NAPLES, Fla .– Anyone who knows professional python hunter Amy Siewe will probably agree that she’s one of the best when it comes to turning lemons into lemonade.
But for the purposes of this story, those lemons are pythons and the lemonade is a real python gem from the Florida Everglades.
“I was just thinking, I’m here, I love snakes, I hate that they have to be killed, I hate that,” Siewe said.
To start her business, Siewe, who works for the South Florida Water Management District, has spent the past few months traveling statewide, making contacts in several different areas of the fashion industry.
“It’s been this whole learning curve of how to go from hunting for the pythons you know to getting here and eventually to the products. It’s a very long road, ”said Siewe.
Continuing to hunt primarily in the Everglades a few times a week, Siewe said one of the most difficult aspects of initially starting his business was collecting enough python skins and skinning the snakes themselves.
“There is a specific way to do it. I had to have at least 100 skins, I had about 20 and then they weren’t skinning them for me, so I had to learn how to skin myself, ”Siewe said.
So Siewe learned how to do it and now she skin pythons on her own veranda to make python bracelets and Apple Watch bracelets.
All of Siewe’s products are made entirely in Florida.
“Taken in Florida. Flayed in Florida. Tanned in Florida and made in Florida. All. It’s fabulous, ”she said.
Siewe’s Apple Watch bands sell for $ 250. It also sells python skin bracelets for women at $ 95 and bracelets for men at $ 75.
“I said you know what, this is a perfect price. They’re the perfect demographic, I mean (I’m) literally the only person in the world making Florida Everglades Apple Watch Python straps. The only person, ”Siewe said.
In order to bring the groups together, Siewe sends her and other python skins that she buys from python contractors to a tanner in the north. From there the skins are shipped to tie the loops.
Last week, Siewe received its first shipment of 200 Apple Watch bracelets. The timing was extremely exciting for Siewe, who moved to Florida to pursue his dream of becoming a python hunter in 2019.
“If three years ago you’d said hello, you’re going to live in Florida skinning snakes on your back porch and you know how to make products, I would have said I’m sorry what?” What am I going to do? ”Siewe said.
Clearly an avid reptile and snake enthusiast, Siewe said that following her heart, moving to Florida, becoming a professional python hunter, and opening her own business was the best decision she’s ever made.
“I had no idea how I was going to do it, but I had confidence in myself. I knew I was going to find out and I did and this is just the start. I mean, it’s just the start of the game, it’s going to go up from here, ”Siewe said.
She hopes every python bracelet and Apple Watch bracelet she sells reminds people that they are contributing to a bigger cause.
“If they know that by buying products made from the Florida python, they are actually helping the efforts and the conservation and preservation of the Everglades… and that’s a big deal,” Siewe said.
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