I’m a taxidermist — I make piggy banks out of real pigs

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This gig certainly isn’t boar-ing.

Rachel Lewis, 38, is not your typical taxidermist — she transforms dead piglets into real piggy banks.

The Arizona mom of two told SWNS her pre-order list has become sow long since she began the project in May.

“I thought a piggy bank would be really cute to do,” Lewis explained. “I tried to figure out how to make it work where it would hold the weight of change and be fully functional.”

Lewis was a hairdresser until about four years ago, when she found her passion for taxidermy while taking a class on the art of preserving an animal’s body.


Rachel Lewis, an Arizona-based taxidermist, makes piggy banks out of pigs.
Rachel Lewis, an Arizona taxidermist, makes piggy banks out of pigs.
Kennedy News and Media

She used to be a hairdresser, until she found passion in taxidermy after taking a class.
She used to be a hairdresser, until she found passion in taxidermy after taking a class four years ago.
Kennedy News and Media

"I thought a piggy bank would be really cute to do," Lewis told SWNS.
“I thought a piggy bank would be really cute to do,” Lewis told SWNS.
Kennedy News and Media

She was inspired by her husband, who is a hunter.

“He also cleans skulls for other hunters,” Lewis shared. “I’ve helped him with that, and I always wanted to be a mortician growing up.”

“When I was helping him with the skulls, I decided to take a taxidermy class,” she continued.

Now she has her own business, Copper State Taxidermy, which boasts various creations, including life-sized bobcats and badgers.

Working on this piggy bank was especially “labor intensive,” as it had to go through a special process, she explained.

“Instead of making a traditional foam form it had to be altered, cut in half, hollowed out, and the insides finished,” she noted.


She alleged that the piggy bank was in high demand from customers.
She said the piggy bank project is in high demand from customers.
Kennedy News and Media

Her kids were a big fan of the pig-turned-into-piggy bank, too.
Her kids were a big fan of the pig-turned-piggy-bank, too.
Kennedy News and Media

Lewis said her two young children “fell in love” with the piggy bank and enjoyed putting money into it.

She ended up selling it for a sooie-t $750. Her other piglets typically go for $350.

“I listed it high because I didn’t mind keeping it, but obviously someone else fell in love with it,” she said.

She revealed that particular pig was stillborn, which she explained happens a lot with pigs and goats, as their mothers can “roll over and crush them.”


She also works with other animals besides pigs.
She works with other animals besides pigs.
Kennedy News and Media

"I feel like they get to live a second life, especially this little piggy in particular who someone fell in love with. It's kinda cool," Lewis said.
“I feel like they get to live a second life, especially this little piggy in particular who someone fell in love with. It’s kinda cool,” Lewis said.
Kennedy News and Media

She and her sister also have plans to make goat piggy banks.
She and her sister have plans to make goat piggy banks.
Kennedy News and Media

She claimed she gets most of her animals from local farms.

“It’s sad,” Lewis said. “The farmers said they would just bury them on the property or that they’d just be waste.”

“I feel like they get to live a second life, especially this little piggy in particular who someone fell in love with,” she continued. “It’s kinda cool.”

Now, she’s aiming to make more piggy banks, with plans to transform a larger pig as well.

“I’ll definitely keep one for me and my kids to keep,” she added.


Lewis' husband is a hunter, and he works to clean out skulls, which she has assisted with before.
Lewis’ husband is a hunter, and she has helped him clean out skulls.
Kennedy News and Media

She opened up her own business, called Copper State Taxidermy.
She opened her own business, Copper State Taxidermy.
Kennedy News and Media

She hopes to expand her business and experiment with jewelry boxes and “secret stash” compartments hidden in different animals, in part with some colla-boar-ation with her sister.

She said they have an idea for a goat piggy bank next.

“We definitely have a few things we’re working on right now,” Lewis teased.

She isn’t the only taxidermist getting creative lately.

In 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, a UK taxidermist decided to make a “high-five machine” out of rat legs for people who missed high-fiving their friends and family members.

He called them “Pawtable High Five Machines.”

And, last year, when an Australian family lost their beloved golden retriever, they hired a taxidermist to turn him into a rug.

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