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Cole's Wildlife Artistry

Cole's Wildlife Artistry 1
5019 Elkriver Road South
Elkview, WV
Capital Improvement
Total Project Cost
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After Chad Cole launched his taxidermy business in 1998, he got by for years on a $25,000 small business loan. “It was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a long time,” he says. Working out of the garage, he turned his living room and then a spare bedroom into showrooms. When he sought to expand his garage to include a true showroom, banks wouldn’t help. “I had an excellent credit score,” he says. “Being self-employed, no W-2s, nobody would give me a loan.”


An uncle told him about The Progress Fund. “I just made a phone call, a guy came down to interview me, and he said, ‘Yeah, we’re good to go.’ I said, ‘Oh, Lord, I’m actually going to finish this thing.” The Progress Fund loaned $40,000.


Chad’s new showroom is 24’ by 18’, with 22’ cathedral ceilings – plenty of room for elk, bear, and his specialty, bobcat. “With getting the showroom opened up,” Chad says, “that will bring more people in to see my work and hopefully help out the business.” In fact, a hunter recently brought him African warthog, impala, kudu and hartebeest – big prizes that bag international money for the region.

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