MOTHER and son duo Nicole and Joel have seized a window of opportunity in the business world through their new entrepreneurial initiative, Crikey Crickets. The pair teamed up to breed and sell live crickets from their home in Warrandyte to local reptile owners.
The idea stemmed from Nicole’s light-bulb moment when she was fed up with spending excessive amounts on crickets to feed Joel’s five hungry bearded dragon lizards: Jupiter, Rocky, Regis, Hamish and Charlie. It was costing the family about $36 every 10 days to keep the lizards healthy and satisfied.
With that, Nicole suggested to Joel they go into business to breed and sell crickets themselves. Although initially apprehensive towards his mum’s ambitious venture, Joel was quick to jump on board.
“My mum’s like my business partner. She helps a lot with the crickets and everything because, after all, it was her idea. She does a lot of the work because she was the one who learnt how to do it and then you know she’s kind of teaching me.”
Anderson’s Creek Primary School allowed Joel to survey the school in order to gauge the level of interest in their endeavour. He then proceeded to design and hand out fliers to local reptile owners, offering a cheaper alternative to the leading cricket vendor.
“I just went down and asked who has reptiles. There was a fair few and I gave a flier to whoever wanted them.”
Many instructional YouTube videos later, Nicole and Joel came to realise that the process of breeding the critters would not be easy.
“It takes around 8-12 weeks for them to fully grow and there’s a lot of death with the babies,” Joel explained.
“They’re all very dumb, they like to go into the water and drown them- selves or clog up together and eat each other, and then get squished by things. We have to make [their enclosure] pretty much baby proof.”
Eventually the pair came to perfect the science and business began to boom. Joel also handles the marketing side of things and designs the buckets for delivery.
“I have around eight or so customers at the moment all wanting crickets every now and again. And I just got my school to purchase crickets from me for the Animals Program. I’ve got a few kids from there getting crickets and then a few mothers from ACPS,” Joel said.
When asked how he goes about getting the product to his customers, Joel told the Diary he sometimes does the deliveries himself.
“People come here [for pickup] but with the people at school I bring the crickets to them on the bus. The bus driver sort of gives me a weird look but I just make sure to greet them and say goodbye and then they’re happy.”
Joel advises other like-minded, entrepreneurial young people to “just research what you want to do and pursue it”. For his next ambitious venture, Joel intends to establish his own part-time dog grooming business.
Joel told the Diary the teachers at Templestowe College are very supportive of his goals through the Animals Program.
“I want to be a part-time dog owner when I’m older. I’m already going to groom two dogs tomorrow at school,” Joel said.
For inquiries, contact Joel and Nicole via email@example.com or check out their website at www.crikeycrickets.com.au
Do you know a child or teen in Warrandyte exploring their entrepreneurial side? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org