoint presentation Musings on Taxidermy at the NTA meeting in 2016 in Pennsylvania I had my wife scan 36 images from the company for the talk. I probably have 100 plus pieces of ephemera which I could use to publish an article or two on the company – if I could just get motivated.
Marketing will always work. Perhaps the Taxidermy.net, which cornered the market from circa 1998 to 2010, just doesn’t have the impetus it used to have. I agree it will survive as long as the companies that we purchase supplies from deems it important. I hope they always will.
I remember sending in some pictures to the Northwestern School of taxidermy back in high school and waiting till I got my certificate which made me a bonafide taxidermist. They pictures weren’t as classy as Cecil’s grandmother. I did get my certificate (let’s see if this upload picture thing works.)
Then hit the "Like" button so he knows..
It was a joke.
He knows, we speak privately.
pretty much Cecil. Can’t argue with that.
Though my opinion is seldom popular I never let that fact stand in the way of giving it.
I noted YEARS ago when it first started that there were several areas with the changing dynamics that would end up hurting this site. #1 was "censorship". Call it moderator, call it playing nice, call it keeping order, censoring language in the modern world is just going to offend just as many as the language itself. Taxidermy is a gut pulling exercise that has formed a caste system whereby people tend to look at us with a slanted eye. Why do you thing many people claim to be "wildlife artist"? Because saying you're a "taxidermist" won't get you invited to the Governor's Ball. With rap music and society as it is today, a few mild "expletive deleted" wasn't hurting conversations. Go on any Facebook Forum and you'll see that the most popular ones speak the common language. Sites just tend to work better when they're self regulated. #2 The inclusion of politics in the forum while censoring profanity was sort of ironic. Genteel people don't discuss politics, sex and religion in social conversations. I know of more that just a few of the well known taxidermists who quit the forum when these started. Since this was a dedicated site to taxidermy, IN MY OPINON, those opinions had no place here.
People found out that they could find a better comfort zone on Facebook. The could speak openly and when other subjects were broached, others were quick to tell them to go someplace else to talk that crap.
Carolyn, I'm going to be brutally honest with you, much to the chagrin of my peers. You ask why women are treated that way? Because most men are pigs. That's just the way nature made us. Attractive women are simply going to have that effect and I, for one, feel sorry that they must endure some of the crap they do by classless boors. Conversely, having taught women in taxidermy and many of the outdoor skills, I prefer their company because they are always more attentive and eager to take instructions. Many of the guys I teach already know everything there is to know and I'm only whitenoise in the background. Women tend to be more observant of details and frustrate less easily than men. Their attention to details is usually far better than their male counterparts.
WE have become a world of instant gratification and because of search engines, our answers seldom meet that desire.
George, Most of the men that do come here are nice, most come alone sometimes they may bring their kids or wife with them. I hardly even hear them swear. But then again maybe because they know I am a women ...that I then get the nice "enlightened" men as customers. The only time guys were a problem is when they had been previously drinking or came with a group of buddies. They seem to get brave and act like jerks.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows...
I have a few women customers (not taxidermy) that leave me speechless and blushing with the things they say when they come in. I laugh and then say nothing. Bring the conversation back to business. If you act professional it will end right there. Just something you get better at with experience interacting with customers.
Well the Shadow knows it ain't their "hearts" causin the problem!!! Just sayin!
I had a woman customer that kept asking me to ask her out. I said sure but can my wife come too? She said "Oh I thought she was your sister!"....true story.
I thought damn....this aint Alabama!
(Insert middle finger emoji here)