WAUSAU (WAOW)-- Garrick DeMeyer and Adam Eberle are brother-in-laws and business partners selling wares you wouldn't expect from a huge facility in Wausau.
"I would say we're 90% U.S. right now, but we talk about diversifying into Germany, China and Asia," said Eberle.
Their product: reptiles. Geckos, bearded-dragons and other lizards, but in particular--snakes.
"They can pick out the specific animal that they want and once they pay for it I ship it straight to their door," said DeMeyer.
It's a lifelong dream for Garrick who began experimenting with reptiles when he was a youngster.
He say, "I always kept a few cages in my bedroom growing up. And, when I was in college I bought a few geckos with the intension of trying to breed them just to see if I could do it."
Garrick coulddo it and he moved right along. He bought more lizards and eventually moved into snakes.
"Before I knew it, within the next year or two, it pretty much covered the entire basement," he says.
Garrick nurtured his love of reptiles working in a pet store while pursuing his biology degree at UW-Stevens Point.
He learned more about his craft and he learned there was demand for captive bred, healthy reptiles.
"So, I kind of experimented with different species trying to figure out which types I could breed better and which types there was more of a market and demand for and those are the ones I concentrated on," said Garrick.
Adam helps Garrick stay focused on which reptiles are highly sought after and expanding business.
He became partner after marrying Garrick's sister.
Adam said, "Every family holiday, Garrick would share that, 'you know, my business just doubled again and you know, my inventory is going so well and my sales are going so well.'"
Together, they've found quite a niche across the United States.
Through online orders they supply animal lovers with what they want and are having a fantastic time finding what crosses and colors of snakes they can breed.
In 2004, demand rose to the point of expansion.
Adam and Garrick moved to a 5,000 square foot facility to meet their growing needs.
They're now working on streamlining their business to cut costs by learning to breed the rats, mice and insects needed for feedings.
"We'll produce about 10, 000 rats a month and about 4,000 mice a month," said Adam.
It's a unique business venture for Adam. He admits it's been a road of lessons capped by Garrick's love for and knowledge of reptiles.
"He is so talented at what he does and how he can envision two and three and four years out what he's going to create from these baby snakes and how he's going to combine them into be. Really, in my opinion, he's one of the cutting edge snake keepers in the country, if not the world," Adam said.
Together this pair is hatching new things, in this case reptiles, every day.
Thank goodness there's a market for it.
Garrick said, "We sell out of everything every year without any problem and actually we run out of a lot of different types we work with well before our next years babies hatch."