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My name is Jess, I’m 25 years old. I currently work full-time in Merrythought’s teddy bear factory working hard to make traditional teddy bears. Alex asked me to come on board and help with Jelly Exotics in 2019 because of my interests and experience with exotics, as well as being good friends already!

I’ve always had an interest in exotic animals. I remember always being fascinated by the snakes and lizards whenever we went to the zoo and I could never understand why people were so afraid of them. Whilst I was at school I decided to do a level 2 course in animal care (alongside Alex), which made me decide to go to Walford college full-time when I left school! I carried on my learning and left college with a level 3 diploma. I’ve never been lucky enough to actually work with animals before this though!

My first exotic pet was a tarantula that I was gifted from a friend who knew I had an interest in spiders. I also got a bearded dragon when I moved out of home. Unfortunately, she only lived for 2 years and I moved house again with only my tarantula (Shelob) for company. Next came Thor, an absolutely beautiful royal python who desperately needed a home; he came to live with me instantly and stayed with me for 3 years, going through yet another house move, becoming the only snake my mum has ever let into the house! Since moving back home we’ve acquired quite a little menagerie. We have leopard geckos, a gargoyle gecko, a panther chameleon, leaf insects, 2 tarantulas (Shelob still being one of them!) and various species of millipede, stick insect and praying mantis.

With Daenerys the Bearded Dragon
With Thor the Royal Python
With Calypso the Panther Chameleon

In terms of me as a person… I’d probably describe myself as a little anti social I’m much happier handling and spending time with my animals if I’m honest, Alex and I balance each other out well there! I enjoy riding out on my horse and practising different nail art techniques, I also run a nail art business in my spare time.

With Calypso the Panther Chameleon
With Mat, a rescue Bearded Dragon
With Elderado, my gorgeous cob