Ashley Rollins is just a small-town country girl. Born and raised in Alabama, she has always been a little different.
She loved the great outdoors and seemed to have more guy friends than girl friends. Even as a child, she played football and was a self-proclaimed tomboy.
Now, as a God-fearing wife and mother of two, Rollins says not much has changed. In fact, she's working in a "man's world" as a taxidermist and makes no bones about it.
"Even some of my guy friends thinks it's gross but it's not and I really love it," Rollins said.
Just two years ago, Rollins opened Meadows Taxidermy in Randolph County. She had to go to a weeklong school in Pensacola to get started, but she said the love for what she does started way back in those younger years when her mom used to take her hunting as a small child.
"If we ever shot stuff, I would always try to do little skull mounts," Rollins remembered. "I always liked the idea but I never thought I would end up doing it. Then one day someone asked me if I did taxidermy because I did the skulls and being at home with the kids, I was able to dive into it. I love it."
Rollins takes her time crafting detailed and unique plaques and habitats for her mounts. She has even competed in competitions and plans to do more.
"Some people tell me what they want and some people tell me to do whatever I want to do," she said. "So, it's whatever they want. I have some favorite ones that I've done. I like doing the life-sized predators like a bobcat and I've done a coyote and a fox."
The motto for her business is "Give God the Glory." It's part of her logo and is on most of the photos she shares online.
"I just feel like we should give God the glory for everything that we are able to do and we do," Rollins told 1819 News. "I try to be thankful for everything and not take things for granted."
And thankful she is. Thankful for God's creations and her ability to give others memories to last a lifetime.
"I have a big heart for animals and I know it sounds weird but I like recreating that memory from their trophy," Rollins added. "I don't know why I enjoy it so much, I just do. And I haven't had any complaints. They seem pretty happy."
As a woman, Rollins said she has gotten a lot of support from the hunting community.
"I think for girls to do this there is more detail and I'm a perfectionist," she said. "Like, I have things that drive me crazy but people are like, 'it'll be fine."
As for younger generations, Rollins said she hopes to inspire other women to follow their dreams, no matter what.
"Do what makes you happy," Rollins added. "If it's what you want to do, go for it. I mean, I used to play football when I was little. I was a tomboy and now I'm doing what I love."
For more information on Meadows Taxidermy, message Rollins on Facebook.
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