How to turn your Reptile Hobby into a Business

by Luke Tansley on in Guides Shop News

When my husband and I started Northampton Reptile Centre 16 years ago, it was the biggest decision of our life. The reptile hobby was relatively small back then, the equipment used was nothing like it is today and many of stores displayed miserable looking pets that were, in all honesty, not very well cared for.

We were not reptile experts at the time, but we were passionate about animals and seriously thought, “with some help and guidance, we can do this, and do it well!”. We surrounded ourselves with the right people, learnt from the best, and when we felt ready we did it. We opened the doors to Northampton Reptile Centre. It was daunting at first, but we had a good network of people supporting us and we made it work.

 A big ‘eye opener’ was how many reptiles were being shipped in from the wild, we had no idea. Not forgetting our strong belief in animal welfare, we decided to make Northampton Reptile Centre one of the first reptile stores in the UK (possibly the world) to only stock captive bred reptiles. It’s a stance that a lot of people within the hobby agreed with and our store gained popularity. We employed staff that had similar animal welfare beliefs to ourselves and formed a strong, knowledgeable team.

Today, 16 years later, Antony and I are very proud to have one of the most successful reptile centres in the country. This came as a natural result of putting our animals first and passing that education onto our customers.

This year, is possibly our biggest step forward since we opened the doors all those years ago. Our Northampton Reptile Centre store is going to be franchised nationwide spreading our ideas and strong beliefs towards giving reptiles the best care possible. Because these stores will be dotted all over the country (not Northampton) we have decided on a name change for these stores. Realm of Reptiles.

Realm of Reptiles shops will be the funkiest looking in the high street. They’ll use all our experiences of reptile retailing at Northampton Reptile Centre. From the eye catching fascia and shop frontage, through the front door and into a green jungle paradise filled with beautifully displayed vivariums. Within the vivariums, a superb range of captive bred, healthy, handleable reptiles with everything that is needed to provide them with a qualitative life. Equipped with a large plasma screen with online reptile information facilities, this is the retail experience that lovers of all things reptile are looking for. The shop is an art-form in itself and comes in kit form for franchisees to assemble, fit, and dress their premises.

We are of course looking for good people to take on these franchises, actually I mean great people. This is a fantastic opportunity and like our Northampton store, we only want to work with the best people.

So, can you see yourself working with reptiles everyday? Are you passionate about animal welfare? Are you able to professionally assist your reptile community to purchase and care for their pets?

If you think you could be a part of the Realm of Reptiles culture, click here for more information and details about how to apply.

About Luke Tansley

Luke works within the customer service department at At home he keeps hognose snakes, bearded dragons and kingsnakes.