January 01, 2012
Stephen Gierisch began practicing the art of taxidermy while still attending high school. He was fascinated by the intricacies found in animals. Stephen’s experience with handling deer began while working with the breeding aspect on the family ranch. This close contact has enabled him to really examine live specimens. Stephen understands the way nature places eyes on an animal and is able to design his mounts to look truly life-like. His examinations of live deer enable him to replicate exact ear placement on a mount, even down to the correct number of skin folds if the deer’s ear is either pointing forward or back.
When Stephen decided to move into full-time business, he took his two and a half years of experience working for another taxidermist and contacted the Angelo State University - Small Business Development Center. Because Stephen lives in Eden, Rural Business Advisor, Peggy Hodges worked with him.
The objective of writing a business plan with projections was to apply to the Eden Economic Development Corporation for a business grant. “Peggy Hodges helped me to write my business plan.” Stephen commented. “The cash flow projections for a taxidermy business required hours of work. I couldn’t have done it without Peggy!” he continued.
Eden EDC Director, Kathy Keane, also worked with Stephen in preparing to present to the Board of Directors of the EDC. Once the presentation was made, the EDC awarded Gierisch Taxidermy a $10,000 grant. Stephen used the funding to remodel the front-end space of his father’s
welding shop located on Texas Highway 87. Stephen was also able to use some of the funding to add to his taxidermy supply inventory.
Gierisch Taxidermy has added one full-time job to the economic base of Eden. Stephen is prepared for this year’s hunting season. Stephen looks forward to the first full year of owning his taxidermy shop.