By Lucy Roue
Macclesfield mum Kate Egan is on a mission to revive the traditional art of taxidermy.
The 29-year-old has launched Dead Things by Kate after receiving a £4,200 start-up loan.
Using ethically sourced animals, flora and fauna she specialises in interior design and commission work.
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.
Demand for Kate’s work has been growing rapidly and her most popular pieces are Curio frames containing British Wildlife, Bone Curio and Entomology along with traditional taxidermy including fox masks, which she sources by hand.
She said: “Getting the loan and the advice and support 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 loan I have been able to turn my hobby into a full time business.”
The National Enterprise Allowance (NEA) loan is designed to support people who have previously been unemployed to set up their own businesses. They are delivered in the north west by Business Finance Solutions (BFS) and the Start Up Loans Company.
Paul Breen, director of Business Finance Solutions, said: “Like many of the businesses we work with, Kate has combined her passion with a real trend and gap in the market, building a strong network of collectors and craft enthusiasts around her that will support the growth of her business for many years to come.”
Taxidermy is experiencing its biggest revival since the Victorian era, when stuffing dead animals was enormously popular. Today the industry is worth a reported £380m in the US alone.
Kate added: “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 become involved with conservation and inspire a generation of naturalists and zoologists.”