“Now this is a story all about how my life got flip-turned upside down…”
In 2010 I was entering my last year of high school and I was beginning to take on more responsibilities. Between homework, studying, and preparing for the next day, I began helping take care of the animals. At this point in time, we were focusing on animal breeding. Our goals were vastly different back then! When I graduated in 2011, I was in a bit of a mental hard spot regarding how I wanted to continue my life. The recession was in full swing, and for anyone graduating at this time the world was intimidating. Ultimately, I chose to stay with my parents and help their fledgling business. This was a smart move.
I quickly learned a lot about how to manage a business, but my primary role was taking care of the animals, as well as receiving a healthy dosage of fecal matter from our animal friends! We also became accustomed the tedium that is business work as well. For example, we once spent an ENTIRE MONTH organizing a collection of over 12,000 old reptile magazines! We slowly refocused our business to educational programs, and that’s where the fun began! Over time, my role began to shift within the business. Before, I had been the “Reptile Maintenance Manager”. Now, with a much more diverse collection of animals as well as my knowledge becoming greater and more important, I recently became the Assistant Director and Wildlife Educator. This was a proud moment for me, especially working as the wildlife educator, because seeing the crowds or birthday attendees become so excited is such a great experience.
I am now into my third year performing shows. I was nervous in the beginning, but after continuing to do shows, my confidence and excitement grew. Now it’s a blast, getting everyone to laugh, stare in awe, and rush as fast as they can to get in line to touch the animals. After a program I always feel great, because I made everyone excited, happy, and inquisitive, while teaching everybody new facts and opening them to new ideas. I look forward to continuing to do shows down in Texas, meeting new people and making new friends!
About Crystal Poyfair