It all started with a picture of a "Rubber Ducky" isopod.
When that picture made its rounds, the search was on to find its origin. Taron Langhover, my business partner, made it his mission.
He found the owner and proceeded to import the first 100 Cubaris sp. Rubber Ducky isopods into the U.S. It presented a new problem: How to quench the appetite for these new "little bugs". And with that the seed of ISOPOD.COM was planted.
This is where my story begins
Born and raised in Texas, all I have ever known is hard work; Nose to the grindstone kinda work. I paved my way into the reptile hobby by collecting and breeding tarantulas for 16 years.and made a small name for myself doing 25 shows a year throughout the U.S.
I met Taron Langhover, of The Dartfrog Connection, along the way when he bought wholesale spiders for his reptile store in Kansas.
Taron, has played a pivotal roll in the start-up of Isopod.com by importing and caring for 50% of our inventory. It helped shield us from shipping issues, any unexpected colony crash, or a manpower issue because we had two groups of nearly every culture available.
Back to the problem, how can we keep up with the demand?
On our way to California for the Reptile Super Show, Taron presented an idea, "You need to move to Thailand." I took it as a joke because - come on, who would just up and move to Thailand? After that particular show I realized that it wasn't a joke and that the only solution to the problem we were having with limited inventory was to move.
I did what seemed impossible and what many thought was crazy and sold everything I owned. With just two bags and a passport, I left for Thailand on June 10, 2019.
There was a large learning curve but a lot of firsts: I successfully imported from Thailand on a hand-carry basis. I found an un-described species "Cubaris sp. Jupiter," soon after landing in Thailand. And, I was the first to import several new species into the U.S. including Cubaris sp. Lemon Blue, sp. Cappuccino, sp. White Ducky, and sp. Blonde Ducky to name a few.
I worked hard to push the hobby in an upward trajectory but then Covid happened. I was forced to move back to the States, enter the job market, and re-evaluate.
It felt like I had failed even though it was out of my control. The overall look of the Isopod.com inventory was bleak and it seemed like it was time to give up. Truthfully, this is how most businesses shutter, but I started to rebuild my collections one species at a time; Increasing inventory where we were lacking without the help of importing.
I was doing all of this while holding down a steady job but then I got fired. I started to look for another job but nothing was panning out. Again, I felt like a failure.
With some encouragement from my girlfriend, I told myself, 'If I don't land a job after this last interview, I am going to do what I do best and run Isopod.com 100% to make it the best it can be.'
I didn't land that job but I got to work!
I worked on overhauling the footprint of Isopod.com and within a few months I got a window to import new inventory. Four more imports have happened since, allowing me to add countless new species to the hobby, pushing the industry to new levels of husbandry.
I've traveled to countless areas looking for new species. I've shared my passion for these "little bugs" with numerous people. I've made countless new contacts, and am honored to call many across this platform my friends.
I love what I do, what I provide, the knowledge I've acquired, the opportunities I've had, the relationships I've established along the way, and the unforeseeable future I am marching towards.
My hope is that anytime someone receives an order from Isopod.com they see the care and passion I have for the hobby in every single isopod cup.