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Exploring Life & Business with Alessandra Dzuba of Oracle Natural Science

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alessandra Dzuba.

Hi Alessandra, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Oracle started in 2013 as an oddities and curiosities shop as we ourselves were avid collectors; wanting to share our enthusiasm of the natural world with our local community. Over the years, Oracle evolved as we strived to source our specimens sustainably, carrying environmentally conscious products alongside other artists who share our same ethics, and using our enthusiasm for the natural sciences through classes, workshops, and fundraisers in hopes to inspire others for future nature conservation.

In our new storefront in the Bauer Building, we met our goal as a taxidermy studio and shop as Oracle Natural Science; now not only offering our artistry and classes through our storefront but also pet memorial services and community work servicing customers nationwide.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There were many challenges along the way; from learning to run a business, to moving, to continued challenges with the pandemic, to the misinformation behind being a taxidermy/metaphysical shop. Thankfully through every hurdle, we have had such a supportive community, we were able to bounce back. Especially, big thanks to the Bauer staff and community of artists that has always believed in our art.

Currently, our biggest challenges many wouldn’t even consider are due to shipping delays and chemical shortages (as taxidermists, things we really need!) But thankfully it has freed up our time to focus on other projects that we have had in mind/or put on hold over the years – things like creating educational zines, mentorships, classes, and fundraisers that have been on our creative lists. I’d say my biggest advice is to always learn to pivot and keep trying to move forward by making changes on a small scale before focusing beyond.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
One of the biggest questions we get is ‘where do your animals come from? It’s a question we would ask ourselves if we were in our customer’s shoes because it is so important to us to know where and how our animals came to us. We source our specimens from a small handful of local farms, abatement programs, zoos, and insect farms, and then process the specimens ourselves or by professional taxidermists. It is our policy to carry natural science pieces that are ethically and sustainably acquired; most have died of natural causes, illness, or are from small farms.

The idea is to not let anything go to waste, even if these were part of abatement programs of invasive species that were harming local native species, they are still beautiful creatures that we want to honor in death – which to us, death is not the end, just a different stage in life. We aim to continue their memory, just as any memorial work we do. So due to the nature of our sourcing, we never know what we will be honored to work on, and always a surprise when you enter the shop.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
My team, past and present, has been crucial to where Oracle is today. All the artists we carry and that have come through Oracle who had made our shop beautiful with their work. Especially, thank you to my family, dearest friends, and my partner who has cheerleader-ed me through the rough patches and helped me bring my art and vision to life.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jill of For Strange Women

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