New York designer Camille Zarsky makes python-skin handbags. She imports her materials from Europe, but she'd like to start sourcing a little closer to home, and she suspects she could even do a bit of ecological good—by making her products out of Florida pythons, Fast Company reports.
See, the Florida Everglades are basically overrun with pythons, an invasive species putting a dent in all manner of local, native wildlife, even alligators. They're terrible for the ecosystem, and it's gotten so bad the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sponsored a big python hunt—excuse me, "opportunity to competitively harvest" the invaders.
Realizing the opportunity, Zarsky started meeting with some of the South Florida oddballs who've set up shop as semi-professional python hunters and has even become buddies with one in particular, in what is perhaps the greatest hook for a sitcom ever:
"I get texts from him that literally say, 'Hey Camille, how about this one, do you like it? I caught it last night.' And it's a photo of him standing in a swamp with a python in his arms," says Zarsky. "He's in rubber boots and a wife beater and jeans, and you can see there's a knife in his pocket, like something out of a movie."
The trouble is, while the skins are plentiful, she's having trouble finding a Florida tannery that can process the skins like she needs. Sending them to Europe (where they typically import skins from Asia) is prohibitively expensive. So if anyone's looking for a career change, you know who to call.
Image via Getty