Snakes create family bond in unique Lindon business

2011-04-21T00:15:00Z 2014-01-09T10:24:43Z Snakes create family bond in unique Lindon businessCathy Allred - Daily Herald Daily Herald
April 21, 2011 12:15 am  • 

When Jeremy Stone was a young boy he had several reptile pets in his parents' home. Later, as a husband and dad, he would have hundreds of such pets.

"My poor mom, I had 30," Stone said.

Stone's early passion for reptiles, specifically for the family of pythons and boa constrictors, became his livelihood -- he sells hundreds of snakes to buyers all over the world.

"He's the most driven person I know," said Kara Stone, Jeremy's wife of 14 years. "Just his excitement that he gets. If you could talk with him about his reptiles, he would make you fall in love with them. He has such a passion for them."

He has specialized in snakes to the point that he has become a genetic artist in breeding one of the most diverse and rare boa constrictor morph collections in the world. He also breeds what is advertised as the ultimate designer ball python morphs.

"They are not my pets, but I have hundreds of the world's rarest reptiles," Jeremy Stone said. "My whole collection is what I love. I would keep all of them if I could.

"I sell a lot of animals that I do not want to sell," he added.

He showcases a few of those rare boa constrictors that he gets to keep at his workplace, an extensive breeding facility on annexed property that is closed to the public and protected by a multi-layered security system.

He has one of the rarest boa constrictors on the planet, known as the white diamond. Trade in designer snakes can be big business, possibly more than $100 million annually around the world, and rare genetic mutations can fetch upwards of $75,000.

"As you can see, My family business is a crazy one," Jeremy Stone said. "We do sell all over the world and have a large farming business."

His business with snakes overlaps into family life at school, at Scouts, just about everywhere. Snakes make for an interesting show and tell, she said.

"Teachers love him," she said.

The Stones and their four children share in the joy of snakes and other cold-blooded critters in their Lindon home.

"I think it absolutely benefited the children," Kara Stone said. "It's taught them to appreciate animals, taught them how to be responsible and take care of them."

She said as part of her husband's business, Jeremy Stone Reptiles, they have customers from many different countries sit down with their family to share dinner with them.

"It has taught my children to appreciate other cultures," she said. "It's taught them about other countries, it's taught them an interest in the whole world -- Italy, Germany, Japan -- they want to travel and see those places."

Jackson Stone, 11, thinks his dad's business is cool.

"I think it's really cool that he gets to do stuff with his pets," he said. "He's fun, outgoing and works hard."

Jackson Stone also has a fascination with snakes partly because he was born without a fibula and doctors removed his leg.

"I think how they have no legs and they can move around without them, because I'm an amputee," he said.

Kara Stone said she was ambivalent to Jeremy's love of reptiles when she met him at BYU in 1996. He had talked about how he would like to keep snakes again and before they were married, he had three.

"It was something he enjoyed, it was something he was good at," Kara Stone said. "He loves them, he has a passion for them."

When she held her first boa constrictor, she said it was a wonderful moment.

"I thought they were awesome," she said. "I thought they were really cool. They were amazing, the way that they move. ... There are so many different colors and patterns that they can make, it's really amazing."

While having her husband close to home with a flexible schedule has its advantages, there are moments their business has its drawbacks.

"When you run your own business, you don't keep track of your hours," Jeremy Stone said. "I would say I average 60 hours a week."

And then there are the middle of the night birthings to attend to for the boas who deliver live baby snakes. Kara Stone said she will wake up some nights and discover her husband gone, leaving to go help a boa constrictor deliver her babies.

"The boys love to come help me during spring time," he said. "They get to anticipate it and it's really cool."

Jeremy Stone Reptiles

www.boaconstrictor.com

YouTube: stonereptiles channel

Facebook: Jeremy Stone - look for the white boa constrictor for the profile photo

Twitter: @StoneReptiles

Blog: www.stonereptiles.wordpress.com

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