Cheshire born Kate Egan is on a mission to revive the traditional art of taxidermy after receiving a £4200 New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) loan.
The NEA Loans support people who have previously been unemployed to set up their own businesses and are delivered in the North West by Business Finance Solutions (BFS) and the Start Up Loans Company http://www.economic-solutions.co.uk/service_brands/business-finance-solutions
Kate has launched her own taxidermy and natural art business http://www.deadthingsbykate.bigcartel.com, using only ethically sourced animals, flora and fauna. Specialising in interior design and commission work, Kate makes one off pieces of art in homage to the life of the animals she uses
Taxidermy is experiencing its biggest revival since the Victorian era, when stuffing dead animals was enormously popular and today the taxidermy industry is worth a reported £380million in the US alone. Artists such as Damien Hirst and the late Alexander McQueen have also helped to spark a renewed interest in the art and recent interior design trends have included mounted antlers and animal skin rugs to re-create the country house look.
Demand for Kate’s work has been growing rapidly and her most popular pieces are Curio frames containing British Wildlife, Bone Curio & Entomology along with traditional taxidermy including fox masks, which she sources by hand.
As well as having a regular stall at Macclesfield’s Artisan Treacle Market and trading online, Kate is also developing a range of collaborations with other artists and galleries to enable people to experience and buy her work.
She also sees quite distinctive consumer audiences for her work, which range from the alternative audience (tattoo artists & Vegans) and the more traditional farming and countryside community who want quality traditional taxidermy produced using the original Victorian methods.
Kate says: “Getting the NEA loan and the advice and support from Business Finance Solutions has meant that I’ve been able to invest in things like a more advanced taxidermy course, materials and chemicals and a camera to photograph my work – all things that will really help me to offer and promote my services to an ever growing number of people.
“Combined with my love of animals and an understanding of how they move and function, I first started to explore taxidermy and now, thanks to the NEA loan from BFS, have now been able to turn my hobby into a full time business.
“It is important to educate and provide opportunity for everyone to be able to appreciate ‘Wild Britain’ and I hope this will encourage more people to protect our native species, become more involved with conservation and inspire a generation of children who want to become naturalists and zoologists."
Paul Breen, Director of Business Finance Solutions said: “Kate is certainly one of the more unusual entrepreneurs that we’ve worked with over the past few years and we’re really pleased to have been able to help her to take the business to its next level.
“Like many of the businesses we work with, Kate has combined her passion with a real trend and gap in the market, buildng a strong network of collectors and craft enthusiasts around her that will support the growth of her business for many years to come. There is a real fascination with the art of taxidermy and Kate is a great ambassador for it by using ethical sources and showing real respect for the creatures she works with.
“The NEA loans are enabling Kate and many other people to reduce their reliance on benefits and set up their own successful businesses and have supported over 1570 people already in the North West with over £1m of loans and business support.”
The NEA Loans support people who have previously been unemployed to set up their own businesses and are delivered in the North West by Business Finance Solutions (BFS) and the Start Up Loans Company.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 245 4827 to learn more about NEA Loans.