Rebekah: Can you tell me a little about the history of Python Products?
Lance: The company started in 1984. I was a hobbyist and I was tired of carrying buckets and I made a unit for myself and my friends saw it and said “make me one” and it just went from there. We then did three states of test marketing with it and had a 98 percent acceptance; everybody wanted one. So I mortgaged my house and went to work producing them.
Rebekah: All Python’s products are made in the U.S.A. Can you tell me about that?
Lance: Every single piece comes from the U.S. It goes along with one of our taglines. It goes on our emails, it goes on everything. Quality is proof. There is no question about the quality in America. We have quality control and overseas, there is no quality control.
We’re an American company in support of America. America is very important to us. Our products are made to last. America is the way to do it. We are creating jobs here when we source in the U.S.
Rebekah: Python has all FDA-approved materials. What does that mean?
Lance: They are all medical grade. They are made that way for the safety of the fish. All of our plastics are BPA, arsenic and lead-free. All of those things can leach out into the aquariums in small quantities. But they are accumulative so they build up. Then people have problems and they don’t know why.
Are products does not do any of that. We are going on 31 years now and our quality stands. When you ask for water changers, Python is the name. Python is like the Kleenex for tissues.
Rebekah: What is a typical day like for you?
Lance: I’m working on new products for the future, doing sales, answering questions, doing customer service. We are the only company that offers a one year warranty. If somebody does have a problem, then we take care of it, no questions asked. Our returned defective products are one half of one percent worldwide. That’s attributed to the quality of the products.
Rebekah: Can you tell me about Python’s awesome mascot?
Lance: Python Man! Python Man is registered. We actually own a superhero. We use him at different times as our spokesperson. A couple years ago, he traveled all over the United States. He took pictures with all kinds of dignitaries of the pet industry. He was even in Las Vegas. He got his picture taken with the guys from Tanked. He was out in Washington D.C. He had his picture taken in front of the White House and in front of the statues.
Rebekah: Any new products premiering at SuperZoo?
Lance: We will be introducing the new Python Hook. Are you tired of holding your Python while filling your tank? The new Python Hook will attach to the end of the python and instead of sitting there and having to hold your Python, you can just hook on the Python Hook to the tank.
People have been asking me for 30 years for something like this and I always said “nah, nah, nah” but I guess people have beat me up enough because one thing we do is we listen to the customers. Python does more consumer trade shows and hobbyist trade shows than anyone else.