Bug collector sells gifts, shares passion at Christmas Expo

Collector sells gifts, shares passion for bugs at Christmas Expo

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Christmas Gift and Décor Show took over the Kentucky Expo Center this weekend.

Among the ornaments and wreaths were some unusual gifts with a story to tell.

In one booth, a man’s passion, that may be another’s nightmare, exemplified the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

That because Kevin Mudd had fallen in love with a new piece from his collection.

“It’s got this crazy hollow peanut on its head and its got the big amazing eyes,” Mudd said, pointing out a winged insect framed in a glass box.

Mudd began collecting insects when he was just eight years old after he saw a shop selling taxidermy butterflies on PBS.

“I wrote a letter to them because I was fascinated by it,” Mudd said. “In turn, they were fascinated by me because I was the only nerd left. Of course, they kind of took me under their wing, you know.”

Under their wing, which lead to the collection of many more wings and the start of ATELIER INSECTA – his own shop.

“This is always a favorite,” Mudd said. “This is the moth from the Silence of the Lambs.”

But its not just moths and butterflies.

Mudd, 45, has become a full blown creepy-crawler connoisseur.

“A horrible, awful Huntsman Spider from Vietnam,” Mudd said, describing a piece in his collection.

“It never gets old,” Mudd said. “I never get tired of looking at it. It’s like being Willy Wonka. It’s just always changing.”

It’s a passion he said is addicting because no two bugs are alike.

It’s also one he hopes to share at the Expo Center – especially with children passing by.

“Little kids really think I’m cool, and when youre the bug guy, it’s a lifelong struggle to find that cool crowd, you know,” Mudd joked.

He said that he also loves live butterflies and visits the Idlewild Butterfly Farm in Louisville often, adding others should check it out.

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