Local python hunter helps save the Everglades in fashion-forward way
NAPLES, Fla. – Anyone that knows professional python hunter Amy Siewe would likely agree that
NAPLES, Fla. – Anyone that knows professional python hunter Amy Siewe would likely agree that she’s one of the best when it comes to turning lemons into lemonade.
But for the purpose of this story, those lemons are pythons and lemonade is 100 percent authentic Florida Everglades python jewelry.
“I just thought, I’m out here, I love snakes, I hate that they have to be killed, I hate it,” Siewe said.
To get her business up and running, Siewe, who works for the South Florida Water Management District, spent the last few months traveling all over the state, building contacts in several different areas of the fashion industry.
“It’s been this whole learning curve on how to get from just you know hunting pythons to getting to here and then eventually to the products. It’s a very long road,” Siewe said.
Continuing to hunt mostly in the Everglades a few times a week, Siewe said one of the hardest aspects of initially getting her business off the ground was gathering enough python skins and skinning the snakes themselves.
“There’s a specific way to do it. I had to have at least 100 skins, I had like 20 and then they wouldn’t skin them for me so I had to learn how to skin myself,” Siewe said.
So, Siewe learned how to do it and now she’s skinning pythons on her own lanai to make python bracelets and Apple Watch bands.
All of Siewe’s products are made entirely in Florida.
“Caught in Florida. Skinned in Florida. Tanned in Florida and made in Florida. All of it. It’s fabulous,” she said.
Siewe’s Apple Watch bands sell for $250. She also sells women’s python skin o-ring bracelets for $95 and bands for men for $75.
“I said you know what, this is a perfect price point. It’s a perfect demographic, I mean (I’m) literally the only person in the world that makes Florida Everglades Python Apple Watch bands. The only person,” Siewe said.
In order to get the bands put together, Siewe sends her python skins and others that she buys from python contractors to a tanner up north. From there, the skins are shipped out to get the buckles attached.
Just last week, Siewe got her first shipment of 200 Apple Watch bands. The moment was extremely exciting for Siewe, who moved to Florida to chase her dream of becoming a python hunter back in 2019.
“If three years ago you would have said hey you’re going to be living in Florida skinning snakes on your back porch and you know making products, I would have said I’m sorry what? What am I going to be doing?” Siewe said.
Clearly an avid reptile and snake lover, Siewe said 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 trusted myself. I knew I was going to figure it out and I did and this is just the beginning. I mean this is just the beginning game, it’s going up from here,” Siewe said.
She hopes every python bracelet and Apple Watch band she sells reminds people that they’re helping contribute to a bigger cause.
“If they know that by buying products that are made from the Florida python, they’re actually helping the efforts and the conservation and preservation of the Everglades…and it’s kind of a big deal,” Siewe said.
If you’d like more information on the python products or would like to get in touch with Amy, click here.