As a child, Travis Sullivan would get kicked out of his house for bringing home snakes and lizards. Now, he runs a business doing just that.
Sullivan, a Florida native, started working with exotic fish, aquariums and reptiles at age 4. He owned his first business in his early 20s.Sullivan’s love for nature and animals led him to an apprenticeship with a man who had monkeys and he also learned how to do bronze and copper sculpting.
“I travel to a lot of renaissance fairs and sell my sculptures. I do real handmade sculptures,” Sullivan said. “I had a good year at a fair in Michigan and with the growing renaissance fair here I decided to set up a shop.”
Sullivan and his girlfriend Kristine Johannessen recently opened Aquatica on Main Street in Eminence. The store offers a large variety of fresh water fish, and aquatic plants, and Sullivan sells his handmade copper fountains and sculptures. Sullivan relies on his lifelong experience to fill the local pet store void while offering services not readily available in the area.
“If people need someone to clean or maintain their aquariums I can do salt water or fresh water,” Sullivan said. “I can also help them with maintaining aquatic plants in their aquariums or pond maintenance on someone’s farm.”
Sullivan hopes with the developments, like the pending CVS across the street, that the location is right for his business’ permanent home.
“The renaissance fair here is growing and it will be easily within the top ten once it gets to where it needs to be. A lot of people can go out of business real quick if they don’t know what they are realistically able to do,” Sullivan said. “I also offer live and frozen feeders. I offer aquariums and tanks at wholesale prices minus shipping costs. I want to be competitive with other places by offering them at wholesale prices and then I can help customers fill them.”
Aquatica offers aquatic plants like banana plants, dwarf lily bulbs, java ferns, moss balls and water hyacinths and several varieties of goldfish and guppies, but also exotic fish like puffers and scat fish.
“We have fresh water fish, reptiles like horned dragons, water dragons and iguanas,” Sullivan said. “I’m working on bringing salt water fish and birds like cockatiels.”
Eminence and Henry County so far has given Sullivan the response Aquatica needed.
“I was surprised about how many people around here have asked me about things for their salt water tanks. We are the only store around here other than Kritter Korner in Shelbyville,” Sullivan said. “I want to make this a permanent store and with CVS and other stuff coming it looks pretty good.”
Sullivan said he likes the Eminence small town atmosphere.
“I was born in West Palm, Florida, but I have lived in small towns,” Sullivan said. “I like it and I hope to stay here.”
For more information about Aquatica including store hours and contact information, visit their facebook site at: www.facebook.com/Aquaticasales.
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