Taxidermy has been in the Williamson family since 1944. The roots of taxidermy started with Chuck Williamson in Amarillo, TX who later practiced taxidermy in Houston, TX. Chuck was primarily a Veterinarian who practiced taxidermy on the side. Chuck's son, Robert Williamson, continued the craft of taxidermy in Amarillo, TX, starting his own shop in 1974. He was primarily a taxidermist who was also a Registered Nurse. A decade after starting the business he had a son, David Williamson. David has continued the family legacy of taxidermy by opening Wildlife Designs Taxidermy, LLC in Austin, TX.
I grew up working with my father, Bob Williamson, in Amarillo, TX. We performed nearly every aspect of taxidermy at his studio, from making our own mannikins, to tanning our own skins. In 2008, I moved to Austin, TX and worked for master taxidermist Terry Van Loenen at Game Tracks Taxidermy Studio. My dad was a good taxidermist and focused on the "core" of a mount, meaning he made sure the mount would last a lifetime. Terry is a true artist and focused on bringing trophies to life. The time with my father taught me the importance of longevity in mounts, while my time with Terry taught me the art of how to bring a trophy to life. While I earned my Master's in Accounting from Texas State University in San Marcos, I offered wholesale taxidermy to other taxidermists. I developed a reputation for small mammals, exotics, deer, and African safari. After I learned the "old world" techniques from my father, developed a keen eye for realistic detail from Terry, and had my skills tested by other taxidermists, I came to realize taxidermy was in my blood and I was a skilled taxidermist. I spent several years working as a CPA full-time and taxidermist part-time. My time as a practicing CPA gave me insight into the business aspect and clarity into what makes a job fulfilling. A desk job is good for some but not for me. I am now a full-time taxidermist, member of the Texas Taxidermy Association, YMBL Alumni, and a CPA. Give me a call and let’s talk!
Aaron Nordland has worked in the taxidermy and tanning industry from a very early age. His family helped start one of the largest and best tanneries: The Wildlife Gallery. Aaron's first job at the tannery was to shoot pigeons out of the barn with his BB Gun. He then moved on to learning how to skin and properly care for trohpies throughout the tanning process. The first step to having a great mount is having a great tan and Aaron's skills in this area are unparalleled. Aaron has also worked as a motorcycle mechanic and myriad other hands-on crafts. He started his taxidermy career with one of the best in the business: Verrips Taxidermy Studio. He worked there for several years before coming over to Wildlife Designs. He is an integral part of the business and does everything from answer the phones, to mounting whitetail deer, to skinning a bobcat. Plus, he built his own tiny home out of a shipping container!