Community Spotlight: House of Hiss
My very first community spotlight interview! How exciting. The Community Spotlight interview is giving a spotlight to every level of breeder or hobbyist in the reptile industry a chance to introduce themselves, tell us a little bit about them, their interests, and learn more about them as a member of the community. My responses to some of the answers given will be noted in italics. Please be mindful that the italics writing is me, and not the interviewee.
Please welcome our first ever community spotlight, House of Hiss!
Name: Dan Genrich Business Name: House of Hiss
Location: Peoria, IL Social Media: Instagram, MorphMarket
Dan, welcome to the blog!
You are our very first Community Spotlight! Must be a bit nerve wracking, I'm so sorry if I ask a lot of questions. I just want everyone in the community to get to know you, the person behind House of Hiss (I love the name btw)!
Q: Now what year did you start your reptile journey? A: 2019
Q: Was there anyone that inspired you to get into reptiles or were you a kid who just loved all animals? A: As a kid I remember loving all animals. I was obsessed with learning animal facts from
my “Wildlife Fact File” collection and watching every episode of “The Crocodile Hunter”. I would have to say Steve Irwin was responsible for igniting my passion for reptiles.
I think Steve Irwin ignited everyone's passion for animals in general. I was an avid Crocodile Hunter fan. I remember one Christmas that's all I received; The Crocodile Hunter swag.
Q: What was your first reptile purchase (pics?):
A: My first reptile purchase was actually inte nded for my wife! She had been wanting a cat for a while and unfortunately I am severely allergic so we went to a local pet store where we saw a little cinnamon ball python. We loved our new addition so much that when we went back a month later we brought home a tiny Enchi. This past season we proved our Enchi to be a female when she had her first clutch!
Well that is very cool that you proved her out. Congrats!
Q: Where would you say you are at in your reptile journey? Are you a hobbyist, a breeder?
A: This is my second season producing clutches so I would consider myself a new breeder.
Q: Depending on where you’re at now; where would you like to be in 3 – 5 years? A: In 3 to 5 years I plan to scale down the hours spent at my current full-time job in order to focus more on the animals and traveling to shows.
Q: What’s your cheapest and highest valued animal? A: I don’t feel that purchase price is always the best indicator on value to the collection. For example, I have a snake that I paid $75 for which is currently pairing with one of my highest purchase price males. Highest valued animal at the moment is my Pastel Yellowbelly Redstripe Double het Desert Ghost/Clown 50% het paint male. I purchased him from Justin Kobylka with Kinova.
That's definitely an awesome pickup from Justin!
Q: What type of projects are you working on? A: I’ve got a handful of projects but my big ones are Calico, Paint, and Furrow. Most everything is set up to work with one another so I have quite a few pairing options.
I absolutely am in love with paint. Gosh, I want to be in that project so badly! I think it has a lot of potential, and this is the chance to jump into it before it picks up a lot more steam. I can only imagine Justin running his hands together like a madman when he unveils his next paint clutch. Also furrow? I'll have to keep an eye out on what you produce!
Q: Do you have a project that just hypes you up? My Paint project hypes me up but I think Furrow is going to do really well.
For those that don't know anything about Furrow, click here.
Q: What’s a project that you want to get into or plan to get into at some point? A: Urban Camo Q: If you could purchase one reptile to join your collection, and money wasn’t an issue, what would you purchase? A: A Boelen’s Python
A what?? *searches Google* GEEZUS.
Q: Do you have a mentor or a group of like-minded people who you talk to for advice?
A: I have a couple mentors that I go to for advice often. Claudio with KC Reptile Lab has been a huge help for me through my first couple breeding seasons. I also think it’s just as important to find a solid group of peers with similar passion for the projects that you’re working with.
Q: Would you ever want to mentor someone new starting off in the industry?
A: Of course! I think that mentoring is extremely important. I currently mentor a handful of local keepers looking to get into breeding. There’s a lot of information that is not readily available so I’m more than happy to assist. If I don’t know the answer to something I use that as an opportunity to reach out and learn myself.
I don't know if I could ever mentor anyone, but I definitely try my best to be helpful. It's so cool that you currently mentor local keepers. They are lucky to have you!
Q: Do you breed your own rodents? If so, what do you breed and how did you get into that? A: I breed my own rats, and I have a smaller population of ASF’s.
Q: If you do breed – any advice to those thinking of breeding their own rodents, and any recommendation on products to use and/or where to purchase products?
A: Clean every week. Chewy is a good place to get supplies.
Q: What do you think the most difficult thing is about getting into/joining the reptile industry?
A: The hardest part is the learning the basics of breeding while Instagram floods your feed with insane World’s Firsts that cost more than a car and not getting ahead of yourself.
Oh god, I know that feeling. You see a snake, and you're like "that's SICK" and then you go to MorphMarket to see how much it is, and it's worth more than your kidney LOL
Q: What is something you’d like to see change within the community? A: I want to see people get into the hobby because they are excited about the animals vs how much money people say they’re making on the YouTube videos.
Q: What’s some advice you’d give to someone just starting off? A: Watch Chris Hardwick’s morph identification videos.
18. Have you ever been to a reptile show? If so, care to tell us which one and some information on anyone interested in attending their first show? A: Yes. I've been to NARBC Tinley and Schaumburg. I enjoy the shows for meeting new people. My advice is to go with a game plan: Are you looking to purchase a particular snake or make new connections? Ask the vendors about the projects they’re excited about.
Q: Have you ever vended a reptile show before and any advice for someone interested in vending? A: Not yet, but look for us in 2023! My advice is don’t assume someone’s level of reptile knowledge. It can only lose you a potential customer.
Q: What does your family or close friends think of your reptile hobby? A: I have a good group of friends and family that support my passion. I could care less what anyone else thinks.
Q: Is there anyone you look up to in the industry? A: Claudio (KC Reptile Lab)
Man, you've mentioned him several times. For those interested here's his Instagram.
Q: If you could meet one person from the industry and tour their facility, who would it be? A: Tyler Nolan; He seems to be a very relatable person despite having the coolest
collection, and I’m getting itchy for some new ink!
Q: Do you think we’ve discovered all the morphs for ball pythons? A: With a species as polymorphic as ball pythons is I don’t think so. If we’re seeing spontaneous mutations occurring and the number of breeders continues to increase I think we’re going to see more.
Q: If you could name your own dinker project, what would you name it and why? A: That’s classified ;)
That's just not nice :(
Q: Do you believe the ball python community is more prone to drama more than any other reptile, why or why not?
A: No. I think that you’re going to see more “real drama” in the venomous and big snake communities that stem from actual harm being done to humans and ecosystems. In my opinion, ball python drama is based on money and pointless morph arguments.
Q: Are you a member of the MorphMarket community forums? A: Not yet; I haven’t found something I can contribute on yet.
Contribute? You don't have to contribute anything. You can just go introduce yourself!
Q: How did you come up with your reptile handle name? A: I’m a fan of Alliteration in names and thought House of Hiss was something that would stick with people.
Q: Are you a member of USARK? A: Yes – I want to support the organization that supports all of us in the reptile industry.
29. What’s been your favorite memory in the reptile industry as of today? A: My favorite memory in the reptile industry so far was seeing my first clutch hatch.
Q: What’s a fun fact we should know about you? A: Personal fitness is very important to me. I find that I am able to be my best self when I move my body every day.
Q: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shoutout to? A: Claudio Perez (kc.reptilelab), Darien Azani (azani_reptiles), Tyler Webb (slither.company), Jeremiah Morell (morrell.jeremiah), and most importantly my wife who has supported and encouraged my passion and growth from the start.
Well Dan, thank you so much for your time! I will definitely be keeping a tab on you and your projects, and I look forward to following your journey!
Until next time,