"How did you get into this?" That's a question we get a lot. I remember when I first saw a Nile Monitor at a small local reptile shop Town and Country Pets. I was so curious and really had no idea that there were shops that had reptiles you could just walk in and buy as pets. From that moment on my curiosity turned into a passion.
When I found out that little monitor would grow to around 6 feet, I imagined building a custom terrarium to keep him in and him roaming around my house. I was 14 at the time and my mother quickly responded with a smile and a look that said, "Pick something else." So, I quickly turned my attention to the store keeper who showed me some of their starter animals. It was a yellow baby gecko with thick black bands. I had purchased my first Leopard Gecko, her name was Hex. She went everywhere with me, from grocery stores, parks, friend's houses, I even took her to school a few times. From that point on I was obsessed. I went on hikes and out herping with my cousin, and to local deserts looking for all sorts of animals.
When Crested Geckos started becoming more popular and available my interest quickly turned to them, but their price tag and rarity made them difficult to acquire. So I began searching for new morphs of Leos, learning about genetics, and spending several hours a day just scouring forums and breeder's websites. Somewhere along the way I knew I would love to do this for a living someday and so I started thinking about a name. I spent months thinking about it, one day I was working with my uncle and asked him what he thought about my future venture for which he quickly responded, "Name it LIL MONSTERS" and that was it! He even sketched it out on a piece of paper, from that point on I wanted nothing moe than to make it a reality. Life always has a funny way of mucking things up though. In this case however, I sat on LIL MONSTERS for 7 years.
It wasn't until I met Jessica Hunter in 2007 that the idea of a reptile shop came back up, it took her to breathe life back into LIL MONSTERS Reptiles. I mentioned to her that I needed to feed my Leos before going to dinner and a movie. She asked about them so I explained to her what Hex and Bite were. She asked if I ever owned a snake, unknown to me at the time it was a pet she had always wanted to own. I told her I had a few and well the date turned into a reptile handling and morph discussion. Right away I was shocked how much she loved handling and observing Phantom, Hex, Bite, and Nirvana.
We moved in together several months later and together we began to re-build the collection I used to have. It all started with 5 Crested Geckos and over the years we grew those 5 to around 300+ Geckos. Today we have collected some of the rarest crested geckos morphs we could buy and, in many cases, negotiate away from other breeders. Our Gecko's lineage can be traced back to lines from Doug Healy, Allen Repashy, Anthony Caponetto, Mark Orfus, and countless other small shops that have come and gone over the years.