Macclesfield- based Kate Egan is on a mission to revive the traditional art of taxidermy after receiving a New Enterprise Allowance loan.
Taxidermy – the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals with lifelike effect – is in the midst of its biggest revival since the Victorian era and Kate is taking the craze in her stride by launching her own taxidermy and natural art business.
Kate was able to set up deadthingsbykate.bigcartel.com after he received £4,200 via New Enterprise Allowance (NEA).
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.
Using only ethically sourced animals, flora and fauna and specialising in interior design and commission work, Kate makes one off pieces of art in homage to the life of the animals she uses.
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.
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.”